Weight: 145 pounds
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Upon contact with Sam Toomer, his congeniality strikes curiosity as to what conjured up an interest in prizefighting. Behind eyes lensed in kindness and a million-dollar smile, a primal competitiveness hides from view. He remembered a childhood filled with video games and anime, keeping violence a stone’s throw away. One day, Toomer recalled, a clash of boyhood bravado, which introduced his entrance into the red zone.
“I remember one time in fifth grade; I got jumped by five other kids, and I beat up three of them.” Toomer wails with a hyena’s hilarity because the entire event was so surreal to him, “That was one of the first times I realized that I had fight in me. When I got in that fight, it was fight or ball up, and I wasn’t going to ball up.”
Toomer gravitated to MMA as Beethoven did to ivory. The difference being: Beethoven honed his craft at an early age; whereas, Toomer, well into adulthood, blended the various martial arts quick enough to make a smoothie. After years of sports that are considered commonplace, he succumbed to his intrigue of individualism.
“I actually just played traditional sports. I’ve been doing MMA for six years, so I started MMA as MMA.” Toomer then cited his opinion of the stark contrasts between team and combat sports, “I really like the independence of MMA. In football and stuff like that, I can go out there and give 110%, but if the guy on the other side of the field blows his assignment, we still lose. No matter how many tackles I get, no matter how many interceptions I get, or whatever, we still lose, but I’m giving everything, every game.”
Along with stellar hand-eye coordination, Toomer possesses an uncanny ability to seize opportunity in razor-thin moments, playfully pantomimed with fists pumping like pistons and sound effects to detail their impact, to stop opponents in their tracks.
“If I see the finish, my energy spikes—BOOM! It’s all precision at the right time.”
On teams, Toomer’s sporty sixth-sense was lost in a sea of jumbled lottery numbers painted in similar colors. Almost seamlessly, his skillset transferred to mixed martial arts,
“The move to MMA was kind of easy because I’m an athlete. I’m super-coachable, so I was just soaking in everything. When I started, I was lucky to start with guys who were already in the UFC, so I was bred into the high-level pretty well.”
Initially, Toomer followed his dream to Victory MMA in Southern California, formerly known as Throwdown, but he soon realized an added scaffold would raise the value of his stock. The decision to return to Northern California was based primarily in family, but he also acquired a litter of hard-nosed brothers and sisters by joining MMAGOLD’s fight team:
“San Diego is really expensive. I went out there, took the hero’s journey, and tried to do it myself, but I couldn’t for too long; five years was good enough. I came up here to be with family, mostly. Now that I’m feeling their [family’s and MMAGOLD’s] love, it just takes me to a whole other level.” The atmosphere fogging over MMAGOLD’s headquarters syncs precisely with the featherweight’s expectations, “You want to be surrounded around a good energy.”
The positivity transmitting from Toomer infects others as if it’s a pseudo “Super” power, either in friendly conversation or from the top rafter of an arena. Toomer would suggest this radiating force-field formulates his approach to the sport,
“My energy is just purely my style. I try to go in there thinking happy and being happy, even though I have to go in there, beat someone up, and be aggressive. A happy fighter is the best fighter. If you’re feeling happy and your energy is flowing, whatever your style is, it’ll flow, too.”
No matter if Toomer is bouncing around the canvas during practice or in the throngs of competition, his youthful exuberance never grows old, and his wiry limbs invite everyone at 145 pounds to test the riddle of his reactive style.