Florina “Cuddles” Moeller

By | December 2, 2014 at 11:10 pm | No comments | Fighter Interviews, WMMA-Youth | Tags: , , , , , , ,

 Florina "Cuddles" Moeller

Working with FreshStart MMA, I've had the pleasure of being introduced to a wide variety of WMMA fighters. Florina "Cuddles" Moeller is among that list of outstanding Fighters on The Rise with a current record of 3-2 as an amatuer. Growing up in Bucharest, Romania, Florina is not only an impressive fighter, but comes with her own interesting life story.

The point of KnockoutLounge's Q&A's are to learn more about the fighters behind the gloves and their aspirations for the future; Florina gave us an in-depth approach on her life and her journey into the 125-130lb divison (also possibly eyeing the lower weight classes as well), with high hopes on making it to the big stage of Invicta FC. Let's get into it and learn a bit more about this star on the rise!


All Images Courtesy of Jerry Chavez

Early Life:

Tell us a bit about yourself, where did you grow up and what was life like growing up? (Family, school, friends)

I grew up in Bucharest, Romania. I was the only child. I was sent to school one year early because I was bored at home.
I loved school and got really good grades, I was pretty much a nerd. 
When I was about 10, my parents divorced. 
At 14, I got accepted in the most prestigious high school in Bucharest with the 6th highest score.  I would say up to this point my childhood was pretty normal.
Unfortunately for the next couple of years our financial situation deteriorated. I had to deal with not having school supplies, not having summer shoes that fit or decent looking clothes. It culminated with my mom losing her job at which point we experienced a winter without heat (we couldn't pay the bill, so it got turned off) and extreme hunger. 
At 16, after my 10th grade was completed I started working as a waitress. When the summer ended  I dropped out of high school and continued working. (I did complete my G.E.D. when I was 25 ).


Were you involved in any sports as a youth in or outside of school?

I was not involved in any sports as a child and didn't really enjoy physical activity. I hated running!


What is your favorite child-hood memory?

Up until I was about 13, my grandmother lived in the mountains (afterwards she moved with me and my Mom in Bucharest). My favorite memories are from going in the summer to visit her and going hiking to look for mushrooms, blueberries, raspberries and hazelnuts with my mother.


Any interesting child-hood stories and/or fun facts?

I was actually born on Friday 13 in Transylvania. 

Getting involved in MMA:


How did you get involved?

I used to watch it on TV and think it was awesome. One day I was having a random conversation with a guy that did it and I stated how cool I thought it was . He told me I could try it too so I was like : "Why not?". I tried it once and never stopped!


What discipline did you begin with and care to share a bit about your early experiences learning the sport(s)?

2 years prior to doing MMA, I started doing Karate . As a child I loved watching all the Bruce Lee and Karate Kid movies and really wanted to be involved in some martial arts, but we never had enough money to do that.
Then I saw they had karate classes at my gym and I decided I would try it . I was a walking klutz when I first started (lol) but I loved it anyway. Slowly but surely I got a lot more coordinated . 


At what point did you know you were ready to step in the cage for the first time?

Pretty much as soon as I started doing MMA I started having this nagging thought ….. "You could do this!" . It was scary at the time since I had no experience but that thought kept on coming back. 
When the cage locked behind you in your first fight, can you recall what went through your mind? How did your first fight turn out?
The first thing that went through my mind when my opponent started hitting me was : "This is nothing like sparring!" . I took a beating in the first round but I did end up winning by rear naked choke in the third round. 

What are 3 things you've learned while being involved in this sport?

I learned discipline. 
I learned to eat and live healthy.
I learned that if you believe in yourself and you keep working you can do amazing things. 

What gym are you currently fighting out of?

I train at 2 affiliated gyms. Caveman Crew and Crawford's AJJ. I also go to TFW for conditioning. 

What is your current record (ammy/pro) and at what weight?

My current record is 3-2 (ammy) . I fight between 125 and 130 lbs.


Do you currently have a nickname in this sport? If so, what is it and why?

Cuddles.  I went to watch my friend Jessica when she fought out of town. We decided to share the hotel room and we had just 1 bed. Apparently I am a cuddler, poor Jessica could not sleep the whole night because I would hug her . I slept like a baby, no recollection. I also had an out of town friend go through the same experience. She said I would start giggling and then try to hug her. She ended up sleeping on the floor. 


If you could improve one aspect of your game, what would it be and why?

I would say probably my ground game since it is really important. 


What is your most memorable experience as an MMA fighter?

My fight at Titan: Battle of the Belts… I ended up winning minute 2 of first round via verbal submission due to strikes. I felt like a million bucks! 


Any interesting stories to share or learning experiences whilst fighting you would like to share?

First time I ever grappled with a guy, I had no idea they wear cups. I was really really creeped out until I got that figured out. 


If you could offer one bit of advice to an aspiring fighter what would it be?

Just believe in yourself and go to practice. I know it's a bit discouraging at first cause you get beat up by everybody that's been there for longer but if you keep consistent you will see results . 

Would you like to give a shout out to any sponsors individuals who have supported you?

Coaches / trainers  : Steve Crawford, Rudy Bears, Matt Uhde, Kayoko Abernathy, Sara Schneider, Joshua Tully, Dwayne Lewis, Dustin Garrens, Missy Wilt, Liz Sowers, Molly Estes.
Friends  : Grace Maher, Silvia Nitzel, Jessica Bell, Yessy Ramirez , Holly Torrez, Naomi Smith, Karen, Brad and Brandy Wikoff , my parents of course.
My manager Jay, Dudley Robinson's Professional Event Sponsors and Doc Howie's XionX, and At your Service.
And many more that I cannot think right of now.



What are your goals for the future in the sport?

My next goal would be to fight for Invicta. 


What are your thoughts on the current state of the sport and where it's headed?

I think it's a very exciting time for woman's MMA. 


If you could change one thing in the sport, what would it be?

I have had trouble finding opponents so more females doing this! 


Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?

In 10 years from now I probably see myself coaching/ teaching.
Fun Facts: 
Favorite food: is arabic/greek
Favorite dish: is tiramisu.

Favorite kind of music: would probably be alternative rock/ dance.

Favorite movie: Snatch

Favorite tv show: The Ultimate Fighter

Favorite quote:  "Courage is fear that said it's prayers"

Do you have any children? Do you want any?
I have no children, but I would love to have 3

Best day of my life: not really sure, I try to have everyday be that.
Twitter: @FloriCuddles
Manager Contact (For sponsorships/Fight Inquiries):  Jay General, jayfreshstart@gmail.com
About the Photographer
Jerry Chavez provided all shots of Florina Moeller in this Q&A. You can view all of Jerry's work and/or contact him at the below links.
Jason Przewoznik is the owner of KnockoutLounge.com. KnockoutLounge.com was created to provide a haven for up and coming Mixed Martial Artists to share their stories and their careers with the fans; Supporting ALL fighters on the rise in a not-for-profit community.
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