Transgender MMA Fighter Fallon Fox Hopes to Compete at Highest Level


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Fallon Fox, MMA’s first known openly transgender athlete, has high hopes for her fighting career.

Fox, 37, competed in her second pro bout on March 2 in Florida, knocking out her opponent in 39 seconds to advance to the semifinals of the Championship Fighting Alliance’s featherweight tournament.

Three days after Fox’s victory at CFA 10, Sports Illustrated reported that Fox’s fight license in the Sunshine State was under investigation after the Florida State Boxing Commission learned of Fox’s transgender identity. The fighter, who underwent gender reassignment surgery in 2006, released a public statement regarding her career aspirations on Wednesday:

“I'd like the world to know that I deserve the right to compete in women's MMA,” Fox wrote on her official Facebook page. “I have trained hard for this, sacrificed relationships, invested money to attempt to accomplish my goal of being the best female MMA fighter I can be. I am a woman. A woman who happens to fall into the category of postoperative transsexual. Just like there are black women, lesbian women, disabled women, and other types of women, there are trans women. We are just another type in the category of women.

“There is a misconception out there that postoperative transsexual women have an automatic advantage over women born with complete female anatomy. This is simply not true. The general public needs to be aware of this and we are hoping to shed light on this misconception.

“I cannot wait to fight again. And I would like to take my skills to the highest levels and promotions that I can.”

Fox, whose first pro bout took place last May on sovereign land at the Couer D’alene Casino Resort Hotel in Idaho, did not disclose her status as a transgender woman on her license application in Florida, according to the SI report, which also noted that Fox was not asked to reveal the information on the application. Additionally, the competitor reportedly claimed that she had received a license in California, though she had actually only applied for one last month.

Sherdog.com recently confirmed Fox’s application status with California State Athletic Commission Executive Director Andy Foster, who verified that Fox was mailed a $60 application receipt by the CSAC. Foster said Fox may have erroneously taken the receipt as proof that she had been licensed.

In actuality, the 37-year-old’s application is slated for consideration at the CSAC’s next Medical Advisory Committee meeting, which could take place as early as this month. If that is the case, Fox’s application would then likely be discussed by the CSAC at the next commission meeting in April. Meanwhile, the FSBC is slated to address Fox’s case at a rules workshop next week.

While the Association of Boxing Commissions has already aligned itself with the International Olympic Committee in its policy on transgender competitors, it is currently unclear whether Fox will be allowed to compete in the CFA semifinals and continue her bid for the $20,000 payday and the promotion’s featherweight title. In light of Fox’s situation, promoter Jorge De La Noval has postponed the next CFA event to allow time for the commission to make a ruling.

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