Fallon Fox is a male-born transgender, who has recently had surgery to hormonally, legally and physically switch her gender from male to female. While this is not the forum or the article to address the merits/morality/legality of surgically changing your own body, I would like to address the legality of the fact that she has fought in MMA and would like to continue to do so. The debate lies in whether this is fair to her opponents, and if it raises major safety issues.
Simply looking at Fallon, she has the physique of that of a man, or at least in a fighting sense. She has a 70” reach, similar to that of Jose Aldo and has a body composition similar to men who fight at a similar weight. Her arms have similar intonation to that of elite men, and despite her breast enhancement, she has the attributes of most men fighting in the UFC. She has bigger hands, lungs, rib cage, thighs, heart, jaw line and a males body frame which give her natural size advantages. The question remains, should MMA follow in the precedent already set by transgender competitors in other sports?
Fox stands at the center of the controversial issue, but she wouldn't be the first transsexual athlete to make the switch. Commissions in the Olympics, Boxing, NCAA, PGA Golf, Pro Tennis, BMX Racing and beyond have all allowed transexual women to fall into female competitions post-transition, but should MMA continue to allow it? I personally believe it should not legal.
While I feel strongly about someone’s right to be able to make a sex-change if they identify themselves as the opposite sex, I do believe that in athletic competition, the fact that someone has gone through puberty with male hormones gives them a tremendous advantage against women in athletics. I have no hate towards these people, but despite the reassignment surgery and the taking of hormonal pills, there are certain things about being a man that simply won’t change.
While I think the unlevel competition should outlaw transgender women from competing in any sport, I am also particularly nervous about allowing transgenders to compete in combat sports in particular. Could you imagine Kimbo Slice or Johnny Hendricks getting a sex change and being allowed to compete against women? The results would be heinous and tremendously unsafe.
I am not typically one that believes in exclusion/segregation in any facet of life, but on this particular issue I find myself side with the segregationists with safety, and ironically fairness, in mind.