Transgender MMA fighter battles for right to fight women

Fallon Fox was born a man, but wants to continue fighting women in mixed martial arts bouts.

Fallon Fox has won three amateur and two professional MMA fights in her career. But now she's fighting desperately for the right to keep fighting.

That's because Fox revealed Tuesday that she was born a man.

Fox, now anatomically a female, has become the first on-record transgender female MMA fighter, Sports Illustrated reported. In 2006, she had gender reassignment, breast augmentation and hair transplant surgeries, SI reported.

MMA, or mixed martial arts, is a full contact sport, allowing the use of all martial arts fighting styles — striking and grappling, included.

Outsports reported that Fox has been on hormone therapy for 10 years and any advantage she may have gained by being born a man has been "erased."

But the people who oversee Florida's boxing commission, the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, have placed her MMA license on hold.

Sports Illustrated said the commission is requesting more medical information from Fox, standard procedure for athletes with medical histories that are out of the ordinary.

SI said Fox did not inform the Florida State Boxing Commission of her transgender status; the licensing form she completed did not ask her to list surgeries or other medical information of that sort. In fact, Fox's case is so novel for the sport that there was no obvious system in place for Florida to check her transgender status when she applied for a license.

However, SI reported, a July 2012 Association of Boxing Commissions convention did produce a policy that defines what a transgender athlete is and the minimum requirements in regard to hormone therapy.

That policy is slightly behind the times. According to Outsports, Fox is already eligible to compete on the LPGA Tour and in the Women's Tennis Association, if she so pleased. Because of previously established guidelines, Fox even meets the criteria to compete in the Olympics.

The revelation by Fox and investigation into her license came two days after Fox knocked out an opponent 39 seconds into a bout.

In a statement posted on her Facebook page, Fox said, "I'd like the world to know that I deserve the right to compete in women's MMA. I have trained hard for this, sacrificed relationships, invested money to attempt to accomplish my goal of being the best female MMA fighter I can be. I am a woman."

She said the idea that post-operative transsexual women have a natural physical advantage over other women is "simply not true."

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