Transgender fighter's next bout postponed
Fallon Fox in semifinals of Championship Fighting Alliance all-women's tournament
The Florida State Boxing Commission postponed the next fight for a transgender woman competing in a mixed-martial arts all-women tournament to review her license.
“Fallon Fox is a very sweet girl," said Jorge de la Noval, the chief executive officer of Championship Fighting Alliance. "She has a really good background in wrestling, a really good fighter."
Fox defeated Ericka "Pit Bull" Newsome in 39 seconds in a featherweight match last weekend.
WATCH: Fallon Fox's CFA MMA fight
"She was completely knocked down," said Noval.
Two days later, Noval said he received a phone call about Fox.
"All of a sudden, she was a transgender," he said. "That's when that word came about."
“I was thinking people could be having some misconceptions of me,” Fox told Local 10’s Christina Vazquez via Skype from Chicago on Friday afternoon. “It’s been crazy.”
Fox said it’s been difficult seeing her personal secret broadcast on the web pages of ESPN and Sports Illustrated. She underwent gender reassignment surgery in 2006, something she felt forced to reveal when she said a reporter called her during dinner the night after her Coral Gables fight.
“Apparently he was on a mission to out me,” said Fox.
“She's a female to me and that's how we look at it and that's the end of that,” said Noval.
Noval added that there were grumblings from other female fights and observers saying Fox may have had a physical advantage.
“Which actually isn't true,” said Fox. “After about a year or two of being on hormones and testosterone-suppression, the male body begins to weaken. As of right now, I have a lower testosterone count than a woman who was born with female anatomy from the start. So I'm even lower than say, have a lower testosterone level than you (Vazquez)."
“The biggest problem here,” De La Noval said, “we are doing a female tournament for the first time and there's $20,000 on the line.”
"In almost every sport now, there's going to be a trans-athlete, I'm pretty sure of it," said Fox. "I just happen to be the first one in mixed-martial arts so I guess I am a trailblazer in that way.”
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Up until last weekend, only a handful of people in Fox’s life knew she was transgender, including her 16-year-old daughter who Fox said has always supported her and has helped her through this sudden national exposure.
Robert Boo of the Pride Center in Wilton Manors said as the first-known transgender MMA fighter, Fox’s case could spark similar change in the combat fighting industry.
“It seems like every sport has to go through this process," said Boo.
Fox's next CFA fight was postponed as the Florida State Boxing Commission reviews her license due to a discrepancy on her application.
Fox told the Commission she was licensed in California when in fact she is not.
Russ Heimerich of the California State Athletic Commission said he can understand why she would think she was licensed there. He said after paying her $60 application fee, Fox was given a cut-off sheet indicating proof of licensure to present at a weigh-in when in fact it takes four to six weeks to process a license application. Her license in California is still under review.
Meantime, Sandi Copes Poreda, a spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation told Local 10 in an e-mail: “Fallon Fox was issued a Florida license at the MMA event in Coral Gables. Her license has not been suspended. She also applied for a national ID card, the approval of which is pending…Our Department is currently investigating alleged discrepancies in the information provided on the application. Additionally, the Florida State Boxing Commission is in the process of updating the rules for professional MMA events and this topic will be included in an upcoming workshop on changes to the administrative rules. We have not received a formal complaint from Fox's opponent at this time.”
Newsome spoke with Girl-Jitsu.com, saying: I’m a fighter. It doesn’t matter her medical history, although I think she should have disclosed it. If the commission comes back and counts the fight as a fair fight I will be disappointed as a fighter and not because of who she is."
The Florida State Boxing Commission is looking at updating its rules for MMA events in regards to transgender athletes.