Fallon Fox MMA’s First Transgender Athlete
Fallon Fox is a sensational MMA fighter. But she is famous for being the first transgender in the MMA world. She is now retired, but let’s run through her interesting story and learn all about how it is to be a transgender MMA fighter.
Fallon Fox had gender reassignment surgery in 2006. She was born a man but felt the need to change into a woman. Currently, she is still in the process of transitioning from male to female through hormone therapy.
The Transition of Fallon Fox
Fallon Fox was born in Toledo, Ohio. She was born a male and struggled in her teens due to conflicting emotions and feelings. She first thought she was gay and lived as a heterosexual man most of her life. She even dated girls in an attempt to fit in and feel accepted. She even married her girlfriend at nineteen and had a daughter, too.
After her daughter was born, she joined the US Navy and worked as an operation specialist.
But she always knew something was wrong with her. She was constantly battling with gender issues and underwent a lot of psychological stress.
Fallon Fox knew that being a woman was her only way out. She then dropped out of the Navy, found a job as a truck driver and managed to earn enough for her gender reassignment surgery.
In 2006, she traveled to Bangkok for surgery and hormonal treatment. She took female hormones for five years and began looking like a woman. She was able to get her gender change confirmed in court and was officially a woman in the state of Florida. It was only after this that she took up MMA fighting.
Fallon Fox said: “I’m doing this so I can live my life as who I am on the inside, what people perceive me to be.”
The MMA Career of Fallon Fox
Fallon Fox started training as an MMA athlete, and on March 5, 2013, Florida’s athletic commission issued her a license.
Fallon Fox made her MMA debut the same year at Championship Fighting Alliance 10 in Florida against Allanna Jones. She won the fight via TKO in 39 seconds of the first round.
She won against Allanna Jones, Ericka Newsome and Elisha Helsper and remained undefeated for two years until May 2015. In 2015, she lost to Ashlee Evans-Smith during the Championship Fighting Alliance.
Fallon Fox continued to fight and pursue her career. She defeated Heather Bassett via armbar submission in the Xtreme fighting organization.
What brought her into the limelight with so much controversy was her match with Tammikka Brents in 2015. She won the fight via TKO in 44 seconds and also broke Brent’s skull in the process.
The Fallon Fox Controversy
Fallon Fox found herself in the midst of much controversy after her fight with Tamikka Brents. She had Brent down in the first round and battered up her skull. Fox kept battering Brent on the head till the referee stopped it. The scene was bloody. Tammikka suffered from a concussion and needed serious medical intervention and stitches on her head.
The incident raised many questions if Fallon Fox should be allowed to fight against females.
Tammikka Brents said after the fight that she had never felt so much strength before in a woman as she did in Fallon Fox. She said that she was an unusually strong female, and yet she felt so overpowered by Fox. She says that Fox should not be allowed in women’s sports and that it is not fair.
Fallon Fox decided to retire soon afterward as she said that she couldn’t withstand all the pressure and negative publicity.
The career of Fallon Fox
Fallon Fox had a short career in MMA and had only participated in 6 fights. She won 5 out of them and lost one to Ashley Evans.
She currently lives in Chicago after retiring from MMA. She is now a staunch LGBT activist and fights for people in the same boat as her.
Her life and career were covered in a documentary by ESPN called Game Face.
The Challenges of Being a Transgender MMA Fighter
Fallon Fox shot to fame in 2011 due to her controversial past. Her history of being a male was publicized only in 2011. She had participated in many fighting matches before her transgender history was known, but afterward, many argued that she should not be allowed to continue.
This throws us into the issues of transgender athletes and whether they should be allowed to participate as normal. On one side, there was the argument that she should not be allowed to fight as a woman since she had an unfair advantage. Her body had developed as a male, and her bones and muscles were developed on testosterone and hence stronger than that of females.
But on the other side, arguments arose that Fallon Fox was a woman now, just like others and must not be treated any differently. She was taking hormone medications, and that was making her female.
So are we to treat a person according to the gender they were born as or the gender they claim to be? Who or what is a woman? The one who is born that way, or the ones with female genitals? If transsexual individuals are allowed to participate in sports events, is it fair to other contenders? There is no definite or clear answer to these questions.
I personally think that transgender women shouldn’t be allowed to compete in female sports, not due to any issue with them being born male or female, but due to differences in their body structure and physicality.
According to scientists, too, transgenders can have many unfair advantages in terms of their bone density, bone structure, shoulder joints, limb size and muscle power.
Joe Rogan, the UFC commentator, expresses in his podcast:
“First of all, she’s not really a she. She’s a transgender, post-op person. The operation doesn’t shave down your bone density. It doesn’t change. You look at a man’s hands and you look at a women’s hands and they’re built different. They’re just thicker, they’re stronger, your wrists are thicker, your elbows are thicker, your joints are thicker. Just the mechanical function of punching, a man can do it much harder than a woman can, period.”
So Should Transgender Women be Allowed to Compete in MMA?
I think opinions would differ according to your experiences and viewpoints. Scientifically, transgender people do have an advantage over normal women, and this can be quite unfair when it comes to sports. So yes, I think transgenders like Fallon Fox should not be allowed to fight in MMA battles against women, as it can result in serious casualties. But otherwise, transgender women should be free to pursue any career they like and must not be sidelined or treated differently.
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*All pics are courtesy of Unsplash.com