Fallon Fox …The transgender Women’s MMA Fighter (Discussion)

By | March 22, 2013 at 6:07 am | No comments | WMMA-Youth

Unfair Advantage or Unfair genetics?


Transgenders… changing one's sex either by operation or non-operated change in sexual identity [woman to male/male to woman] can be a difficult situation to understand for the families, friends and to the outside world – but they are still human beings. All people have their own opinions of what's right and wrong as well as proper ways to live life, such as religion, schooling, and careers. There are also some who feel their own being; their body and soul have cursed them from birth; "a woman trapped in a man's body" – they feel as though their thought patterns, their sexual desires, and their personality traits are that of another sex. Unfortunately, the larger picture is that these people are judged and/or frowned upon once their secret or blatant decision is revealed. Stated before, they are human; we also as humans should have NO RIGHT to judge others on how they want to live, what they want to do with their bodies, or who they want to love – we support Liz Carmouche's coming out; and praise her courage. Now turn to another (fe)male coming out of their own personal closet… a transgender by the name of Fallon Fox. Fallon Fox is a 37-year old MMA fighter who has a professional MMA record of 2-0, both by knockout. Fallon loves the sport of MMA and aspires to be one of the greats… Only problem here? She's a HE… Or was. Fallon Fox came out recently as a decision not of her own, but due to a report that came out; it is becoming a well known and controversial discussion; Fallon Fox was born a man.

You can read more about this here:   ESPN Article Regarding Fallon Fox

I opened this article with some details to catch those who may not know up to speed… but the point of this article is to discuss and share opinions. I asked a few people involved in the MMA world, especially Women' MMA for their views and although the intended plan was to have a diverse approach, I received more responses of people who chose to stay neutral and not state their views on the internet. I did manage to persuade Cat from MiddleEasy.com (MMA Writer)  as well as JJ Ambrose (Professional MMA Fighter) and Lana Stefanac (Professional Women's MMA Fighter – Undefeated) to share their opinions:


526721_10151507128538560_538086402_nCat (of MiddleEasy.com):

"This is just one of those subjects where as a liberal thinking person I want to say hey no worries no problem, but in all honesty I just can't fully support it. Until more research is done on the body and muscle makeup, etc of a transgendered person I can't say im totally comfortable with the idea of someone who was once a male-went through puberty as a male and developed into a grown man fighting women. I just don't think we are ready for that yet.

I feel for Fallon Fox as this obviously must be her dream. I would say it should possibly be something that is looked at on a fight by fight basis. It should be something that each opponent she is potentially up against knows before hand and can decide on their own if they are willing to fight someone who could potentially have advantage similar to those of a woman fighter taking steroids. We know that happens, but there are tests done to show when fighters are doping. Maybe there are tests that should be run comparing her testosterone levels to other women fighters. Im just not privvy to enough scientific research, etc on the subject to really give it a thumbs up or down with certainty."



JJ Ambrose (Professional MMA Fighter):380481_515340638493019_1536419852_n

"I am all for equal rights, competition or otherwise. BUT, she was born a man, just because she knocked off a couple parts doesnt make her the same as a natural born female. There is always going to be an asterisk in her situation. It isnt fair to allow her to comepete against females, too many advantages."





Lana "Lethal" Stefanac:

"Ok. Regarding Fallon. I have trained Fallon, I've rolled with Fallon and I've trained/rolled with other women in her weight. Fallon is strong, but not stronger than Elaina Maxwell, Sarah D'Alelio, or Miriam Nakamoto, just as a few examples. Matter of fact, I believe these named women to be physically stronger than Fallon. If I were approached regarding the "ethics" of whether or not Fallon should be allotted the right to fight, had I not had all the experience I just stated, I would say "hell no, it's unfair". However, having had the personal experience with Fallon and other women in her division, it's my opinion that no advantage regarding strength is evident. Is this true then of all transgendered individuals? I don't know. I don't have experience with others, I only have experience with Fallon; so I cannot in good faith say. Only in Fallon's case do I stand strongly behind her right to fight. The only issue I see as being problematic is that a woman could be psychologically disadvantaged by knowing of Fallon's past, that is to say that she was born a biological male. Fallon is my good friend, this however is irrelevant when I offer my opinion regarding her, because if I truly felt it was wrong, I would, I promise you very boisterously, state my opposition.

I know that the Olympic commission has guidelines regarding transgendered athletes, and as far as they are concerned, Fallon would have the right to compete in the Olympics. I am not a doctor, I am a World Champion black belt and undefeated MMA fighter who has had a great deal of experience with females of all sorts of sizes and strength. Again, it is my opinion from actual experience training and rolling with Fallon and other women that leads me to say that she does not have a significant strength advantage. I do believe that her opponents should have the right to decline or accept a fight with her at this time due to inadequate science and research. It's my opinion that a female asked to fight Fallon may be afraid to do so out of fear of the perceived strength advantages. As I've said before on posts regarding this, I can respect any opinion so long as it is well thought out and not ignorant, like so many MMA topics tend to be.
Given my credentials and history, I think my opinion should have great bearing, if it does not, oh well. We are entitled to an opinion in any direction.

"The measure of thought and study you give to the truth you hear will be the measure of virtue and knowledge that comes back to you." – People should really consider this heavily."



My Views

I do not place judgement whatsoever on Fallon Fox, I do not care about the sexual orientation or sexual anatomy of an individual; this is NOT in question, nor is it my concern. The issue at hand here, is that Fallon Fox WAS infact born a man… even with surgery and estragen replacement therapy – there is a science in explaining that genetically, Fallon is still a 'MAN' within her/his DNA. It may not be extremely significant in MMA [plenty of women have the ability to knock out men of their size] – but it can be. Genetically, his/her body’s makeup is still that of a man, the way muscle grows or the brain’s control of the body is that of a man. Pain thresholds, strength differences, body development [even post surgery/therapies], bone density, and general brain functions are all going to be different on a transgender than a natural woman. The usual training regiments; skin, bone, and muscle development …even menstration and other gender specific ailments will effect a natural woman which is also another measure that a transgender would have an unfair advantage.

"Every cell of the body of a person claiming to be “transsexual” contains DNA that is clearly marked male or female. The DNA in the brain is the same as the DNA in the rest of the body. The transsexual community has tried to associate its claim to have been born in the wrong body with the situation of persons with genetic disorders and Sexual Development Disorders, however, persons claiming to be transsexual are virtually always genetically and physical healthy, normal males or females."

…With this information and extensive research in the matter, especially the physical differences between male and woman as well as the correlation to the transgendered; I feel that it does seem unsafe, yet unfair to Fallon to be unable to continue in the sport of Women's MMA.

Ultimately, a male fighting a woman is not even a question – but because one alter's their MALE body into a woman's, is it no longer a safety issue?

Why is it unfair? This is a passion of Fallon Fox's, Fallon can not essentially 'go back' to being a man, and likewise, probably would not if the choice was available… meaning Fallon will not be able to pursue her career if s/he is deemed unfit to compete in women's MMA due to a aesthetic gender change.

I sympathize with Fallon, this is her career… and this is her life. Not only is she facing losing her career, but also the amount of courage she mustered up to come forward [even if it was not exactly of her choice]… She will under fire as the investigation continues, in which she may lose her opportunity to be a fighter or if she is allowed to fight, she will always face the fire of those who disagree. This is why I choose to take a neutral stance; I do believe that in fact she was born a man makes it very hard to say her career is legitimate, but a side of me also supports her courage and the fact that her life will be changed forever at this point, even more so than it already has.


I ask now, what are YOUR thoughts?

Jason Przewoznik is the owner of KnockoutLounge.com. KnockoutLounge.com was created to provide a haven for up and coming Mixed Martial Artists to share their stories and their careers with the fans; Supporting ALL fighters on the rise in a not-for-profit community.
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