Florina Moeller will enter the cage for the second time as a professional mixed martial artist when she takes on Jade Ripley at Kansas City Fighting Alliance 36 on Saturday, December 7.
“Count Cuddles” Moeller has been training at Glory MMA and Fitnesss, but recently moved from the Gladstone, Missouri location under Zak Cummings, to the Lee’s Summit gym under James Krause.
We caught up with the 35-year old computer programmer, originally from Transylvania, to find out more about her goals in the sport of MMA.
Last time we spoke to you, you were getting ready to make your pro debut at Shamrock FC 310. You ended up winning the fight. You got a third round finish. What did you learn about yourself in that contest with the longer rounds?
“That’s a good question,” Moeller said. “Probably the main take away is that I belong there now, right? Leading up to the fight there was some drama as far as my original opponent dropping and then changing opponent last minute. Leading up to the fight there was a lot of pressure, pro debut, this, that. When I stepped into the cage and the bell rang and we actually started fighting I was like ‘Oh, I know what I’m doing here.’ All the nerves went away. ‘I know what I’m doing. This is good.'”
Looking at your fight record, it appears as if you are only competing in one fight a year for the past four years or so. What has been causing you to see a delay in having fights booked?
“It’s probably been a combination of having trouble getting fights and I’ve had opponents not show up on fight day. I’ve had shows get canceled fight week because they were outdoors and bad weather was coming, I’ve had opponents drops, and of course some injuries as well. I would say it has been a combination of everything.”
Now that you have that first fight as a pro under your belt and you have recognized some of the roadblocks that prevented you from competing, do you plan to be more active in 2020?
“Absolutely,” Moeller said. “That’s the point. I’d like to fight again in January and February. Of course you always have to take it one fight at a time but I would say that after this fight I’m probably going to start looking for the next one.”
You are taking on Jade Ripley. What do you know about the woman who will be looking to take you out so that she can have her hand raised in victory?
“Quite a bit actually,” Moeller said. “We know each other. We’ve trained together in the past. She’s 5-0 as an amateur and 0-1 as a pro. I’ve seen several of her fights. Some online, but some live. I know quite a bit about her. It’s a good matchup.”
Do you feel that having trained with your opponent in the past gives you an advantage in this fight?
“We’ve trained together probably four years ago I would say. I know I’m a totally different fighter than I was four years ago so I’m going to assume that she’s a totally different fighter as well.”
Moeller said that her team is like a family and that often times when one of the key players has a fight lined up, the gym will host watch parties for those staying behind at home to watch together. With this upcoming contest basically taking place in her backyard, Moeller says many of the teammates will be there in person to support.
“I have a few teammates on the card,” she said. “We are doing this as a team which is pretty exciting.”
You mentioned that you would like to be more active in 2020. Is there a specific goal in mind?
“I mean, you have to take the one fight at a time approach but I would probably say that my goal for 2020 would be Invicta FC. Especially with them having so many shows in Kansas City, that’s my 2020 goal. I’ve been a fan of the promotion forever. I was there for their very first show. We’ve talked before. I’d like to think it is a realistic goal.”
Your fight is less than two weeks away, yet we have the Thanksgiving holiday here in between. Will Turkey Day have any impact on you making weight?
“I’m on schedule as far as the weight goes. My family is Romania, so I don’t actually have family in the United States. I’ve had a few Thanksgiving invitations but I’m actually considering not going anywhere. Technically you can still go and have some turkey, and I have really good willpower when it comes to that. I can watch people eating all day. I’ve gone there. I’ve been doing this a while. I don’t know, I might just stay at home. I have my mom coming the week after my fight. She’s gonna be here with me for Christmas, so there’s going to be lots of eating then. I’m going to be eating a ton of traditional Romanian food so I can pass on Thanksgiving.”
What is your go-to Romanian dish?
“For Christmas it would be stuffed cabbage rolls. They’re good. I’ve made them before and they’re really good.”
Mom probably makes them best right?
“Actually last time she came over she made them and mine were better. Mine were a little bit spicier. This time I’m going to be in charge of the spices for the meat and she can do the grunt work. (laughs)
Last thing before I let you go…. Would you be so bold as to make a fight prediction for December 7?
“I can see it going the same way as the last one, ground and pound… I like that.”
Florina Moeller give thanks
KCFA 36 takes place at the Truman Memorial Building in Independence, Missouri.
Visit www.KCFighting.com for ticket info.