An openly transgender mixed martial arts fighter downplayed the significance of breaking a female opponent’s orbital bone, giving her a concussion and inflicting an injury that required seven head staples.
In an interview published last week by LGBT sports advocacy website Outsports, Fallon Fox spoke about her 2014 fight with Tamikka Brents, which ended in a first round technical knockout victory for Fox.
Fox told Outsports’ Cyd Zeigler, a journalist and LGBT activist who considers Fox a “hero,” that news coverage of the contest was misleading and discriminatory.
“This happens all the time,” Fox said. “I’m not the first female MMA fighter who’s broken another fighter’s bones or caused a large amount of stitches or a concussion or any combination of those. And people will of course, because I’m trans, hold it up as this devastating thing that couldn’t possibly happen if I weren’t trans. But there are many different examples of similar things happening.”
Fox underwent gender reassignment surgery in 2006 and began competing in MMA, as a woman, in 2011.
Many onlookers, including UFC commentator Joe Rogan and former UFC bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey, have criticized Fox for stepping into the cage against women, accusing her of having an unfair biological advantage.
“She calls herself a woman but… I tend to disagree. And she used to be a man but now 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,” Rogan said on “The Joe Rogan Experience” podcast in 2013 after Fox came out as trans.
Rogan himself faced backlash from the LGBT community for his remarks.
But the woman who fought Fox in 2014 made her feelings on the subject clear shortly after their bout.
“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,” Brents told WhoaTV at the time. “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,” she added. “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.”
Fox has not competed in MMA since her fight with Brents.