Opinion: Fallon Fox and Tying Up Loose Ends
By Jesse Heitz
In today’s piece I will attempt to tie up some loose ends, or rather, provide some final commentary on one of the stories that have caused much heated discussion in the MMA world over the last several months. Surely, I speak about no story other than the highly publicized Fallon Fox debacle.
The topic at hand is a thankful resolution to what was one of the biggest sources of MMA upheaval thus far this year. Naturally, I’m talking about Fallon Fox, MMA’s first openly transgendered fighter. In an article published by the New York Post, Dr. Eric Vilain, stated the following regarding Fox,
“male to female transsexuals have significantly less muscle strength and bone density, and higher fat mass, than males.”
“Sports is made up of competitors who, by definition, have advantages for all kinds of genetics reasons.”
Thanks to Dr. Vilain, a man who knows something about the subject serving as the Director of the Institute for Society and Genetics at the University of California, Los Angeles, the scientific aspect of this debate has largely been put to rest. I suppose we could also have inferred that given Florida State’s governing athletic body issued Fox a license to fight that there was little in the way of scientific basis for the outbursts from the likes of Joe Rogan, Ronda Rousey, and Matt Mitrione, among others.
This is not to say that the whole of the MMA world shuddered in fear at the prospect of someone who had undergone a gender reassignment had crossed from the men’s division to the women’s division. In fact, there were many commentators and female fighters that thought nothing of it, even expressing interest in taking such a fight.
However, given Fox’s recent TKO loss to fellow 145-pound female fighter Ashlee Evans-Smith, I think we can finally seal up the lid of that coffin. The Fallon Fox case indicates that skill still tends to carry the day, rather than raw physical attributes, which were drastically altered in this case. Now, even UFC President, Dana White, has stated that Fox is essentially a long way off from being UFC caliber. So, can we all come to the logical conclusion that many of us overreacted when this story first broke?