Intergender MMA matches would end sport’s tiresome gender debate once and for all
The very idea might sound like a sinister sporting sequel to ‘The Hunger Games’ set in a dystopian future where genders have finally gelled into an unrecognizable blur - much to the delight of social justice warriors.
But it isn’t too far away from reality.
Earlier this week Henry Cejudo, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) bantamweight and featherweight titleholder, issued a callout to the organization’s female flyweight ruler Valentina Shevchenko for a fight to determine the world’s first 'intergender champion'.Also on rt.com 'I want to be 1st intergender champion!' UFC's Cejudo calls out women's flyweight champ Shevchenko
And why not? If the perennial debate about allowing transgender athletes to perform alongside women, regardless of obvious physical advantages and in spite of worrying anomalies, shows no sign of dying down, why not rip up the rulebook and allow a genderless free-for-all across all sports.
While it sounds outlandish and maybe even cruel from Cejudo, his proposal perhaps might be a good thing for sports. The politically correct brigade have consistently campaigned for a complete bypass of factual biological contrasts between men and women to accommodate transgender athletes at the expense of the success of women so vehemently. Why not cut to the chase?
Said brigade found it perfectly acceptable for Laurel Hubbard, the New Zealand weightlifter who set national records as a junior male before transitioning to female later in life, to win the gold medal in the 2017 Australian International & Australian Open. This was despite a backlash from fellow athletes who claimed Hubbard’s win was unjust.
Only injury prevented the 41-year-old from winning Commonwealth Games gold last year, but this year Hubbard went on to win the 2019 Pacific Games and Oceania Championships, and will keep wiping the floor with competition as long as such glaringly apparent natural biological differences between men and women are controverted.
However, when this denial is taken to the extreme and is applied to mixed martial arts, the stakes are gravely raised, and the outcomes would be dark and damning.
Would it be ethically correct to allow a man to fight a woman with minimal rules? What if there was a death? And more importantly, why is it any different from allowing men to identify as women and compete alongside them?
These questions have come perilously close to being answered in MMA in the case of transgender fighter Fallon Fox who, although having met all all conditions to compete among women, caused an outcry by breaking the skull of Tamikka Brents in a brutal TKO win.
After the fight, Brents claimed that despite being an “abnormally strong female in my own right” she had “never felt so overpowered ever in my life” as against US Navy veteran Fox.
Major UFC figures condemned Fox, with promotion head honcho Dana White stating: “I don't think someone who used to be a man and became a woman should be able to fight a woman” and then-poster girl Ronda Rousey claiming there was no “undo button” on male puberty.
Those views have been held by other sports, notably by all-time tennis great Martina Navratilova. But even coming from the pinnacle of sport down, those claims mostly fall on deaf ears, as the Czech 18-time Grand Slam champion was forced to apologize when she dared to voice her opinion that to allow men to compete with women if they simply “change their name and take hormones” is “unfair.''
Unfair might not cut it in MMA, where the logical conclusions and repercussions would be much more severe.
On the other hand, should Shevchenko - who has preliminarily accepted the callout for an intergender match - win the fight, the merry band of politically correct fanatics would deem social justice to have been served, flinging open the floodgates for intersex competition across any discipline, maybe even scrapping weight classes and distances altogether in the name of progression.
Intergender mixed martial arts fights may seem like stupidity and at best a crass attempt at self-promotion, but they could be closer than we think and if political correctness in sport is pushed to such illogical extremes, it could take a brutal show of force to finally remove any doubt about biological differences between genders.