VIA| On Saturday, transgender mixed martial arts (MMA) competitor Fallon Fox is facing new criticisms after breaking the eye socket of opponent, Tamikka Brents, by TKO at 2:17 of the first round of their match. In addition to the damaged orbital bone that required seven staples, Brents received a concussion. In a post-fight interview this week, Brents told Whoa TV that “I’ve never felt so overpowered ever in my life.”
“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 [he] 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. ”
His “grip was different,” she added. “I could usually move around in the clinch against…females but couldn’t move at all in Fox’s clinch.”
Fox’s gender controversy is not new. In March 2013, after a 39-second knockout victory,it was revealed that Fox had not told the MMA community about his sex-change operation, which took place in 2006. That bout was the fifth straight first-round victory for the then-37-year old Fox, including his three amateur bouts, and his second victory as a professional fighter.
A video of the Brents fight taken by a ringside fan shows Fox throwing several powerful knees to the face and torso of Brents at the start of the match, who pulled guard to protect herself. Soon, Brents turned her back to avoid damage, where she took approximately 45 seconds of elbow and fist strikes – many blocked by her hands and arms – before the referee stopped the fight.
Critics of Fox abound, especially in light of the Brents fight. Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) female champ Ronda Rousey told TMZ that while she would fight Fox, allowing transgender men to fight is “a case-by-case scenario.”
“I feel like, if you already go through puberty as a man, that’s something you can’t really reverse,” said Rousey, who said that it “would be fine” if a boy who was on hormone therapy to become a woman prior to puberty wanted to fight as a woman.
Because Fox had transgender surgery so late in life, however, Rousey said that he shouldn’t fight women.
Likewise, last year, UFC announcer Joe Rogan made his opinion unambiguously and graphically clear, saying on his podcast that a transgendered man would “have all the bone structure that comes with” being a man. “You have bigger hands, you have bigger shoulder joints.”
Former professional MMA fighter Dennis “Old School” Siggins told LifeSiteNews that “I totally disagree” with Fox fighting.”
“Even if a transgender male loses some of his physical strength, that person will still likely have a tremendous strength advantage over…female opponents,” said Siggins, who in addition to fighting also formerly ran and reported for the biggest MMA website in New England and New York. “A transgender male is simply bigger and more powerful than a female, and should not, I believe, be allowed to compete in female combat sports.”
Fox has received support from some quarters, including from the first openly homosexual UFC fighter, Liz Carmouche. After Fox’s surgery became public, Carmouche told the homosexual advocacy site GLAAD that “the MMA community – people who work in the gyms, the trainers and sparring partners and the fans – all openly embraced me as an athlete and I’m proud to see that also happening with a transgender athlete.”
Carmouche said, “If a world-regarded respected body like the Nevada Athletic Commission licenses her as a female competitor, and says she has no performance advantage, then that should be good enough for everyone.”