The Rock gifts home to UFC star who was living in gym with just $7 to his name

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The Rock surprised Gorimbo and left him emotional as he handed him the keys (Image: YouTube/TheRock)
The Rock surprised Gorimbo and left him emotional as he handed him the keys (Image: YouTube/TheRock)

Actor and former wrestler Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson has gifted an apartment to Themba Gorimbo after the UFC fighter announced earlier this year that he was living in a gym with only $7 to his name.

The Rock revealed the gift in a video posted to YouTube. He tricked Gorimbo, who he had surprised with a meeting the week before, into thinking they were meeting at a friend's apartment only to bring him to his new digs. Once the UFC star realised what was happening, he became emotional.

"I was so moved by your story," The Rock told Gorimbo. "When I found out you were sleeping on the couch in the gym ... now there's no more couch sleeping. This is your house. Welcome home! Now you can bring your kids here, man, your family. This place is yours. You don't have to think about anything. The only thing you think about is your family, getting them over here, getting them with you, training, and becoming a champion."

"Thank you so much, man," Gorimbo said. "I will become a champion, trust me. Trust me, you can shake my hand, I will become your champion. Thank you. Thank you so much."

Gorimbo has endured numerous tragedies. His mother died when he was 9, and his father died when he was 13. According to UFC.com, he was caught illegally digging for diamonds in Zimbabwe and attacked by dogs.

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"They had German shepherds biting me," Gorimbo said. "If you see my body, I've got dog marks all over my body where I was bitten by the dogs. That night probably changed me mentally as a person, changed everything because I got bitten by the dogs and I lost a lot of blood and I almost died. Luckily, I survived and I'm here to tell a story about it."

The Rock gifts home to UFC star who was living in gym with just $7 to his nameThe Rock was inspired by Gorimbo's incredible story and surprised him with a house (YouTube/TheRock)

After winning a fight in Las Vegas this year, he revealed his bank account was nearly empty. The proceeds of the victory helped him survive. That triumph, and his viral story, have propelled him to stardom as he tries to climb the Welterweight rankings.

"It was not do or die for me," he said. "I've been in worse situations in my life. I fight to change my life. So there was no do or die, even based on the situation that I was in where I didn't have the money.

The Rock gifts home to UFC star who was living in gym with just $7 to his nameThemba Gorimbo punches Takashi Sato of Japan in a welterweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on May 20, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

"It was more for me to just find that freedom, to get that result where I showed the world that I'm not what you saw in the last fight where I lost that fight. I am a different person and I'm capable of becoming a champion and I will be a champion. So that was more important than anything."

Thanks to The Rock, Gorimbo has a new home and celebrity supporter. "Because you got me this house, I was supposed to get a house to come here," Gorimbo said in the apartment video. "The money that I was going to use for the house, I'm going to build another borehole in my village now when I land in Africa."

Dan Bernstein

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