Ronda Rousey, the UFC Women’s Bantam Weight Champion, is the face of Womens Mixed Martial Arts. As MMA still fights to be accepted as a sport in cities across North America, its popularity is undeniable. With that, the popularity of WMMA grows as well. UFC’s president, Dana White, was very much against adding a women’s division until Rousey’s success and reputation could no longer be ignored. Undefeated, all wins coming in the first round via vicious arm bar.
There is another female fighter out there who is also undefeated. Two fights, two first round TKO’s. Her name is Fallon Fox. So why is she not being groomed to be the next challenger to Rousey’s title? It is because, female mixed martial artist, Fallon Fox, was born a man.
The former Navy officer left the military and picked up a trucking job to pay for his gender reassignment operation. In 2006, he flew to Bangkok to have the procedure. Now known as Fallon Fox, she is a woman who began training in MMA sometime after. Competed as a woman until she recently informed the commission that she was indeed born a man.
The controversy of this situation is immense. Some still see Fox as a man who unfairly competes against women. While others feel that she is just another competitor, no different from any other woman that steps in the cage. Then there are those of us who do not quite see this as black or white, rather a particular shade of grey. Someone who is vehemently against Fallon Fox competing in MMA is UFC Color Commentator, Joe Rogan. To quote Rogan from his recent Podcast – “She calls herself a woman but… I tend to disagree. And, uh, she, um… she used to be a man but now she has had, she’s a transgender which is (the) official term that means you’ve gone through it, right? And she wants to be able to fight women in MMA. I say no f****** way.” And “….You have bigger hands, you have bigger shoulder joints. You’re a f****** man.” There are those who say that with all the hormone therapy one must take to go through such a drastic surgery and change that the individual is so far removed from being the man they were once born as.
Dana White has a more practical view when asked about signing Fox to a UFC contract. Noting that she’s only fought twice professionally and that both of her opponents had losing records. String some wins together against notable names, then they can talk to him about UFC.
Besides commissions deciding whether or not to license her to compete, It is the opinion of other female MMA competitors that really matter. For they are the ones who ultimately have to decide if they want to fight her. Former Strikeforce Champion, Miesha Tate has said she won’t fight Fallon Fox, while Liz Caramouche, former title challenger and UFC’s first openly gay fighter, said she would welcome Fox as an opponent.
I’m no expert. In fact, none of us are. Transgender issues and combat sports are very uncommon. But I highly doubt Fallon Fox’s big scheme was to get a gender reassignment surgery so that she could easily and successfully compete in WMMA and become rich and famous. I imagine the operation itself would be intolerably painful, but for Fox, living as a man was more intolerable. So should she fight? Thankfully it is not up to me to decide, but if enough women are willing to fight her and if commissions are willing to license her, then I say let Fallon Fox fight.