Fallon Fox

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Fallon Fox
BornBoyd Burton
(1975-11-29) November 29, 1975 (age 38)
Toledo, Ohio, U.S.
NationalityAmerican
Height5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)
Weight144 lb (65 kg; 10.3 st)[1]
DivisionFeatherweight (2012–present)
Reach70 in (178 cm)
Fighting out ofSchaumburg, Illinois
TeamMidwest Training Center
Years active2012–present
Mixed martial arts record
Total6
Wins5
By knockout3
By submission2
Losses1
By knockout1
By decision0
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog
 
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Fallon Fox
BornBoyd Burton
(1975-11-29) November 29, 1975 (age 38)
Toledo, Ohio, U.S.
NationalityAmerican
Height5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)
Weight144 lb (65 kg; 10.3 st)[1]
DivisionFeatherweight (2012–present)
Reach70 in (178 cm)
Fighting out ofSchaumburg, Illinois
TeamMidwest Training Center
Years active2012–present
Mixed martial arts record
Total6
Wins5
By knockout3
By submission2
Losses1
By knockout1
By decision0
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

Fallon Fox (born Boyd Burton;[2] November 29, 1975)[1] is an American mixed martial artist (MMA). She is the first openly transgender athlete in MMA history.[2][3] [4]

Early life[edit]

Fox was born in Toledo, Ohio. She recalls struggling with issues relating to gender as early as five or six years old.[3] As a teenager, Fox believed she may have been a gay male, but learned about the term "transgender" at the age of 17.[2] Due to pressure from her religiously conservative background, Fox continued living as a heterosexual male and married her then-girlfriend at the age of 19 when the latter became pregnant with their daughter. Fox then joined the navy to support her new family, serving as an operations specialist 2nd class on the USS Enterprise.[3]

After leaving the military, Fox enrolled at the University of Toledo, but dropped out, citing ongoing psychological stress from her unresolved gender issues.[3] After leaving college, Fox worked as a truck driver to earn money for her gender reassignment surgery. Eventually, she moved to Chicago, Illinois with her daughter. In 2006, she traveled to Bangkok, Thailand to undergo gender reassignment surgery, breast augmentation, and hair transplant surgeries at the Bangkok International Hospital.[3]

Controversy[edit]

Fallon Fox came out publicly on March 5, 2013 in an interview with Outsports writer Cyd Zeigler and sportsillustrated.com, after her two initial professional fights.[5][6] Controversy swelled over confusion with the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) and Florida’s athletic commission over the licensing process Fox chose to complete in Coral Gables. After publications shed light on the licensing procedure and Fox’s coming out many commentators brought up the issue of whether a person born as a male should be able to fight in women’s divisions in MMA fighting.[6] Most notably, UFC color commentator and stand-up comedian Joe Rogan came out in strong opposition to Fallon Fox receiving licensing on his podcast The Joe Rogan Experience.[7]

Due to controversy and the licensing procedure CFA co-founder Jorge De La Noval, who promoted Fallon's fight on March 2 in Florida, postponed Fox’s April 20 fight. However, De La Noval later stated his organization will not “turn our backs on her… As long as she's licensed, she's always welcome in our promotion. We stand behind her and we give her all of our support."[3] Fox claimed in her video interview with Cyd Zeigler to be within the rules of organizations like the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for postoperative transsexuals and wishes to continue fighting in MMA.

On April 8, 2013, Matt Mitrione, in an appearance on The MMA Hour, vociferously expressed his dislike of Fox. Saying that Fox was "still a man," Mitrione called her an "embarrassment" and stated that Fox is a "lying, sick, sociopathic, disgusting freak." The UFC quickly condemned his comments and, as well as referring to itself as "a friend and ally of the LGBT community", immediately suspended Mitrione[8] and fined him an undisclosed amount.[9] The next day Fox issued a statement of her own stating that Mitrione "personally attacked me as a fighter, as a woman, and as a human being".[10]

Fox and the controversy her competing in female MMA has caused was profiled on the April 2014 edition of HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.[11]

Alleged advantage[edit]

There has been substantial dispute as to whether or not Fox possesses an advantage over female fighters. In an interview with the New York Post, UFC women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey said that she felt Fox had an unfair physical advantage due to having "the same bone structure a man has".[12] Dr. Eric Vilain, director of the Institute For Society And Genetics at the University of California, Los Angeles, disagreed, stating in Time magazine that "Male to female transsexuals have significantly less muscle strength and bone density, and higher fat mass, than males". Vilain reviewed Fox's medical records and supported her right to fight as a woman.[2][9]

Vilain, who worked with the Association of Boxing Commissions when they wrote their policy on transgender athletes, was also quoted by Time as saying that, to be licensed, transgender female fighters must undergo complete "surgical anatomical changes ... including external genitalia and gonadectomy" (see sex reassignment surgery) and a minimum of a subsequent two years of hormone replacement therapy, as two years is "the current understanding of the minimum amount of time necessary to obviate male hormone gender related advantages in sports competition". When asked if Fox could, nonetheless, be stronger than her competitors, Vilain replied that it was possible, but noted that "sports is made up of competitors who, by definition, have advantages for all kinds of genetics reasons", and said that it would be discriminatory to treat Fox differently than other athletes with potential genetic advantages.[9]

Time also noted that, as she has neither testicles nor ovaries, Fox probably has lower testosterone levels than most of her competitors. Fox says that she has less strength and endurance than her cisgender female training partner, and that she has to make up for it by perfecting her technique.[9]

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Res.RecordOpponentMethodEventDateRoundTimeLocationNotes
Win5-1Tamikka BrentsTKO (punches)CCCW: The UndertakingSeptember 13, 201412:17Springfield, Illinois, United States
Win4-1Heather BassettSubmission (armbar)Xtreme Fighting Organization 50March 21, 201420:44Chicago, Illinois, United States
Loss3-1Ashlee Evans-SmithTKO (punches)CFA 12October 12, 201334:15Coral Gables, Florida, United StatesWomen's Featherweight Tournament Final
Win3-0Allanna JonesSubmission (shin choke)CFA 11: Kyle vs. Wiuff 2May 24, 201333:36Coral Gables, Florida, United States
Win2-0Ericka NewsomeKO (knee)CFA 10: McSweeney vs. StaringMarch 2, 201310:39Coral Gables, Florida, United StatesWomen's Featherweight Tournament Semifinal
Win1-0Elisha HelsperTKO (injury)KOTC Wild CardMay 17, 201212:00Worley, Idaho, United States

Awards[edit]

In 2014, Fox was inducted into the National Gay and Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame. [13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Fallon "The Queen of Swords" Fox". Sherdog.com. Sherdog. Retrieved May 12, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d Bishop, Greg; Begg, Jack (May 10, 2013). "For Transgender Fighter Fallon Fox, There Is Solace in the Cage". NYTimes.com (The New York Times Company). Retrieved May 12, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Hunt, Loretta (March 7, 2013). "How Fallon Fox became the first known transgender athlete in MMA". SportsIllustrated.CNN.com. Time Inc. Retrieved May 12, 2013. 
  4. ^ "21 Transgender People Who Influenced American Culture". Time Magazine. 
  5. ^ Zeigler, Cyd (March 5, 2013). "Fallon Fox Comes Out as Trans Pro MMA Fighter". Outsports.com. Vox Media. Retrieved May 12, 2013. 
  6. ^ a b Hunt, Loretta (March 5, 2013). "Transgender MMA fighter Fallon Fox faces licensing problems". SportsIllustrated.CNN.com. Time Inc. Retrieved May 12, 2013. 
  7. ^ Noble, McKinley (March 19, 2013). "UFC's Joe Rogan to Transgender MMA Fighter Fallon Fox: 'You're a F***ing Man'". Bleacher Report. Turner Broadcasting System. Retrieved May 12, 2013. 
  8. ^ Wong, Curtis M. (April 9, 2013). "Matt Mitrione, UFC Fighter, Suspended After Transphobic Fallon Fox Rant". The Huffington Post. Retrieved May 12, 2013. 
  9. ^ a b c d Gregory, Sean (May 24, 2013). "Should A Former Man Be Able To Fight Women?". Keeping Score. Time Inc. Retrieved May 25, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Fallon Fox responds to Matt Mitrone". HereIsYourWinner.com. April 9, 2013. Retrieved May 12, 2013. 
  11. ^ Mark LaMonica (April 22, 2014). "Fallon Fox featured on HBO's 'Real Sports'". Newsday. Retrieved April 26, 2014. 
  12. ^ Raimondi, Marc (April 10, 1013). "UFC women's champ Rousey weighs in on transgender fighter controversy". New York Post. Retrieved May 25, 2013. 
  13. ^ http://www.outsports.com/2014/7/9/5883239/gay-and-lesbian-sports-hall-of-fame-2014