ET spoke with the 32-year-old UFC welterweight fighter after the 'Black Adam' star surprised him with a new home in Miami.
Themba Gorimbo is feeling incredibly blessed nowadays.
The 32-year-old began making headlines as a breakout up-and-coming UFC welterweight fighter after his first win in the promotion over Takashi Sato in May went viral. The fighter then decided to auction off his fight kit, with the proceeds going to build a bush pump in his village in Zimbabwe and provide clean water for the people there.
When the Zimbabwe native took to Twitter and revealed that he had only $7.49 in his bank account before he traveled to Las Vegas for the fight, he drew the attention of Dwayne Johnson.
"This was the money left I had before the fight and now God granted me a good win and it's going to be a great one going forward," Gorimbo wrote on Twitter. "If it wasn't for the free @ufc meals I started to receive after I signed the fight i would probably be singing a different story. Grateful."
When ESPN MMA's official Twitter retweeted Gorimbo's story, the 51-year-old Fast & Furious star responded in a quote tweet, writing, "This is f'n crazy to see and brings back many emotions and memories. $7.49 in this fighter's bank account. I once had $7 bucks too. I've been there on that grind. Got your back, brother. I'll help. You got this. I'll be in touch. @TheAnswerMMA #hardestworkersintheroom."
Longtime fans of the actor will know that Johnson, who has been open about the financial struggles he faced early in his professional wrestling career, once famously lived out of a car with just seven dollars to his name. Now, of course, he's one of the biggest stars in Hollywood.
Johnson even named his company, Seven Bucks Production, to honor his beginnings. He's produced many of his beloved films and his sitcom, Young Rock, through the company.
Speaking with ET's Nischelle Turner, Gorimbo admits that he didn't realize Johnson had a similar story to his own, but believes drawing the star's attention to be more than a bit of luck.
He explains, "My own belief system [is that] God puts everything in place for the greater good for us, you know? Because I'll tell you the truth, on the day of the fight, that morning, it's 3 a.m. [and] I woke up, and I was very sick with flu. I realized that if I don't fight, I will not get paid, and I will go home with no money."
The fighter recalls thinking that he should use the $87 he had left to take care of himself before his fight. "I ordered all kinds of medicine for me to use so that I can compete [that same day] and it cost me $80 with delivery and everything," Gorimbo continues. "I was left with $7.49, that's why I still remember how much money I was left with 'cause I was so scared in the morning [that] I won't be able to buy food for my teammate and the coaches. And luckily, the coaches came with their own food, and it was just God's plan. It wasn't the best of circumstances to get sick, I was supposed to pull out of the fight... but if I pull out of this fight I'll go home empty-handed and I've been [in America] for seven weeks, so it won't make any sense."
Screengrabbing his bank account page resulted in one of the biggest blessings -- drawing Johnson's attention.
"[When] I posted about it on Instagram, I [didn't] think he'd actually respond to the thing," Gorimbo admits. "I was already back in Zimbabwe then. I'll be honest when he said, 'I got your back, brother,' on the tweets... it didn't sound real for me."
On Thursday, Johnson shared a video on social media of him surprising the welterweight fighter with a new home for him and his family in Miami.
In the video, Johnson sneaks up behind him during a sit-down interview. "It's crazy what can happen when you are able to tell your story, who you can touch and who you can inspire," Gorimbo says before Johnson walks into his line of sight. Gorimbo jumps up to hug Johnson when he realizes he's there and then leads the actor around the quarters he's been staying in. He reveals that he's been sleeping on a couch as he saves money to bring his family from Zimbabwe and buy them a house.
The Ballers star then tells Gorimbo that he wants to take him to "a friend's house," but when they reach their destination, the photos of Gorimbo's family lead to the big surprise.
"Your story moved me," Johnson tells Gorimbo as he hands him the key to the house. "When I found out you had seven bucks in your bank account, I know what that's like. I was here in Miami when I had seven bucks."
Gorimbo promises that he'll use the money he was saving up for a house to build another well in Zimbabwe. "You inspired me to work hard," he tells Johnson, falling to his knees before hugging him as he tears up. "I will become a champion, trust me."
"Now there's no more couch sleeping, this is your house," Johnson tells Gorimbo. "Welcome home. 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, your training and becoming champion."
Johnson explains that he'll lease the home and pay for all expenses for as long as Gorimbo wants to live there.
Gorimbo gets emotional thinking back on that day, recalling how Johnson handing him the keys was "the best" part of the day.
"I'm still happy to this day. I didn't know all the things [that was going to happen] but I even thanked him before," he shares. "Because you know when you [just] connect with people? That's how it felt... The energy is kind of different, you know? And I felt the energy in [his] presence."
Telling ET that he learned exactly how "disciplined" Johnson is as a person, the mixed martial artist says he will be learning from the star's way of life. "Small things count in life, if you look at them properly. Nothing just blows up in an instant -- you cannot just be blowing up in an instant, you know?" he shares. "The small things differentiate everyone from many, you know, and that's one thing I realized. [Johnson] is very disciplined. He knows that's probably the reason why he is the way he is, and I'm very grateful that I learned that lesson and I'm gonna take it to heart."
As for Gorimbo's family, the fighter shares that they're just as excited as he is for the blessing they've received from Johnson. Usually, the fighter would stay in Miami for months while he's saving money for a new home, but with their home secured, his family can join him in Miami sooner.
"When I told them that we got the house, we are going to move to Miami and stuff like that, my wife was a little bit crying," he shares with ET. "And my daughter apparently said, 'God is blessing us because we have suffered so much.' And it's very true... We've been struggling in the background... and for her to be saying that, that hits me a little bit as well."
He goes on, "[But] they're excited, my daughter is super excited. She's the most excited, more than everybody, and my wife is nervous. The other one, she's too little. She does not know anything, all she knows is 'Dada.'"
Although Gorimbo is used to the changes that come with his life, he notes that his family doesn't quite know what to expect. "My wife is a little bit nervous, she's, like, scared of change. She lived her whole life in South Africa and Zimbabwe, so she's never been on a flight overseas. This will be her first flight overseas!"
As he muses on his turn of fate, Gorimbo cannot help but smile. "Everything worked out well. I'm blessed to be here. I'm blessed to be in this movie," he says. "Like, I call this life of mine a movie and God is the director and I am the main actor, you know? He made me the main actor and he's the director of my life, so I'm just grateful and blessed to be in this position."