Mixed Martial Arts competitor Fallon Fox has once again come under the limelight after defeating her opponent, Tamikka Brents, at 2:17 of the first round of their match. Brent suffered from a concussion and broke her eye socket.
Brent’s eye injury involved a damaged orbital bone, which required seven staples.
“I’ve fought a lot of women and have never felt the strength that I felt in a fight as I did that night. I can’t answer whether it’s because she was born a man or not, because I’m not a doctor,” she stated. “I can only say, I’ve never felt so overpowered ever in my life, and I am an abnormally strong female in my own right.”
Fox’s “grip was different,” Brents added. “I could usually move around in the clinch against…females but couldn’t move at all in Fox’s clinch.”
This is not the first time that Fox’s gender has become a case for controversy. In 2013, after winning a 39-second knockout victory (which was also Fox’s fifth straight first-round victory), it was revealed that Fox hadn’t informed the MMA community about her sex-change.
In 2014, MMA bruiser Ronda Rousey had refused to fight Fox because “if you go through puberty as a man, it’s not something you can reverse.”
Fallon Fox had a sex change in 2006 and has tried to argue that as a transgender, she is actually fighting at a disadvantage. However, according to UFC president, Dana White, on the issue of transgender fighters fighting cisgender (nontrans) women, “Bone structure is different, hands are bigger, jaw is bigger, everything is bigger. I don’t believe in it.”
Increasingly, transgender women are being allowed to participate in women’s sports and this raises the question of advantage, especially in a contact sport.
According to medical professionals, after several years of clinical treatment, transgender women have musculature and bone structure similar to cisgender women. Should sports associations then get to decide how many years a transgender woman will get clinical treatment before she can compete with other women?