Themba Gorimbo is doing every part he can to greatest place himself for a shot on the UFC.
Gorimbo (9-2), EFC’s welterweight champion, virtually obtained that chance when he obtained the decision for Dana White’s Contender Series in April. But struggles to acquire a U.S. visa pressured the Zimbabwe-born fighter from South Africa to withdraw from the chance.
“On April 15, I received a message from my manager telling me Sean Shelby was looking to get me on the Contender Series this year,” Gorimbo informed MMA Junkie. “Before I got my contract, I then got a message from Shelby stating that getting guys in for (Contender Series) without a visa has already become a challenge for them, and they have to stop bringing more guys. However, he stated that if anything changes, he will let me know.”
Gorimbo hasn’t competed since defending his title with a second-round submission of Lyle Karam in March 2020 at EFC 84. With his preliminary probability to punch his ticket to the UFC gone, Gorimbo has taken issues into his personal arms by reserving a flight and visa to Dubai and his efforts have already paid off.
Initially intending on serving as a backup fighter for UFC 267 in Abu Dhabi, Gorimbo has obtained the decision to face Contender Series alum Ramazan Kurmagomedov (9-0) at UAE Warriors 24 on Oct. 29, an evening UFC president Dana White is predicted to be in attendance to movie an episode of “Dana White: Lookin’ for a Fight.”
“This is the stars aligning for me to get into the UFC,” Gorimbo mentioned. “Fighting in front of Dana White was something that was supposed to happen on the Contender Series, and I did not get a chance to because of the visa situation. I believe that the stars have aligned for me to win in an impressive fashion in front of Dana to earn my spot in the UFC.”
Gorimbo has a stern check forward of him in unbeaten Kurmagomedov, who already notched a win on the Contender Series in 2019 towards present UFC welterweight Jordan Williams, but it surely wasn’t sufficient to impress White. The Russian was additionally booked to face Alex Oliveira at UFC Fight Night 186 in February, however was pressured to withdraw.
But regardless of all of Kurmagomedov’s expertise on the massive stage, Gorimbo is just not intimidated.
“Ramzan is a great match for me,” Gorimbo mentioned. “I looked him up and saw that he’s already been on the Contender Series and he won. He was booked to fight in the UFC and who knows what happened there, too. He is undefeated right now until I give him his first loss in MMA. I am a winner and I win.”
Gorimbo, 30, grew up in a village within the province of Masvingo and have become an orphan after dropping each his mother and father by the age of 13. He fled Zimbabwe in 2008 after a lifetime of mining diamonds as an adolescent and is now prepared to make use of his story to encourage others on the massive stage.
“At the tender age of 16, I became a diamond smuggler in the bloody diamonds of Marange, Zimbabwe just to get by and look after myself,” Gorimbo mentioned. “Eventually smuggling diamonds needed to be stopped by the federal government, and I virtually obtained killed there, and I left Zimbabwe on the age of 17 for South Africa as a border jumper searching for a greater life and alternatives. I’ve labored as a painter, safety, and gardener right here in South Africa whereas doing MMA on the street to turning into a champion.
“Ever since becoming a champion in EFC in 2019, I’ve been trying so hard to get a big opportunity in UFC, the best organization in the world. I have always visualized myself becoming a champion in the UFC. I believe if the pandemic didn’t happen, I would be in UFC now and climbing the ranks already because I am willing to fight everyone. Myself and my manager, we have been pushing on getting me in the UFC, but it’s currently hard to get in due to the visa issues all around the world.”