Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is a very big MMA fan, and one MMA fighter is now a very big Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson fan.
UFC welterweight Themba Gorimbo drew attention earlier this year with his unbelievable backstory of going from 13-year-old orphan in his native Zimbabwe to a 16-year-old illegal diamond miner, then nearly dying after being attacked by police dogs. After winning his second UFC fight in May, Gorimbo revealed had only $7.49 in his bank account.
He received $7,000 from that UFC win, but sent it back home to his Zimbabwean village to pay for a water pump. He sold his fight kit for the sam cause. That earned the attention of Johnson, who posted a tweet promising Gorimbo “Got your back, brother. I’ll help.”
That help was revealed Thursday, when Johnson posted a video of himself meeting Gorimbo in Miami, where the fighter had been sleeping on a couch at his MMA gym. After meeting at the gym, Johnson took him to meet “a friend” at a house elsewhere in the city, then revealed the whole house was for Gorimbo and his family, who have had to stay in Zimbabwe.
As it turns out, Johnson could relate to a person with $7 in his bank account, having been in a similar position after the end of his professional football career. His production company is named Seven Bucks Productions for a reason.
Here’s how Johnson explained it to Gorimbo:
“Your story moved me. When I found out you had seven bucks in your bank account, I know what that’s like. I was here in Miami when I had seven bucks. But then also, you win your second fight, then you sell your fight kit. You buy a water well for your village in Zimbabwe so your people can have clean water.
Y”ou could have taken that money and you could have put it down on a car, on an apartment, but you didn’t. You took care of your people, and that just says exactly who you are and that’s why I flew all the way in, just to look you in the eye and tell you I got your back.”
It appears Johnson is covering the house lease for the 32-year-old Gorimbo, who said he will use the money that would have gone to a house on another borehole for his village instead. In the meantime, he can focus on training and getting his family closer to him.
Gorimbo called it “the best day of my life.”
Gorimbo holds a career record of 11-4, with a 1-1 record in the UFC. Suffice to say, he wasn’t alone among UFC fighters struggling to pay the bills or worse, but at least this time someone came through for him.