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11 Sep, 2021 11:47

‘That’s not a legitimate win’: Fans react to debut victory by American transgender MMA fighter Alana McLaughlin

‘That’s not a legitimate win’: Fans react to debut victory by American transgender MMA fighter Alana McLaughlin

The first openly transgender fighter to compete in MMA in the United States since 2014, Alana McLaughlin, has launched her career with a choke out submission victory in Miami, causing reaction from fight fans on social media.

McLaughlin, 38, sealed the victory in the second round of the contest with Celine Provost, being rocked in the first round but fighting back to pull off an impressive rear-naked choke.

Just by arriving in the cage, McLaughlin followed in the footsteps of the pioneering Fallon Fox who was at ringside to watch the bout.

Already fighting twice when she came out in 2013, Fox competed on a further four occasions and retired almost exactly 7 years ago to the day on a 5-1 record. 

In order to get greenlit for the bout, McLaughlin, who transitioned five years ago, had to pass a series of medical tests including hormone assessments.

Fearing it would be scrapped when Provost tested positive for Covid in July, the fighter has talked about wanting to "to pick up the mantle that Fallon put down" in the sport.

"Right now, I’m following in Fallon’s footsteps. I’m just another step along the way and it’s my great hope that there are more to follow behind me," McLaughlin continued.

"If we want to see more trans athletes, if we want to see more opportunities for trans kids, we’re going to have to work out way into those spaces and make it happen."

McLaughlin remarkably only started training MMA earlier in 2021 and struggled to find a gym that would accept her.

Eventually joining Florida's MMA Masters before being picked up by the Combate promotion, McLaughlin has battled adversity since a young age.

Asking her religious mother for gender reassignment, a request which was turned down with the pair estranged and no longer on speaking terms, she served in the military for six years before being diagnosed with PTSD.

Finding an opponent was no easy task either, and though Provost willingly accepted the fight, others have taken to social media to voice their disapproval with the result. 

Fellow 12-2 MMA combatant Tyler Diamond of the PFL simply replied to a popular Instagram post announcing the victory with a facepalm emoji, while members of the public commented things such as "That's not a legitimate win" and "Here we go again".

"Who is she fighting again so I can throw some money on her?" was a more light-hearted response, while someone else said: "Things have come full circle, feminists [now] encourage male on female violence." 

"Joe Rogan is gonna pop a vein in his head on his next podcast" it was also quipped, in reference to the widely-popular show by the UFC commentator that Fox wanted to have canceled.

Also on rt.com Trans MMA fighter Fallon Fox wants ‘transphobic’ Joe Rogan podcast canceled