ESPN: Miesha Tate won’t fight Fallon Fox
UFC female bantamweight Miesha Tate said she would not accept a bout against transgender fighter Fallon Fox if it were offered due to health concerns.
“I wouldn’t do it,” Tate told ESPN.com. “If there was solid research that [proved] she’s 100 percent like a female, then I might consider it.
“I have nothing against transgender people. You should live your life however you want. It’s about fighter safety. I wouldn’t feel comfortable getting in with someone who is a woman but developed as a man. I just don’t think it would be safe.”
The topic of transgender athletes in mixed martial arts has exploded this month based on Fox’s admission to Sports Illustrated she was born a male. According to the report, Fox underwent gender reassignment surgery in 2006.
Fox, 37, is 2-0 as a professional with two first-round finishes. Her license is currently under review by the Florida State Boxing Commission. She did not disclose her transexuality to the commission prior to a contest on March 2.
A former Strikeforce champion and professional fighter since 2007, Tate (13-3) signed with the UFC this year. She’s scheduled to fight Cat Zingano next month in Las Vegas.
To date, she is the highest-profile female to publicly say she wouldn’t fight Fox.
“I just have a lot of questions and I don’t feel there’s been enough research to safely say it’s OK for Fallon Fox to fight other females. My concern is that she went through puberty as a man. Does that change bone density? Does it change her body frame?
“I think she has broader shoulders than most [females]. Her hips look different than most females. I’m sure her hands [and feet] are probably bigger. I’m not a medical expert, but there are things I’ve noticed that are not typical of most female fighters.”
Former UFC No. 1 contender Liz Carmouche, who lost to Ronda Rousey at UFC 157 last month, says she supports Fox and would be willing to fight her.
“I understand she fights in a regional organization right now but, if she makes it to the UFC, and fights in the 135lbs female bantamweight division, I’d be happy to fight her,” Carmouche said in a statement. “But that’s all hypothetical — what I can say for sure is that I understand what it is to be a [Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, or Transgender] athlete in the spotlight like she finds herself in right now and that I’m glad she’s got the support of the LGBT community behind her.”
UFC president Dana White deferred to athletic commissions when recently asked for his opinion on Fox, but said the promotion is not currently pursuing her with a 2-0 record.
In a recent interview on AXS TV, Fox stated she doesn’t believe transgender athletes should be required to disclose private medical history prior to a fight.
During the interview, Fox claimed the “scientific community” has found transsexual fighters on hormone therapy do not hold physical advantages over other women. She also said she thinks any woman who refuses to fight her is either scared or a “hate-filled” person.
“I understand she wants to be viewed as a female. I get it,” Tate said. “That’s fine, but it’s not fine if you may have a physical advantage and may be able to really hurt someone. It has to be disclosed. It should be an opponent’s choice whether they want to fight her or not.”
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