In short, yes of course.
I never really understood what all the commotion was about regarding the post-operative transgender MMA fighter Fallon Fox. With a tidy 2-0 record, the undefeated Fox met Allanna Jones on May 24th at CFA 11 (Championship Fighting Alliance). In a somewhat lackluster fight, Fox went on to submit Jones in the third round securing her third straight victory.
Fallon Fox has received a wave of media attention after it became known that she did not fully disclose her birth sex prior to fighting one of her earlier opponents. Many people, including UFC commentator and comedian Joe Rogan, current UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey, UFC heavyweight Matt Mitrione, and even UFC President Dana white have offered similar criticisms of Fox:
- Men are stronger
- Men have denser bones (referring to checking leg kicks and such)
- Men have bigger skeletal structure (broader shoulders, larger hands, etc.)
- Men’s skeletal structure moves differently (referring to pelvic bones and such)
- In Fallon Fox’s case, she underwent surgery after going through puberty as a man
All these concerns fall under the same category — Fox has an unfair advantage.
If we assume that their criticisms are correct (despite none of them being doctors, or having any scientific research backing their positions), it still does not justify their conclusion.
First, according to Sport Science, there is no significant difference between the punching power of men and women in the same weight class. Granted, this conclusion was based on a very small sample size (comparing one male boxer to one female boxer). Nevertheless, their comparison used a normal testosterone-producing male, not a post-operative, transgender on hormone therapy.
Secondly, she’s competing against women in her same weight class. Whatever weight advantage she has in having denser bones, she loses in muscle mass. In the end, it all works out to be roughly the same difference. Besides, natural unfair advantages exist in every sporting competition on the planet. Some athletes in the same weight class are stronger, taller, faster, have longer limbs, have denser bones, have larger hands, move differently, are more intelligent, and so on. Case in point — UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones.
Thirdly, the fights are consensual. Since disclosing her transgenderness (for lack of a better word), Fox’s opponents can either accept or decline the fight with her. If they know that she is transgender, and are still willing to accept the fight, then who are we to stop them? Having two consensual adults doing things that do not harm anyone else is the same argument for legalizing same sex marriages, marijuana, and other drugs.
If Fox is banned from fighting women, who ought she fight — men? That doesn’t seem fair. She should be able to fight someone. Besides, considering how talented Ronda Rousey and Cat Zingano are, and how douchey Bryan Caraway is, it is conceivable that women could not only fight men, but beat them as well. Who wouldn’t want to see Cat Zingano vs Bryan Caraway?
Finally, and I’ll close with this, Fox is not beating all of her opponents easily. In her latest bout, Jones took Fox to the third round in a close brawl before Jones lost via submission. This shows that despite these so-called advantages, the fights can still be competitive.
Article by Edward Mullen
Host of The Edward Mullen Podcast