I am an avid follower of Holly Holm because I know her personally. I cannot WAIT for the day that UFC matches her up with current bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey. However....I have a HUGE amount of respect for Ronda Rousey also. Even though I know when the day comes Holly's going to knock her out.....still......

But as I have been following to sport waiting for Holly's next fight as she's recovering from a broken arm, I ran across this.....


So they have a transgender female named Fallon Fox fighting as a female....

OK. I for one think this is bull shit. Just because she may have undergone some surgery, and taken some hormones doesn't take away the fact that she IS as strong as a man. So basically the women UFC fighters are now contending against a man. (biologically speaking)....

While I LOVE Ronda Rousey's attitude towards this, "I'll knock her out anyway" I'm not so sure.

Here was Tamikka Brent's response after fighting against Fallon Fox:

“I’ve fought a lot of women and have never felt the strength that I felt in a fight as I did that night," Brents said in a Whoa TV interview. "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...

Would the UFC even consider allowing a transgendered man fight against men? I don't think so. So why are they allowing a man fight women? That is what this is basically.

What is the future of Transgender women and men in sports? Do you think that the individual should compete as the gender they were born?

I think Fallon Fox should compete as a man. End of story.

What do you think?

We just got done talking on TA about Rice beating his wife and that he could have killed her. Is it possible that Fallon Fox could kill a woman that he....I mean she....fights against?

PLEASE!!!! I mean absolutely NOOOOOOO disrespect to transgendered men and women reading this. But what we're talking about here is MMA FIGHTING!!!!!! if Fallon Fox is good enough to be in the UFC, why don't they have her competing with the men?

Do you think this is fair???? This is more of a biological question. Should women be expected in sports to fight against transgendered people who were born male????

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Holly Holm just signed a 5 fight UFC contract. I do hope that they will pair her up with Fallon Fox. She'll easily knock her out. Holly is the best striker in the world. That will (hopefully) help speed her up towards a match up between her and Ronda Rousey....But I know Holly is taking it easy, building up her experience with MMA... it will be an interesting year, that's for sure!!!
Maybe there needs to be more than two (male and female) categories?

It would happen if there was a demand, and a talent pool to draw from.

I see this going the same way the Kimbo Slice thing went.  A half-talent with some notoriety gets a chance because of that notoriety, then falls flat when he/she can't perform at the needed level.  Cue the inevitable fall into obscurity.  FF may not even get as far as Kimbo.  38 is old for the fight gig, and she may not get a UFC shot unless her CFA fights start showing better conditioning and skill.

I think they should just start a UFC transgender title. They can always have them fight men or women for publicity sake, I just think to have what is basically a man in with the women exclusively like that is TOTALLY unfair. It's unfair for the women who are really good, and have skills, to get their asses beat just because Fox has brute force.

Weight is not the only thing in play here.  There are significant differences in the physical norms for men and women.  Women generally have higher body fat and less muscularity.  Also, while their joints are generally more flexible, they are also weaker and more prone to injury.  Men not only have larger skeletal muscles, they have a larger proportion of type 2 muscle fibers that generate strength and speed. 

These differences hold true among athletes.  Men have a significant performance standard above women in athletics involving strength and speed, while women have advantages in extreme endurance sports.

Fox had her sex change at 31, and has all of those advantages in a sport where strength and speed are the major factors after skill is considered.

Here’s a study abstract regarding muscle fiber.

Here’s a study abstract regarding range of motion.

Here are a couple of general fitness articles.  They are consistent about these things, and have been as long as I’ve been training and reading them.

I read Vilain’s piece, and respect his qualifications.  The interesting thing about all of this is that it’s sure to spur more studies on the differences in male/female physiology and more comprehensive studies on the effect of changing sex.  Fallon Fox will most likely be a flash in the pan media sensation; it’s the cultural and scientific grown that she spurs that will really be of note.

RE: You're right that I didn't take joint flexibility into consideration, but the research you posted suggests this too is hormone dependent. (For instance, one of the studies you offered emphasizes the way joint flexibility changes during menstruation.) By way of another example, my wife is 39 weeks pregnant and has joint pain because pregnancy hormones are softening and loosening her ligatures for childbirth. When the pregnancy is over, the hormone levels drop and her joints go back to normal.

CONGRATULATIONS Gallup!!!!!!!!!! Is this your first baby? Wow! BTW it won't just sling back to normal. If she breast feeds (which I hope she does) those hormones will remain out of whack for a while. I breasted for 4 years and I'm still not back to normal!

It'll be interesting to see how this conversation evolves in the field of sports medicine.  I grew up doing martial arts and other training with what I linked above as the conventional wisdom.

I see Vilain's point about individual variation being a major factor, along with testosterone no longer playing a role.  I would like to see more on how they balance against the decades of physical development pre sex change.

Skill factor does play a huge role once weight is balanced out, and there seem to be a few bantamweights in women's UFC that would love to see Fox leave the CFA and join UFC just so they could get a piece of her.  I'm sure it would be a big ticket draw, but at Fox's age and skill level I just see it being a female Kimbo Slice story.

The more I think about it from a fighter safety standpoint, the more I actually worry for Fox.  If they do bring her into UFC to get the sensation revenue, the skill set that some of those women are functioning at (and the hostility that the hype is generating) are greater factors than the physiology question.

Would it be fair if they allowed a Miss Olympia contestant to fight? 

I think the problem here isn't that she was born a man, it's that she's naturally inclined to a larger body, just like anybody else. There are women who are naturally inclined to higher strength, and others who are not. If she's too strong, exploit one of her other weaknesses. If she's hot headed, then piss her off and wear her down. If she's slow, then outpace her. Strength isn't the only way to win a fight. 

The only way this is ever going to be "fair" with regards to Transgendered people, is to create a unisexual competition. We have the men's fight, we have the women's fight, how do we know which of these to champions is the best unless they fight each other as well. There needs to be a fighting competition that doesn't care about gender. If you are a woman, and you think you can beat any man, then knock yourself out... figuratively speaking of course.

If Miss Olympia showed the skill it takes to fight, then yes it would be totally fair! But the idea of allowing men to fight women is dangerous.

It's only dangerous to traditional gender roles. I took martial arts classes for years and in that setting men and women fought one another all the time. The real reason people react so strongly to Fallon Fox is because she shows a weakening of the old barriers, and the beginning of an understanding of gender as being non-fixed and on a spectrum. Women are not inherently inferior to men, gender is a secondary or less then secondary state that comes after ones humanity, the future will be a place where such arbitrary distinctions are regarded with a sense of historical novelty, this is the "danger" posed by Fallon Fox.


Hank I never said women were inferior to men. There is a reason why ALL sports are divided into men competing against men, and women competing against women. There is a difference between sparing partners in a martial arts gym, and UFC fighting.

@Gallup: I understand that the science may be on Fox's side as to why she is no longer as strong as she was as a man, but I am still at a loss as to why they have her fighting women, clearly winning only because of brute strength, and have yet to defend why it is safe to be fighting women.


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