With all of the controversy surrounding the career of transgender MMA fighter Fallon Fox, it should come as little surprise that reporters have been asking athletes — regardless of their sexes — for their take on whether or not she should be allowed to fight. The latest fighter to voice his opinion on the controversial competitor is none other than UFC Heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez, who isn’t as open to the idea of allowing Fox to fight against other women as some of us are.
Like many people, Velasquez believes that Fox holds an unfair advantage over her competition, and should only be allowed to fight other transgender athletes. Via MMAFighting:
“I don’t think she should be able to fight women,” Velasquez flatly responded when asked about Fox at a recent media luncheon.
“Having the same bone structure and everything else as a man, I think definitely does give her an advantage.”
“Maybe have a separate [division], I guess,” the UFC heavyweight champion finished. “I don’t know. But I don’t think that’s fair.”
Even though the champion’s comments don’t exactly bring any new ideas to the discussion, they’re interesting due to their timing. Over the course of the past week, Fox has seen one opponent withdraw from an upcoming CFA featherweight tournament bout against her, and her proposed replacement opponent holding off on signing the bout agreement. Her initial semifinal adversary — a 6’1” female named Peggy “The Daywalker” Morgan — has made it very clear that she backed out under the belief that she is at an unfair disadvantage. After discussing her decision on Inside MMA, she has since released a follow-up statement through Relentless Sports Marketing, which includes the following passage:
[Fallon Fox] claims that any woman who refuses to fight her is really just scared. This is absolutely delusional. Before the news of Fallon’s sexual reassignment broke, I remember watching her warm up for her March 2nd fight and wondering how she’d finished all her opponents so quickly. I mean, she looked okay, but she definitely didn’t display the sort of technical mastery she claims to possess.
Ultimately, I do not think there is sufficient hard evidence to show that Fallon does not have physical advantages over the women she has fought. I understand why people are advocating for Fallon and I appreciate that it is important to protect her rights, but I think it should be just as important to protect the safety of the other women in the tournament. Until I am presented with conclusive evidence that a fight with Fallon would, in fact, be fair, I will not be entering the cage with her.
For what it’s worth, Fox not only posted a rebuttal to Morgan’s statements on Sunday, but an even longer, far more detailed one to her Facebook page on Wednesday — both of which seem to miss Morgan’s point entirely. Essentially, they both argue that Morgan has no right to complain about unfair advantages when she’s a 6’1” woman. Of course, the difference here is that Morgan didn’t elect to have surgery to make herself taller.
As of writing this, CFA has announced that Allana Jones will sub in for Morgan, but Jones has opted to wait until April 5th to decide whether or not she’ll sign the bout agreement. While Fox’s management might not be acting too concerned, the recent news surrounding their fighter’s medical history appears to be affecting their ability to find opponents for Fox. Regardless of what the Florida State Boxing Commission decides about her license, Fox won’t have a long career if other women aren’t willing to fight her.
At this rate, the proposed wrestling match against Hulk Hogan may be more likely to come to fruition than we originally assumed.