Themba Gorimbo aims to be Africa’s UFC answer

The Zimbabwean mixed martial arts fighter wants to be the first Ultimate Fighting Championship champion from Africa. It’s a tough challenge, but he’s beaten bigger odds to get to where he is today.

Themba “The Answer” Gorimbo doesn’t want you to feel sorry for him. He works hard. He wins. He’s the current Extreme Fighting Championship (EFC) welterweight champion and is on the verge of taking the next step up to the greatest mixed martial arts (MMA) stage, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).

As a result, he’s hesitant to talk about exactly where he’s come from and what he’s endured. He’d rather not explain what it was like losing his mother when he was nine, his father when he was 13 and being forced to scrape together some kind of living through illegal diamond panning in Zimbabwe.

He’d also rather not discuss how he nearly died several times, how he crossed the border into South Africa at the age of 17 and had to sleep on the streets of Johannesburg before making contact with his family in Cape Town.

“It’s something that I don’t really enjoy talking about because I’m at a point in my life where I don’t like people feeling sorry for me. It is life, it happened and it’s something that I can’t control,” Gorimbo explained from the Ultimate MMA Fitness gym in Kyalami, which he co-owns with Angolan fighter Demarte “The Wolf” Pena.

“It was very tough growing up. I can’t blame anybody for that because it’s something that you cannot control. It built me to be who I am today and what I will be in the future,” he said. “I can’t cry about it because I don’t have that victim mentality. I used to. That everybody must feel sorry for me just because. But no, the world doesn’t revolve around you. It is a different mindset. You need to be at the top in any game and it doesn’t include being a victim. I have to focus on what’s in the future. It is tough, but you are built to be tough whether you like it or not, and I’m appreciative of that.”

This article was initially published at NewFrame

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