A.J. Fletcher had $100 in bank before big win over Themba Takura Gorimbo at UFC Fight Night 219

LAS VEGAS – A.J. Fletcher beat Themba Takura Gorimbo with a second-round submission Saturday on the preliminary card at UFC Fight Night 219 in Las Vegas.

Take a look inside the fight with Fletcher, who picked up his first UFC win after a pair of decision losses in 2022.

A.J. Fletcher vs. Themba Takura Gorimbo

Result: A.J. Fletcher def. Themba Takura Gorimbo via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 2, 1:37
Updated records: Fletcher (10-2 MMA, 1-2 UFC), Gorimbo (10-4 MMA, 0-1 UFC)
Key stat: Fletcher has stoppages in eight straight wins.

Fletcher on the fight’s key moment

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – FEBRUARY 18: (L-R) Themba Gorimbo of Zimbabwe kicks AJ Fletcher in a welterweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on February 18, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

“I can’t remember if the sequence happened where I had a guillotine grip earlier in the fight and I kind of abandoned it or felt like it wasn’t quite there, or if it was the same sequence and I readjusted. But whatever it was the second time, the time that I got the finish, it started off not too deep, and then something happened. I don’t know, I shifted on my hip a little bit, and I felt it kind of slide in there a little bit deeper.

“Once he rolled to his back, I knew he was kind of in trouble. I thought about using it just to sweep and get on top and go back into mountain and kind of control the round like I did in the first round. But somewhere in there I heard him gargling a little bit and just decided to crank on it and got to finish.”

Fletcher on pressure to get a win

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – FEBRUARY 18: (R-L) AJ Fletcher elbows Themba Gorimbo of Zimbabwe in a welterweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on February 18, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

“I definitely knew if I took this loss, I probably wouldn’t be in here for the next fight in the same breath. I also know that I have my back, and whatever happens, if I did lose, I would find some way and life would go on. The UFC is the top of the game, and it’s been my dream, but you never know what life is going to deal with you or you never know what hand life is going to give you. And if it did give me a loss, I was going to keep going. This is my life. This is the way that fighting is, the way that I learn who I am. It’s the way that I become a better person.

“Even if I took a loss, I wasn’t going to stop. Even if I was out of the UFC, I wasn’t going to stop. So once you commit to being, I guess, a lifer in the sport, it doesn’t really matter if you take three or four losses in a row. You just know you’re going to keep going. And whether that’s in the UFC great, whether it’s not great, I’m just going to keep going, and it’s the way I want to live my life.

“I’m a riser. When my back is against the wall, I claw out. I don’t shell up. I don’t hide from adversity. I have my back, and that’s a comforting feeling, and world is getting crazy. It’s a good thing to know you have your own back, and I have a whole team of people that have my back, as well. I’m just I’m blessed.”

Fletcher on what he wants next

“I don’t have any callouts. All I want to do is: Mom, Dad, if you all end up watching this, thank you all so much. The world gets real small when you lose a couple of fights. But throughout the whole thing, ups and downs, and not just my pro career, not just my UFC career, but my amateur career, every sport I played growing up, my parents had been there through thick and thin supporting me – the whole way through. And I owe you all the world. Thank you all. I love you all.

“(My first UFC win) means a lot. I need the money. I have probably $100 in my bank account, and that’s probably going to be gone, whatever this hotel charges me my fee. So, yeah, to have money in the bank account and not hit an overdraft fee will be huge.”

To hear more from Fletcher, check out the video of the full post-fight interview above.

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC Fight Night 219.

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Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie

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