A biological male mixed martial arts fighter won a debut fight Friday night having choked out a female opponent.
Alana McLaughlin, the first openly transgender athlete to compete in mixed martial arts in the United States since 2014, won her MMA debut Friday night, beating Celine Provost via submission on the Combate Global prelims in Miami.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) September 11, 2021
McLaughlin left the U.S. Army Special Forces in 2010 and initiated a gender transition around the same time. The athlete looks forward to “open[ing] the door” for transgender people in combat sports, according to The New York Post. (RELATED: New Zealand Weightlifter Will Be First Openly Transgender Athlete To Participate In Olympics)
“I want to pick up the mantle that Fallon put down,” McLaughlin said in an interview leading up to the fight, referring to the U.S.’s first transgender MMA fighter, according to Outsports. “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.”
Combate Global executive Mike Afromowitz said the athlete passed all the medical tests, including a hormone panel, administered by the Florida State Boxing Commission to be eligible to fight Friday, according to ESPN.
In July, World champion track athlete Cynthia Monteleone, her daughter Margaret, and three-time Olympian Inga Thompson traveled to Washington, D.C., to speak with elected representatives about biological men competing in women’s sports.
“Headlines say that Republicans want to ban transgender athletes from sports,” Cynthia Monteleone told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “All the legislators yesterday and today have no interest in banning them, they want them to compete fairly. Just not at the expense of our daughters and granddaughters.”