UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey believes transgender fighter Fallon Fox has a physical advantage and shouldn’t be competing against female fighters.
While the medical research community hasn’t come to a consensus on just how much of an advantage transgender athletes have, and though Rousey believes MMA should decide on a case-by-case basis, she told AXS TV’s “Inside MMA” that Fox’s situation should preclude her participation in women’s MMA.
“If you’re a man who identifies as a woman, or a woman who identifies as a man, that’s something you can’t control. That’s not your choice. That’s just the way you are,” she said. “But being transgender, that does require a choice.”
Fox, a 37-year-old with a 2-0 pro record, underwent sexual reassignment surgery in 2006. Rousey believes the timing gives Fox an unfair advantage.
“I think it needs to be case-by-case basis,” she said. “On Fallon Fox’s case, she went through puberty entirely as a man, and though I do believe that her identity definitely is that of a woman, at this point in her life, it’s just not scientifically possible to make her body exactly equal to that as a woman.
“I don’t think you should be able to compete as a woman. … Just the bone density and bone structure you have after you’ve gone through puberty as a man, it’s just an advantage over a woman.”
Rousey clearly softened her language in regards to Fox. Earlier this week, soon after the UFC suspended heavyweight Matt Mitrione for what the organization deemed “transphobic comments” he made about Fox, Rousey did an interview with the New York Post on the same subject.
“She can try hormones, chop her pecker off, but it’s still the same bone structure a man has,” Rousey told the Post. “It’s an advantage. I don’t think it’s fair.”