Transgender MMA fighter Fallon Fox experienced her first professional loss in the championship bout of Championship Fighting Alliance 12, falling to Ashlee Evans Smith in the third round. It was a hard-fought match, but in the end Evans Smith's pin and series of punches to the face were simply too much for Fox to overcome.
From much of the reaction, it's clear many were cheering against Fox simply because she's transgender. After the fight, the bigoted haters came out in full force on the Web:
So glad to see Fallon Fox losing a fight
Apparently, a man-frame doesn't give you enough advantages to offset whatever Smith did?
Fallon Fox is making us men look bad
Damn, really wanted to see cyborg wreck fox...
This little gem on MMAFighting.com -- proud of his hate -- really stood out:
The freak got hers.
I don't care about offending people . Any idiot on the internet cries about non-issues like offending mentally ill men with gender disorder, but have head-in-ass syndrome about using phones and laptops the have conflict minerals and ignore when their government kills a whole family with a drone strikes when after one guy.
If this is the game you want to play then I get to cash in my chips to be as hateful as I like while you get to cash in yours to exploit suffering for you own gain.
Bloody Elbow also has a rundown of the tweets of fighters and other MMA folks -- many of which refer to Fox as a "guy" and say other mean-spirited things.
Many of these people have been hiding behind arguments of "fairness" and "safety" since Fox came out publicly. Fox fighting against women somehow undermines the integrity of the sport (which has virtually no integrity anyway), they claim, and somehow puts the health of everyone in the sport at risk (even though the sport itself puts their health at risk).
But Fox lost. If it's so unfair that a trans fighter would compete against women, why did she lose? We were told that it was unfair that Fox was transgender. How can someone with such a huge "unfair" advantage lose?
Evans Smith left the ring, like all of Fox's opponents, with no injuries beyond what is expected when two people engage in a brawl. If Fox is so dangerous to other athletes, why did Evans Smith suffer no major injury? Why have none of her opponents experienced these injuries?
Why? Because there was never any unfair advantage. Fox never presented any real danger. These were smokescreens for people who are either ignorant about trans issues or just plain old, certifiable bigots. Will the result of this match slow them down? Nope. As noted above, they'll still take to Twitter and MMA Web sites and bash Fox. They may do it more subtly -- "I'm not transphobic, but I'm so happy Fox lost, she didn't deserve to win" -- but the root of it all couldn't be more clear.
To be sure, not all MMA fans and fighters are like this. Evans Smith couldn't have been classier, acknowledging the struggle Fox has been through. The people who run Bloody Elbow seem to have genuine interest in Fox as a fighter and a person. But the chorus of doubt -- from both "reasonable" people and the haters -- has been and continues to be far louder than the voices of welcome acceptance, even in the face of Fox's loss.
Fox will take off a couple months now. Recovery isn't quick or easy. Once the new year rolls around, she'll be ready to get back in the ring and break down more barriers for herself and other trans athletes.
You can watch the entire fight and broadcast here:
Ashlee Evans Smith talks about the fight and says some very respectful things about Fox:
ASHLEE EVANS SMITH DEFEATS TRANSGENDER FIGHTER FALLON FOX (via Rodolfo Roman)