On Friday night, the second openly male-to-female transgender individual to compete in MMA in the U.S. won via submission.
Alana McLaughlin — a biological male and former member of the U.S. Army Special Forces — beat Celine Provost with a rear-naked choke in the second round.
In order for McLaughlin to compete, the fighter had to pass a hormone panel, which McLaughlin did. McLaughlin said that it was difficult to find a female opponent willing to get into the ring for the fight, regardless.
“It was a nightmare trying to find an opponent,” McLaughlin said before the bout. “I have nothing but respect for [Provost].”
McLaughlin began transitioning upon leaving the military in 2010 and started training for Friday night’s fight last year.
“I’m 38, so if I’m going to do anything serious competitive athletically, like now is the time,” McLaughlin told Outsports. “Every fighter’s got an expiration date, and I want to do it while I still can.”
Fallon Fox was the first male-to-female transgender individual to fight in the MMA in 2012 and sat ringside for the McLaughlin-Provost fight.
“I want to pick up the mantle that Fallon put down,” McLaughlin said. “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.”
“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. It’s time for trans folks to be in sports and be more normalized.”
At the post-fight decision, McLaughlin wore a shirt that said “End Trans Genocide.”
On Saturday, McLaughlin posted to Instagram about receiving “nasty messages” after the win.
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The topic of transgender athletes competing in opposite-sex sports — especially biological men competing in women’s sports — has been a major point of debate over the past few months.
During the Tokyo Olympics, Laurel Hubbard of New Zealand became the first openly transgender person to compete in the Olympics.
“The Olympic Games are a global celebration of our hopes, our ideals and our values. I commend the IOC for its commitment to making sport inclusive and accessible,” Hubbard said in a statement through the New Zealand Olympic Committee, according to Fox News.
Transgender participation in sports has reached all the way to the Oval Office, with President Biden issuing an Executive Order on “Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation” shortly after entering office.
According to Chrissy Clark of The Daily Wire, the EO read, “Children should be able to learn without worrying about whether they will be denied access to the restroom, the locker room, or school sports. Adults should be able to earn a living and pursue a vocation knowing that they will not be fired, demoted, or mistreated because of whom they go home to or because how they dress does not conform to sex-based stereotypes … All persons should receive equal treatment under the law, no matter their gender identity or sexual orientation.”
In late August, “20 states sued the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Department of Education (DOE) over the mandate, with Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery leading the way.”
Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers, and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to email@example.com.