Eddie Goldman is the host and producer of the No Holds Barred international podcast, the publisher of the No Holds Barred blog, and a senior contributing editor at the ADCC News.

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Friday, March 22, 2013

No Holds Barred: Fallon Fox 

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman speaks with MMA fighter Fallon Fox.

After winning her second pro fight by first-round knockout on March 2 on a Championship Fighting Alliance card in Coral Gables, Florida, Fallon Fox then gave interviews where she came out as a transsexual female. Born a male, she had gender reassignment surgery back in 2006, and the associated hormone therapy. Now 37, she is physically, mentally, socially, and legally a woman, and happy to be one.

A decade ago the International Olympic Committee devised guidelines for transgender athletes, and were followed by the NCAA for college sports in the U.S. The medical committee of the Association of Boxing Commissions in North America also developed a policy last year based on that of the IOC, although it is up to each individual commission to implement it.

Despite this seemingly being a settled issue in international sports, including the combat sports, her revelation of her status has been met with heated reactions, both from her many supporters as well as those opponents who have provided public displays of bigotry and ignorance.

We spoke with Fallon Fox by phone Friday about the ensuing controversy about her and her career.

"I really don't see why there should be a lot of hoopla about past gender status, but this is what it turned into," she said in this interview.

"It's frustrating, but I realize that in the end, I'm going to win."

She also patiently tried to explain her position to those who just are not educated on this issue.

Discussing her transition to becoming a woman, she said, "I did this to save my sanity."

As for the bigots and haters, "The people who have bigotry or hatred for me just don't know me. And if they knew me - if they really, really, really, really knew me - then they wouldn't fear and they wouldn't hate."

We also discussed her licensing situation with the Florida and California commissions. She explained that contrary to some reports, she does have a license to fight, and as a woman, in Florida. She also posted on her Facebook fan page a copy of what looks like a license which was sent to her by the California commission. You can judge for yourself if she is in the right in believing that this was actually a license and not simply a receipt, as a California official has claimed. That commission is currently reviewing, once again, her application, and is expected to grant her a fighter's license shortly.

She thus is entirely justified when she said, "I've done nothing wrong."

We also discussed her training and background since her transition, including her earning a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and competing in IBJJF and NAGA grappling events, and the ADCC Trials. She has been training since 2008 in MMA, mainly at the Midwest Training Center, in all the disciplines needed for MMA.

Also to answer her critics and to educate those who remain uneducated, she explained how she has much lower testosterone than those who were born with a full female anatomy, as well as less bone density and muscle mass than she had previously.

And we discussed when her next fight might take place, what she needs to work on in her young MMA career, for which organizations she would like to fight, a new documentary film called "Game Face" about her and other LGBT athletes being made by filmmaker Michiel Thomas, and much more.

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