As the Florida State Boxing Commission considers whether a transgender mixed martial arts fighter can get back in the ring, her next opponent has committed to taking her on in a May bout.
The case of Fallon Fox – who used to be a man and now identifies as a woman – has brought up legal issues and safety concerns, experts said.
But MMA fighter Allana Jones has decided she will face off against Fox at the University of Miami’s BankUnited Center May 24, promoter Jorge de la Noval of the Championship Fighting Alliance told NBC 6 Monday night.
“A fight is a fight! I’ll knock her out!” the promoter quoted Jones as saying. She had until Tuesday to decide.
Meantime, the debate over should Fox be able to compete as a woman is intensifying. The boxing commission may decide Fox’s status when it meets Friday.
When Fox took on Erika Newsome in a March 2 fight at the BankUnited Center in Coral Gables, they had a weight difference of just 8 ounces. Newsome is four years younger than Fox, but it took Fox just 39 seconds to dismantle her opponent, and the bout was stopped when Fox delivered a knee that gave her a knockout win.
After the bout, Fallon announced that she used to be a man.
Fox says she knows her transgender status will cause controversy.
“Because I know there’s a possibility that people are going to come after me, they’re not going to understand, so I have to be ready,” she said in a preview of the documentary “Game Face” posted on YouTube. The film is about athlete's coming-out process.
Fallon added emphatically in the online video that she never regrets making the transition to being a woman.
Fallon directed all calls to her agent, who directed NBC 6 to speak with the promoter, de la Noval. He said his organization, the Championship Fighting Alliance, respects Fallon.
“We don't ask our fighters what their sexual preferences are. We don't discriminate (against) any of our fighters,” de la Noval said.
NBC 6 obtained the application Fox filled out with the Florida State Boxing Commission to get her license. On the form she circled female. By signing, Fox attested that the answers she gave were true and correct to the best of her knowledge.
But the state department that regulates martial arts said that it is “currently investigating alleged discrepancies in the information provided on the application.”
“Please note that her license is not suspended or frozen during the investigation; it is still active,” Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation spokeswoman Sandi Copes Poreda said in a statement about Fox. “Currently, there is nothing that would prohibit her from being proposed on a fight card in our state."
Former professional fighter Mickey Demos, who now trains the boxers for the University of Miami club team, said Fox has an unfair advantage.
“When it comes to speed, and power, aggression, (it’s a) completely different animal. It’s dangerous what this person is doing,” he said.