Mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter Liz Carmouche is the first openly gay fighter and one of the first two female fighters in the history of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC.) She sent us this statement in support of MMA fighter Fallon Fox, who came out as transgender this week.
“The MMA community – people who work in the gyms, the trainers and sparring partners and the fans – all openly embraced me as an athlete and I’m proud to see that also happening with a transgender athlete. I actually met Fallon at a MMA show a few months ago. She came up and introduced herself and said “Hey, I’m part of the family…” so when I saw the reports about her over the last few days I understood what she’d meant.
“There may be, understandably, some concerns that she will be stronger than other girls, but our sport is regulated by State Athletic Commissions who are extremely thorough in terms of fighter safety and medical screening. If a world-regarded respected body like the Nevada Athletic Commission licenses her as a female competitor, and says she has no performance advantage, then that should be good enough for everyone.
“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. But that’s all hypothetical – what I can say for sure is that I understand what it is to be a LGBT athlete in the spotlight like she finds herself in right now and that I’m glad she’s got the support of the LBGT community behind her.”
- Liz Carmouche