When Fallon Fox became the sport's first openly transgendered MMA fighter, the hardcore fans were quick to offer their opinion, some of them virulently opposed to the idea.
Fox clearly articulated why she should be allowed to compete, and as the Association of Boxing Commissions medical committee has a recommended protocol in place for transgendered fighters, she will likely be licensed.
ProMMAInsider.com spoke with multiple female MMA competitors on Thursday to get their thoughts about a transgendered woman competing in our sport.
I think it's fine as long as there is full disclosure and the woman is physically identifiable as a female and within the correct hormone levels. The agreement should be between the two competing women and their camps.
I myself would agree to a fight with a transgendered female, but I also understand why the majority of other women feel that there would be an unfair advantage for the transgendered.
I disagree with the lack of disclosure on the issue. Opponents should have a choice as to whether or not they want to take the fight. In the future, with full disclosure, maybe transgender female fighters can be licensed, but their opponent must be fully informed in order to allow them to make the best decision.
If you were born a man, then you should fight as a man. Period.
After great contemplation and research, I support Fallon's right to compete and am interested in other opinions as well.
I don't have anything against transgendered women, but I do feel like the strength between a man and a woman is very different. That being said, it really depends on how long she has been taking estrogen. Bottom line, in my opinion, is it would be up to her opponent.
I competed against her in 2010 and nothing, behavior, strength, etc. would have clued me into her being anything other than biologically female. Not to mention the doctors showing her levels are good. Gender and sexual identity are so much more complicated than the scientifically illiterate like to accept, and if she's happy this way while phenotypically female (including hormone levels), well I wish her the best.
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One female fighter whose voice has to be heard is Ericka Newsome - two days after knocking out Newsome with a knee in under one minute, Fallon Fox revealed to the MMA community that she is transgendered.
Girl-jitsu.com caught up with Newsome and her coach Brooksie Bayard, to get their thoughts on the fight.
While Fox has notable muscular development for a woman, Newsome does as well, and went from a hight of 215 pounds down to a fighting weight of 148.
Girl-jitsu.com: Had you known beforehand Fallon was a transgender female would you have taken the fight?
Ericka Newsome: It definitely would have been something to take into consideration, but I don’t think I would have backed out. I would have prepared differently. We knew nothing about her. We tried looking her up online, but couldn’t find much. We didn’t worry about it too much. It was an opportunity to fight.
GJ: At the weigh-ins, could you tell there was something different about Fallon (looks, physique, body body language, etc.)?
Brooksie Bayard: No. Anytime you have a muscular woman people are going to raise eyebrows. But Ericka is not a small girl either. She works out a lot, and anyone at anytime can make an assumption about her. Nothing looked out of the ordinary to us.
GJ: Did she hit unusually hard once you guys started to fight?
EN: She never really landed a punch on me. I took her down pretty easily and felt dominant. She caught me with a knee and the referee stopped the fight. I – and my corner – thought the fight was stopped prematurely. I felt like I recovered quickly; I was aware and had my witts about me. We felt the fight should have gone on.
GJ: Do you count this as a legitimate loss?
EN: I’m a fighter. It doesn’t matter her medical history, although I think she should have disclosed it. If the commission comes back and counts the fight as a fair fight I will be disappointed as a fighter and not because of who she is.
GJ: Do you feel violated or used in any way?
EN: I do feel used. But I feel used by reporters and other people contacting me now for their own personal gain.
GJ: Do you have any ill feelings towards Fallon?
EN: I wish she would have disclosed the information, but like I said, I would have probably still taken the fight but been prepared for the situation.
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