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Transgender MMA Fighter Raises Questions by Choking Out Female Opponent

Transgender mixed martial arts fighter Alana McLaughlin donned an “End Trans Genocide” T-shirt after choking out opponent Celine Provost on Friday.

SO WHAT

McLaughlin claiming victim status after thrashing a biological woman in a combat sport pretty well sums up the transgender culture wars.

THE BUILD-UP

Prior to the match, McLaughlin, 38, described fighting the fairer sex as a social justice cause, citing for inspiration Fallon Fox, who sparked a firestorm in 2012 by becoming the first trans athlete to compete in MMA.

  • “I want to pick up the mantle that Fallon put down,” McLaughlin told Outsports last week. “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.”

Provost voiced support for McLaughlin becoming the second transgender woman to compete in MMA, saying in an interview with the Guardian published Wednesday: “We need to show that MMA is an inclusive sport.”

THE FIGHT

What started as a back and forth contest in Round 1 soon devolved into pure domination by McLaughlin, as Provost was visibly worn down by her opponent’s power and stamina.

In Round 2, McLaughlin slammed Provost to the canvas and bloodied her with punches en route to a submission by rear-naked choke.

  • McLaughlin, who took the unusual step of completely foregoing any amateur bouts before debuting as a pro, improved to a 1-0-0 record.
  • A former member of the U.S. Army Special Forces, McLaughlin transitioned from male to female after leaving the military in 2010.

The Florida State Boxing Commission cleared McLaughlin to fight after a hormone levels test.

THE REACTION

Supporters in the media celebrated McLaughlin as a pioneer of inclusivity, while detractors derided the fighter as a cheater.

  • “Celine Provost could have been killed as so-called ‘progressive feminists’ around the world welcomed and celebrated the event that could have caused it,” English broadcaster Piers Morgan wrote in a Monday essay for the Daily Mail.
  • “Former special forces dude beats woman in MMA fight. Liberals celebrate,” tweeted Hot Air’s Jazz Shaw.

Other critics took aim at the tank top McLaughlin donned in the ring post-fight, pointing to the lack of evidence of widespread anti-transgender violence.

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