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Themba Gorimbo only had $7 in bank account ahead of UFC Vegas 73 win, praises ‘great guy’ Colby Covington

UFC Fight Night: Sato v Gorimbo Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Getting his first UFC win meant more to Themba Gorimbo than most could possibly imagine.

In his second octagon appearance, Gorimbo earned a unanimous decision win over Takashi Sato in the opening bout of UFC Vegas 73 this past Saturday at the APEX. Already having an incredible backstory as he shared with MMA Fighting prior to getting signed to the UFC — becoming an orphan at 13, becoming a blood diamond smuggler at 16 and having to escape from Zimbabwe to South Africa before finding the sport of MMA — Gorimbo revealed that winning on Saturday wasn’t just about getting over the proverbial hump as a UFC fighter, but for his bank account as well.

“I’ve been broke,” Gorimbo said during his post-fight media scrum. “I came to America seven weeks ago without money. I only had enough money to fly, get to the airport to the gym, stayed at the gym, and then a friend sent me $200.

“It’s been a roller coaster. I didn’t have money, if you look at my bank account there’s $7 right now. In my bank account, there’s $7, and I have to enjoy this. I don’t know how much I’m getting paid. All I’ve been focused on for this fight was to get the win. The win was the most important thing, the money is the byproduct of getting the win.”

Without a team and a place to train to get ready for his fight, Gorimbo found MMA Masters in Miami, where he says he slept on a couch in the corner of the gym leading up to the bout. With a wife and family back home, the financial struggles were impossible to ignore.

Luckily, while he was at MMA Masters, Gorimbo was able to get support from his teammates and training partners — including the likely next challenger for the UFC welterweight title in Colby Covington.

“Colby Covington, he’s such a great guy,” Gorimbo said. “Sometimes, Colby Covington would [bring me food] at the gym. And people say what they want about him, but that guy is a great man. You have to know him to really know him, just like me.

“At the end of the day, it’s business. I’m going all the way to the belt with the team that I have right now.”

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