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Themba Gorimbo: More than just an MMA hero!

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Zimbabwe’s rising MMA star and viral sensation Themba “The Answer” Gorimbo returns to the Octagon this weekend in his third UFC fight.

Bikita, Masvingo’s Gorimbo (11-4) will face USA’s Pete Rodriguez (5-1) in a Welterweight bout at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas on Sunday morning (SAST) at UFC Fight Night.

The headline fight will be a Middleweight clash between No. 7 ranked Roman Dolidze and No. 12 ranked Nassourdine Imavov.

Gorimbo aims to build a solid innings on the UFC roster following a disappointing debut loss in February last year before pulling one back with a well-deserved unanimous decision win against the experienced Takashi Sato (Japan) in May 2023

Crosbie pulls out

“The Answer” was set to meet Irish firecracker Kiefer Crosbie this weekend before the European athlete pulled out due to injury.

Now, the Miami-based Gorimbo can utilise his rangy striking and strong grappling/wrestling game to neutralize the KO power of Rodriguez, who sports a record of five knockouts in five wins.

Gorimbo went viral last year when global icon Dwayne “The Rock Johnson” purchased the fighter a house in Miami after seeing footage of Gorimbo speaking on his financial battles prior to his first win.

In his post-fight press conference in May, Gorimbo touched on various challenges he had faced heading into the fight. He spoke of battles with flu and having less than seven dollars in his bank account.

Johnson felt a strong connection with Gorimbo, considering that the American superstar also only had seven dollars in his account at one point when he was on the come-up, and it was this very experience that led to Johnson starting his very own production company called Seven Bucks Production.

After seeing the UFC interviews, the WWE and mega movie star reached out to Gorimbo before surprising the Zimbabwean with a family home in Miami.

Johnson passionately encouraged the athlete to continue chasing his dreams while doing great work in his country, which includes helping build water wells and providing various other necessities for the people of Zimbabwe.

Gorimbo has long been a man of manifestation, and this week, he took to social media to declare his thoughts and beliefs ahead of the fight.

Magic happens

“When you work and believe, magic happens,” said Gorimbo in an Instagram caption linked to a picture with the commentators’ names he believes will be on the show. The second slide of his post included a written message he planned on verbalizing to former double champion and now UFC commentator Daniel “DC” Cormier.

“I manifested before leaving for the media day who will be calling the fights this weekend. I wrote Daniel Cormier and Laura Sanko as sure commentary for the fights, and then I just put Dominic Cruz’s name on but in brackets as my guts were telling me otherwise. Thank God for everything. Now watch me do my job on Saturday. Nothing but huge respect for Pete (Rodriguez). I am grateful,” concluded Gorimbo.

This weekend’s fights will be available on SuperSport. Stay tuned to IOLSport and MzansiMMA for further updates on the times and channels.

MAIN CARD

Main Event – Middleweight Bout: Roman Dolidze (186) vs Nassourdine Imavov ()

Co-Main Event – Lightweight Bout: Renato Moicano (156) vs Drew Dober (156)

Welterweight Bout: Randy Brown () vs Muslim Salikhov (171)

Women’s Flyweight Bout: Viviane Araujo () vs Natalia Silva (125.5)

Middleweight Bout: Aliaskhab Khizriev (186) vs Makhmud Muradov (185.5)

Welterweight Bout: Gilbert Urbina () vs Charles Radtke ()

PRELIMS

Women’s Strawweight Bout: Molly McCann (116) vs Diana Belbita ()

Flyweight Bout: Azat Maksum () vs Charles Johnson (125.5)

Welterweight Bout: Themba Gorimbo (170.5) vs Pete Rodriguez (170.5)