Exclusive: Themba Gorimbo Talks 32-Second KO Win, Jinxing His UFC Performance Bonus, Looking Up To The Rock,

"The Answer" talked about a few interesting things about his life following his 32-second KO win.

Themba Takura L Gorimbo
Themba Takura L Gorimbo - Image credit @thembagorimbo_mma Instagram
  • Themba Gorimbo reflected on his recent KO win at UFC Vegas 85
  • “The Answer” talked about not getting a performance bonus
  • The promising welterweight revealed who The Rock is in his life

UFC welterweight rising star Themba Gorimbo discussed his sensational first-round KO win, his relationship with The Rock and how he wants to be remembered.

Themba knows he would win

In an exclusive interview with Middle Easy, “The Answer” looked back at his 32-second KO win over Pete Rodriguez at UFC Vegas 85. According to Gorimbo, he knew right off the bat that he was gonna finish his opponent. He was aiming to break the fastest KO in UFC history but he realized it wasn’t possible. Nevertheless, he still managed to secure a quick KO win.

“When the fight started I knew there was no way this guy is going to beat me… I actually wanted to knock him out sooner because, I was like this is the time, I wanted to break the record for the fastest knockout in the UFC but then he moved away a little bit and then I was like, okay cool it’s not happening. I just have to be patient… Then I kind of visualized that within the first few throws that would land, he will be out, it will be done and that’s what happened,” Gorimbo said.

Themba jinxed his bonus

The win was Gorimbo’s first-ever first-round KO win in the UFC. Some thought he would’ve received a performance bonus but for some reason, he did not. For “The Answer,” it’s fine as what matters most is he won. He also thought that he “jinxed” his bonus when he said he didn’t need it.

“I think Dana [White] is going to send me the bonus, I think the media is going to ask him this coming week about me and be like why didn’t you give Themba the bonus and he’s going to be like probably. But hey, I’m grateful, I’m happy I was not surprised. I also like jinxed myself by refusing the bonus when Molly McCann says to me Themba, let’s go out there and get the bonus my brother, then I said to her, ‘Hey, Molly, I just want to win, the win is enough for me so I jinxed myself… I think I jinxed myself that’s why I didn’t get the bonus,” Gorimbo explained.

The Rock is not Themba’s friend

Gorimbo has forged quite a connection with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. The Rock gave him a house to help him focus on just becoming a great fighter and prior to UFC Vegas 85, Gorimbo also received an emotional message from the WWE legend.

However, Gorimbo made it clear that he and The Rock are not friends. For Gorimbo, The Rock is someone he respects a lot and therefore they can never be friends as they’re not on the same level.

“After the message [form The Rock], I cried not because of pressure I cried just because I was realizing where I was in life and this emotional moment,” Gorimbo confided.

“You can’t say friendship because I can’t be friends with someone that I look at kind of my hero… where I come from if someone is older than you, you cannot be friends with them and they you have to respect  them. So if I’m saying I’m friends with DJ [Dwayne Johnson], he’s a great man, no, I’m not at that level so what I can say is that he’s a great man in my life that is helping me and supporting me to do great things in my life too,” he explained.

“I’m here in Miami living here because of him so everything is because him and God you know I believe God put our paths when we were born,” he added.

Themba will always help his community

Aside from dreaming of becoming a UFC champion, Gorimbo also wants to be able to always be there for his community. He recently built a library in his hometown and yearns to do more for his people.

“Those are the most important things because you know when all said and done, those things stay. Those are the things that stay. That place that I build even if that breaks one day, I’m not alive and I’m gone… it’s history, it’s legacy. It’s things that stay forever,” Gorimbo said.

“I want to be remembered as a guy that was not afraid to speak out, who was not afraid to stand up for others, who was not afraid to do something for us and sometimes to his own detriment so it is something that I am and is something that probably people remember me for,” he added.

No to South Africa

Gorimbo also did not shy away from admitting that he would like to be a part of UFC Africa if it is to happen in the future. However, not in South Africa.

“If it happen in any other country in Africa I would do so. It was something that I wrote down myself that I never want to fight again in South Africa. If it happen in any other country, I would do so, I would get on the card. It’s just my thing I don’t want to talk about it. Let’s skip,” Gorimbo said.

Gorimbo is now on a two-fight winning streak. He now has a 12-4 pro MMA record and is rapidly becoming one of the most promising fighters in the promotion.

Watch Gorimbo’s full interview below:

Published on February 7, 2024 at 12:15 pm
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