Themba Gorimbo Made History As First Zimbabwean To Win A UFC Fight4 months ago
Themba Gorimbo, a welterweight UFC fighter from Zimbabwe, made history by becoming the first Zimbabwean to win a fight in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). The UFC is an American mixed martial arts promotion company based in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Gorimbo, who hails from Bikita in eastern Zimbabwe, used his wrestling skills to gain control over his opponent, Takashi Sato (Japanese), for most of the first round. In the second round, Gorimbo floored Sato with an overhand right and continued to rain hammer fists on him until the end of the round.
Although the referee felt that Sato had done enough to escape danger, Gorimbo was declared the winner by unanimous decision. Gorimbo’s victory is significant for Zimbabwean mixed martial arts (MMA) and comes after he became the EFC welterweight champion in 2020, which served as a gateway for him to fight in other promotions and eventually sign with the UFC.
Despite facing numerous obstacles, including a recent loss and flu on fight day, Gorimbo has remained committed to his training and plans to spend more time in the US for future fight camps. He hopes that his story will inspire the next generation of African fighters.
Themba Gorimbo became EFC welterweight champion in 2020, paving the way for him to fight under other promotions before signing with the UFC. Although he lost his debut fight in February, he remained committed to his training to inspire future African fighters. Speaking after his recent victory, Gorimbo said after his loss in February, everyone back home viewed him with disdain, as if he were a repulsive individual. He told MMA Mania’s, Alex Behunin:
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You know, people kind of ignored me. People that I helped kind of ignored me. A lot of people, even people that were close to me, some of them are called my friends… even my own brother.
Themba Gorimbo re-committed to his training in South Africa to redeem himself after his loss. He underwent a seven-week training camp in the US, which left him financially drained with only $7 in his bank account on fight night. Despite being sick with the flu on the day of the fight, he achieved a significant victory. Gorimbo was able to overcome various obstacles leading up to the fight, and he reflected on his doubters back home with a philosophical outlook. The 32-year-old continued:
When you are on this journey, sometimes you get caught up and you think everything is fine.
But when you lose… that’s when the real stuff starts popping up. For those that ridiculed me back home, for those that backstabbed [me]… God bless them. I’m on my own path now. I didn’t lose them, they lost me.
In the future, Gorimbo plans to spend more time in the US for training but will not move permanently. He wants his story to inspire the next generation of African fighters.
After winning his first UFC fight, he auctioned off his fight kit to raise funds for a water pump in his hometown. Gorimbo’s journey, from his village in Zimbabwe to the UFC, is a testament to the American Dream and serves as an inspiration to many African kids. Despite his success, he remains grounded and committed to making a positive impact on his community.
The match ended 0 3. The game was played on 20/05/2023 at 20:10, and the implied winner probabilities were: 47.62% (Takashi Sato), and 53.48% (Themba Gorimbo). See below:
0 Knockdowns 1 56/76 73.7 Total strikes % 110/158 69,6 30/47 Significant strikes 33/56 63.8 % 58,9 2/6 Takedowns 3/8 33.3 % 37.5 0 Submission attempts 0