American Samoa wrestler CJ Floor emerges victorious from first MMA bout
American Samoa’s Olympic qualifying wrestler, now turned Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter, CJ Floor walked into the steel cage this past Saturday for the very first time making his debut fight in ‘Ainofea’s Kauai Cage Match’ (Mayhem at the Mansion), in Hawaii on the island of Kauai. His victory came at the expense of Ikaika Poaipuni of Maui, as both fighters came into this bout at 205lbs.
Despite Poaipuni having more experience in the cage, Floor was still able win all three rounds, for a 29-27 win. No doubt that his wrestling background — which includes being a USA 2007 Cadet National Wrestling Champion, 2011 Oceania Wrestling Champion and a 2012 Summer Olympic Games qualifier for wrestling, all played a part in his ring savvy.
He was also trained in the fine art of boxing and kick boxing by MMA Champion Deutsch Pu’u and jiu jitsu specialist Travis Nua.
Floor, who turned 22 one day after the fight, celebrated his birthday and his debut victory at the same time.
Floor spoke with Samoa News via email saying, “I dominated all three rounds and took the victory, 29-27".
“I got one point taken away from me for an illegal knee. I went for the knee and his hand touched the ground, making the knee illegal. We both fought like warriors”.
(The fight was an ‘ammy’ bout which means it was an amateur fight. The rules are slightly different in an ‘ammy’ bout as compared to a professional bout, but the intensity and action are just the same).
“I stuck to the game plan and it paid off. It was a great fight."
"Big thanks go out to Vance Pascua, Ainofea and the people of Kauai for coming out to the card. I would also like to thank Deutsch Pu’u, Joseph Solis, Travis Nua and Caleb Scanlan for the training and coaching and for pushing me to do my best. Thank you also goes out to Samoa News for covering me and the stories,” he said.
Floor’s father, Carl Floor who trained his son in wrestling for most of his wrestling career, spoke of his son's trainers, saying, “I know that he is in good hands and I am confident he will be successful. I have always told my kids that becoming a champion is not up to me, it is up to them."
CJ’s brother Sean, is also a successful wrestler as well, as he is a two time New York state section champion and state runner up who is wrestling for Gannon University and ranked sixth in the region.
There is no word yet on when when and where Floor’s next MMA match will be. Stay tuned to Samoa News to keep up with latest on CJ Floor’s climb up the MMA ladder.