Fallon Fox is a retired transgender MMA fighter. She was born a man, but now lives as a woman and is still in the process of transitioning from male to female with hormone therapy. In addition to hormone therapy, Fox had gender reassignment surgery back in 2006.
Transgender Fighter Fallon Fox
Fallon Fox’s story has been very controversial because up until 2011 it was not known that she came from a life of being male. She fought several times before her gender history surfaced and became public. Since then there has been heavy debate about whether or not she should be able to fight women and some believe that it is an unfair advantage for Fallon who spent her physical prime as a man, whose bones and muscles were developed on testosterone.
However, on Fox’s side, she claims that since she has been taking female hormones, she is a woman just like all other women and that she should not be treated differently.
In an interview with Ariel Helwani from MMA Fighting, Fallon explained how she has been feeling throughout this gender change process:
“I definitely feel like the chemistry and balance of hormones, and all that kind of stuff in my body just feels really good.”
This controversy raises many questions about gender equality and what rights transgender athletes should have.
Are we to assume that because someone was born a certain way they must always be that way for the rest of their life? Is it fair for Fallon who lived the majority of her youth as a man to fight against women? What do you think about transsexual women fighters being included in the Olympic games?
Early Life of Fallon Fox
Fox was born in Toledo, Ohio as a male. Her struggles with gender started as she became a teenager when at first she thought she was a gay person. At the age of 17, as she realized there are transgender people, she knew that being a woman is her only way. But as she said, it was a hard solution for her to change her gender so she continued to live as a heterosexual man. She even married her girlfriend at the age of 19 to become pregnant with her daughter a few years ago.
“I was fighting a lot with my gender and my sexuality. Since I was a teenage boy I knew something was wrong with me, but I never wanted to admit it to myself. Everything I did, and the girls I was dating with, was just me trying to feel normal and accepted.” – said Fallon Fox for BJJ World.
Soon after she gave birth to her daughter she joined the US Navy to support her family and she served in the USS Enterprise as an operation specialist.
As she said it was a pretty hard time for her as she was constantly fighting with gender issues which caused ongoing psychological stress. She then dropped out of the USS Navy while trying to get enough money for her gender change
Gender Reassignment Surgery
She decided to do a sex reassignment surgery because she believed that was her only way to live a normal life. The only problem was its price and she didn’t have enough money. Therefore, she decided to get a job. Fallon found a job as a truck driver which enabled her to earn enough money for the operation.
Finally, in 2006, transgender female fighter Fallon Fox traveled to Bangkok together with her daughter and did all the necessary surgeries to become a woman. She got gender reassignment surgery and hormonal treatment at the Bangkok National Hospital.
During the gender change process, Fallon Fox had to go through a lot of hormone therapy which is still an ongoing process.
“It’s not easy for everyone to understand, but I hope that people could at least be supportive.” – said Fallon fox during an interview with BJJ World.
To get rid of all the masculinity she was born with, she had to take female hormones for about five years. Also, she had to go through some surgeries before finally looking like a woman later on.
“I’m doing this so I can live my life as who I am on the inside – not what people perceive me to be.” – said Fallon Fox in an interview with MMA Fighting.
After all these struggles and gender reassignment surgery she was finally able to get her gender change confirmed in court which allowed Fallon to legally become a woman in the state of Florida.
That was the time when she decided to fight. She chooses the combat sport of MMA to pursue her fighting career.
MMA licensing process
As we mentioned before there was a lot of controversy around Fallon Fox’s licensing process and many well-known fighters and commentators were against Fallon getting the license. She actually got it when they examined fox’s medical records. They noticed many differences in her bone mineral density, structure, and higher body fat mass. She also had significantly less muscle strength than an average male.
After some time and many discussions, Fallon Fox got a fighting license to fight in women’s divisions in Coral Gables which came as a surprise and shock to many people.
After her two professional fights, Fallon Fox came out publicly on March 5th, 2013 in an interview with OutSports writer Cyd Zeigler and sportsillustrated.com. The licensing procedure Fox chose to go through in Coral Gables caused controversy due to the California State Athletic Commission and Florida’s athletic commission.
Due to controversy and the licensing process, Fox’s April 20th bout with Fallon has been postponed by CFA co-founder Jorge De La Noval, who promoted the fight on March 2 in Florida. De La Voal went on saying that his group would not “turn our backs on her…”. “She’s welcome in our campaign so long as she’s licensed. We support her and give her all of our help.”
In a video interview with Cyd Zeigler, Fox stated that she was in compliance with IOC rules for post-surgical transsexuals and wanted to continue competing in MMA.
MMA Career of Fallon Fox
Once she turned into a woman, Fallon decided that she would like to use her physical strength for something good so she started training in MMA. She came out as a transgender MMA athlete on March 5, 2013, when Florida’s athletic commission issued the license for Fox.
She officially made her MMA debut in 2013 when she faced Allanna Jones at Championship Fighting Alliance 10 in Florida. She won the fight via TKO in 39 seconds of the first round, breaking her opponent’s nose with a kick.
After having three successful MMA fights against Allanna Jones, Ericka Newsome, and Elisha Helsper she was undefeated for two years until May 2015 when she faced Ashlee Evans-Smith during Championship Fighting Alliance 12.
Fox’s First loss in MMA vs Ashlee Evans Smith
She suffered her first loss against a relatively unknown female MMA fighter by the name of Ashlee Evans-Smith. Transgender fighter Fallon Fox lost in the third round by technical knockout for the featherweight title fight, which was ongoing during Saturday night’s Championship fighting Alliance 12 event.
But Fox didn’t stop there. She continued to pursue her MMA career in the Xtreme fighting organization where she defeated Heather Bassett via armbar submission in 2014.
During an interview for Bloodyelbow about her next opponent, Fox said: “I want all the trannies on this planet and beyond to know, that you can be whoever it is that you want to be”.
“I’m on a mission of spreading the knowledge about transgenders.” – said Fallon Fox on Sherdog Forums.
In 2015 she fought Tamikka Brents in the most controversial match ever in MMA. She won the fight via TKO in just 44 seconds. That was the fight that brought the most controversies about Fallon Fox as she managed to break Brent’s skull in that fight.
Fight against Tamikka Brents
“I’ve never felt so overpowered!” – were the words of Tamikka Brents after Fallon Fox broke her skull during their MMA fight.
She defeated Tamikka Brents in a much-anticipated fight that left Tamikka Brents down for the count in the first round. It was messy, it was bloody and it wasn’t easy viewing for everybody. Tamikka suffered a concussion and a broken skull. Fox wasn’t stopping until Tamikka Brents was finally TKO’d and the referee stopped it. Tamikka needed stitches and serious medical attention after the fight, which shows you how the fight went.
“I’ve fought a lot of women and have never felt the strength that I felt in a fight as I did today. I can’t answer whether it’s because she was born a man or not because I’m not a doctor. What I can is that I’ve never felt so overpowered ever in my life, and I am an abnormally strong female. I’m afraid I still have to disagree with Fox fighting. She can pursue any career but when it comes to a combat sport I think it just isn’t fair.” – Tamikka Brents said in an interview after the fight.
Retirement from MMA
Soon after the controversy in an MMA fight against Tamikka Brents, Fallon Fox decided to retire in 2014. As she said, she just couldn’t withstand all the negativity surrounding her appearance in MMA
Fallon Fox Professional MMA Record
6 fights, 5 wins, and 1 Loss. Fox has three wins via knockout and two wins via submission. Fallon fox losses are down to only one: against Ashley Evans Smith via TKO.
|Professional MMA Fights Breakdown
Where is Fallon Fox Today?
As soon as she retired from MMA she got involved in LGBT activism to help other people with similar problems. She wanted young people to never face the problems she was facing. As she said, “Nobody deserves to be treated the way I was.”
ESPN did a documentary that covered Fallon Fox’s life and career called Game Face. You can watch it on ESPN+.
MMA Community Comments on Fallon Fox and Trans Women
Fox has made a lot of headlines throughout her career, emergence into the public eye sparked a tremendous amount of outrage. But, it’s been almost five years since she last fought. Her battle in 2014 vs. Brents, however, continues to haunt her today.
Ashley McGuire, the author of Sex Scandal on the whole Fallon Fox drama: “The Drive to Abolish Male and Female, said: Twenty years ago if a man hit a woman so hard that he sent her to the hospital, he’d be in prison. Now he can get paid for it. It makes no sense to fight women if you’re born a man.”
In the video below, McGuire explains that the idea that gender is a personal choice is very ANTI-WOMEN and ANTI-SCIENTIFIC.
“That’s because the men-and-women-are-the-same argument invariably leads women to be judged against a male standard. Or, to put it another way, to be more of a woman, a woman has to be more like a man. As a transgender woman, you just can’t fight female athletes.”
“For the tiny percentage of people who experience gender dysphoria, we should have nothing but compassion. We should do everything we can to help them and protect their dignity, but we don’t need to overturn biologically defined sex differences to do so.”
One of the people who were against giving Fox a license was famous: comedian, podcaster, and UFC commentator Joe Rogan. He gave some pretty solid arguments against her getting the license to fight, but that didn’t change anything.
‘First of all, Fallon Fox is not really a she. She’s a transgender, post-op person. The operation doesn’t shave down your bone structure density. It doesn’t change. You look at a man’s hands and you look at a woman’s hands and they’re built differently. They’re just thicker, they’re stronger, your wrists are thicker, your elbows are thicker, your joints are thicker. Just the mechanical function of punching, a man can do it much harder than a woman can, period.’ – Joe Rogan said in his 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***ing way.’ – Joe Rogan added
‘I say if you had a dick at one point in time, you also have all the bone structure that comes with having a dick. You have bigger hands, you have bigger shoulder joints. You’re a f***ing man. That’s a man, OK? You can’t have… that’s… I don’t care if you don’t have a dick anymore…’ – Said Joe Rogan in one of his later podcasts
While speaking with Ariel Helwani on “The MMA Hour” show in 2013 Matt Mitrione said that Fallon Fox is a “lying, sociopathic, sick and disgusting freak”.
Soon after his comment UFC suspended him and charged him with a fine amount of money.
But, as much as UFC is known for suspensions fighters who go against their public image, Mitrione still did an announced fight against Brendan Schaub. It actually means UFC wasn’t that upset with his comment. The reason probably lies in the fact that Dana White said he would never allow transgender women to fight in the UFC.
One of the most controversial interviews was with Dana White when he called Fox “He” and “Him” instead of “She” and “Her”. That’s even forbidden by the law in the US right now.
In an interview with MMA Junkie White said:
“He was a man and now he’s a woman. He’s fighting girls who have lost records. Before you get too crazy about him being in the UFC, he’s so freaking far from being in the UFC that it’s not even funny.” – said Dana White for Fallon Fox
Those words raised a huge controversy as many people referred to white telling him that “He’s a She”.
The most famous female MMA fighter and UFC star Ronda Rousey comment on Fallon Fox:
“I have a feeling that if you go through puberty as a man, it’s not something you can reverse. There’s no undo button for something like that”. – Ronda Rousey on Fallon Fox
“I don’t understand the problem with Fallon Fox. I’m told that men and women are equal and that gender is a social construct. I’m constantly shown “badass women” on TV and in movies that can beat up men easily. We’re told that woman can do anything a man can do. DOVE commercials show that girls can run, punch, and jump just as well as men. So… why shouldn’t men fight vs. women? Why segregate sports? If transgender people can use the bathroom, which matches their gender identity, why can’t they choose the UFC gender class that matches their gender identity? You’re not a transphobic/sexist bigot, are you?”
Today’s Society on Transgender Women in Combat Sports!
It’s really hard to find anyone today who would support the fact that a trans-MMA fighter beats a woman in a women’s sports competition. It seems like only transgender people and LGBT activists support it. Where ever you find any discussion about trans athletes you’ll find some great resistance to them. The comments are usually rude and full of “hate” with people saying “Go fight men”, “don’t destroy the careers of other females”, “they don’t have the same bone structure”, etc.
Unfortunately, it’s something hard to judge unless science proves those people wrong, and science isn’t doing it. Many medical experts and scientists actually agree with the overall opinion of society, and they have scientific evidence supporting the hormonal disadvantage of born female to transgender person.
In today’s world and political correctness, it seems like people are saying to trans people that they’re different and immediately it seems wrong to any human being. But in reality, it seems like they really are different than many women they’re fighting against in the women’s division.
The only thing that would work for people is to form transgender divisions in MMA and it’s the only way for female transexuals to have a green light for fighting without controversy surrounding them. But, that’s something we’ll probably never see due to the low number of transgender female fighters in MMA, and other sports in general.
Fallon Fox Interview on Life as a transgender athlete
Fox gave an interview for Outsports in March 2013.
When she was asked about the situation of having to come out publicly so early in her career: “That sucked. I expected that someone was going to out me; you just can’t go through life with a microscope on your career without someone delving into your past a little bit,” she said. “But it’s something you really can’t prepare yourself for.” Her face grows serious. “The scope of anger and vitriol that I received initially … That was disheartening, and tragic. It was mind-blowing.”
This was not how Fallon Fox had planned her career to go. Her ideal narrative would have seen her enter the cage as any other competitor, winning fights and hopefully becoming one of the greatest female fighters on the planet. “I suppose I’d want all of that,” she muses thoughtfully. “But I also want to bring my family with me”
Fox’s interest in MMA came from the fact that ladies competing in the sport were shattering traditional male/female regulations associated with combat sports. She discovered the career when a trainer advised her that if she really wanted to get in shape, she should accompany him to an MMA gym. “There, women were doing things that other women weren’t doing for the most part. They were aggressive. I needed to see that in my evolution as a woman. Transgender women especially feel like we have to fit the binary system to a T in order to not be recognized as trans.”
Do Transgender Women Have An Unfair Advantage?
The question of whether transgender athletes should be allowed to compete or not has been getting a lot of attention throughout the years. The most controversial case is the Fallon Fox fight.
According to many scientists, men, and women are inherently different. Pretending that they’re equal is making some women pay a huge price for it. It doesn’t matter if a man transitioned into a woman, she still possesses some advantages over the cisgender women competitors. Therefore Fallon Fox had a physical advantage over her opponents.
According to many scientists, unfair advantages are:
- bone density
- bone structure
- bigger shoulder joints
- stronger and larger limbs
- increased ability to generate power
In reality, it’s really hard to determine how much advantage one trans woman has over other non-trans women because it varies on many factors. For example their testosterone levels before gender-affirming hormone therapy. The more testosterone levels they had before they switched their gender the more advantage they’ll have.
Scientific Research on Trans Women by Dr. Timothy Roberts
This question raised many controversies once the Tokyo Games allowed transgender women to compete in the Olympics. As that was the first time that several trans women were allowed to compete in the Tokyo Games many scientists started their research.
We bring you the research of Dr. Timothy Roberts, a professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and a pediatrician.
The research clearly shows that trans women who went through hormone therapy for one year still outperform non-transgender women (cisgender women).
After two years of hormone therapy, the gap would close a bit, but still, trans women would outrun non-trans women by 12%.
The study suggests that for the first two years after the subjects started taking hormones, some things are changing. The trans women in the study were able to do 10 percent more pushups and 6 percent more sit-ups than their cisgender female counterparts. The biggest problem lies in the fact that all the bone structure remains the same for a long period of time.
After two years, Roberts told NBC News, “They were fairly equivalent to the cisgender women.”
Another scientist’s comment on this subject was done by Dr. Eric Vilain, director of the UCLA, Institute for Society and Genetics. He helped the Association of Boxing to write their transgender policy and was examining Fox’s medical records. After examination, he told Time Magazine that “a male to female transsexual athlete has significantly less muscle strength and bone density, and higher fat mass, than males”.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is Fallon Fox’s Real Name?
Fallon Fox was born Boyd Burton. She changed her name to Fallon Fox together with her Gender change.
What was Fallon Fox born as?
Fallon Fox was born as a male, named Boyd Burton. She started with hormone therapy in 2006 when she changed her gender in a hospital in Bangkok.
Who Did Fallon Fox Fight?
Fallow Fox fought Tamikka Brents and Brents suffered an orbital bone fracture and concussion.
Did Fallon Fox Fight in the UFC?
No, Fallon Fox never fought in the UFC women’s and men’s divisions.
Does Fallon Fox take female hormones?
Even today Fallon Fox continues to use oral estrogen and it was never considered a performance enhancer drug. Even if she stops taking it now her body would still remain the same. She would also enter the post-menopausal state.
Conclusion on Fallon Fox and transgender athletes in general.
Controversies about this topic are not discriminating against anyone or anything. It is just to ensure fighters’ safety, and not give any advantages to any fighters above the others.
Gender issues can be hard to deal with and it’s understandable, but we should draw a line in some cases. The fight between Fallon Fox and Tamikka Brents could have ended much worse and we should learn from it. If transgenders were allowed to fight in the women’s division, many other serious injuries would happen. Usually, non-transgender athletes get beaten no matter their experience, so some kind of a problem really is there.
There are many questions we must ask ourselves about this subject such as: Is it fair for Fallon who lived the majority of her youth as a man to fight against women? If I were born female but now identify as a male do I have the right to compete against men? Is it fair for Fallon to fight women since she lived her whole life as a man and has the body, bones, and muscles of one?
What do you think about transgender athletes competing in sports? Do we need gender equality across all sports or should there be separate categories, such as men and women?