Ben Moa’s story would make a must-see Hollywood movie.
Moa grew up around gangs and drugs in Southern California. After moving to Utah, he was locked up for the first time at age 12. When he was released at 16, Moa shifted some of his focus to athletics – specifically football – but trouble followed him off the gridiron. Moa accepted a full-ride football scholarship to the University of Utah, but as a freshman he was shot in the chest in gang-related violence.
Moa didn’t lose his life, but the fullback/tight end did lose his scholarship and his enrollment at the university. Eventually he landed at a junior college in Northern California. He kept his nose clean, earned All American honors and returned to play for the University of Utah for three years. In the National Football League, Moa spent two seasons with the Miami Dolphins, a season with the New York Jets and also played professionally in Germany under the NFL Europe banner.
Moa picked up MMA when his football career ended. He boasts a professional record of 5-2 in the cage, with all of his wins coming by KO.
Moa is ready to drop his gloves for the first time as he makes his Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship debut against Bridger Bercier at BKFC 56 on Dec. 2 at Maverik Center in Salt Lake City, UT, LIVE on The BKFC App.
Moa grew up fighting with bare knuckles, so he’s excited to return to his roots in that sense. Even some of the world’s toughest fighters aren’t brave enough to embrace the chaos of the world-famous BKFC Squared Circle, but that’s not the case for Moa.
“In my mind, this is the best sport for me,” he says with a smile. “For how I’m built, this is perfect.”
The long-reformed gangbanger isn’t fighting for money. He’s a very successful businessperson and real estate agent/investor in his native Utah. His bustling Tip Top Tykes training facility in Ogden, UT is the performance institute of choice for over 400 youngsters. He and his wife, who have been married since Moa was 19, have four children, including Brigham Young University standout football players Aisea Moa and Sione Moa.
Ben isn’t sure how many times we’ll see him in the Squared Circle after his debut in Salt Lake City, but he’s excited to make a first impression to remember at BKFC 56. Outside of fighting, he hopes his legacy is simple.
“I want to be known as someone who elevated himself from his surroundings, rewrote his story, and gave some pride to his family’s name,” he says.
“I want to be remembered as someone who chased my dreams, educated myself and never made any excuses.”
Picture courtesy of Joe Oliver Photography (IG: @iamjoeoliver)