Just as it seemed the uproar regarding transgender fighter Fallon Fox was beginning to subside, the floodgates have re-opened following her recent win on September 13th over Tamikka Brents.
The 38 year old who began life as a man, but went through gender re-assignment in 2006, has been a point of controversy since coming out to the public last year. At that point the fighter, who is now 5-1-0, already had two knockout wins under her belt.
Over the weekend Fox competed under the Illinois promotion “Capital City Cage Wars,” in a 145lb match up against Brents (2-2-0) who was sent to the hospital after receiving a concussion and broken orbital bone also requiring seven stitches in her head. The fight lasted 2:17min into round one.
In a recent interview with WhoaTV, Brents offered her first hand experience and opinion regarding Fox competing against natural born women.
“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. 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,” she stated. “Her grip was different, I could usually move around in the clinch against other females but couldn’t move at all in Fox’s clinch…”
“I still disagree with Fox fighting,” Brents stated. “Any other job or career I say have a go at it, but when it comes to a combat sport I think it just isn’t fair. At least not until we have more scientific proof that it is or isn’t fair. More research is needed for sure. Like I said, I am not a doctor, I can only say my opinion and I don’t believe that she should be allowed to fight other women. If it were strictly BJJ or wrestling or something like that sure, but MMA is a completely different sport.”
There are opinions on both sides of the issue regarding transgender competitors, the most prominent of which being Fox. Supporters of Fox attest that her testosterone level is significantly lower than a man’s would be because of the hormone therapy she has undergone and that she is fully a woman. Others argue that bone structure cannot be changed, especially after puberty and this is an unfair advantage.
The Association of Boxing Commissions (ABC) does have specific licensing guidelines in place for transgender fighters, but these can differ across states. Though licensing has come up as an area of contention for Fox, the more pressing issue in the furtherance of her career will be the struggle to find opponents and promotions willing to take on the good and the bad that comes with a transgender fighter.