The mixed martial arts license of Championship Fighting Alliance women’s featherweight tournament participant Fallon Fox is under review by the Florida State Boxing Commission officials after discovering that she is a transgender female.
Fox disclosed her original gender to the SI.com on Monday, which came two days after she knocked out Ericka Newsome in 39 seconds of their quarterfinal bout in Coral Gables, Fla.
However, FBSC officials and CFA founder and CEO Jorge De La Noval maintain they were unaware of Fallon is a transgender female. The application that Fallon submitted on March 1 for her Florida fighting license, she listed her gender as female.
As soon as the news broke, information was released that she underwent sexual reassignment surgery in 2006. This sparked an immediate reaction from MMA fighters, which initiated the investigation to see if Fallon was properly licensed for last weekend’s fight.
“As a promoter, obviously everyone who comes into my office, what I see is a fighter,” De La Noval said to ESPN.com. “She’s a sweet girl. … And where we stand as a company is that she’s a female. She has an Illinois driver’s license (as a female). She’s a female and she’s definitely a fighter.”
Brett Atchley, who is Fox’s agent, approached a reporter that he knew at SI.com to write the article after a journalist who knew Fox’s previous identity began to inquire about her.
“The bone of contention for Fallon seems to be people characterizing her as dishonest and manipulating, that she somehow manifested her destiny by saying, ‘I’m going to have this operation and then I’m going to be a fighter and world champion,’ ” Atchley told ESPNChicago.com.
The FBSC is scheduled to have a rules workshop next week and plans to address how to proceed with future applications submitted by transgender fighters.
“The commission is in the process of updating its rules for professional MMA events, and this particular topic will be part of our workshops on March 15,” FBSC spokeswoman Sandi Copes Poreda told ESPN.com Wednesday. “We’ll have additional information about the rules workshops after it’s completed.”
However, De Le Noval said that he has no intentions to remove her from CFA because Fox is a great fighter and there is a lot of money at stake.
The 37-year-old Fox, who is believed to be the first transgender male or female to participate in an MMA event, was scheduled to fight again on April 20, but that has been postponed with all the controversy.
It remains unclear how many bouts Fox has participated in as a transgender. De La Noval said his understanding was that she had fought three times, but has also heard that she has competed in as many as five fights.
“I’m not pulling her from the tournament,” De La Noval said. “She’s a female fighter and if she goes all the way, she’s going to be my champion and I’m very proud of her. It’s just a matter of time before we see how this plays out.”