Fallon Fox is known as MMA’s first openly transgender fighter. Upon her coming out in 2013, she was met with mixed reactions.
The most notable of the criticism came from UFC commentator Joe Rogan who openly spoke against Fox’s MMA involvement on his podcast The Joe Rogan Experience. Seven years removed from her MMA career and Fox recently reflected on her time in the sport.
“From what they said about me in the past, I could have just crawled up into a ball and given up. I could have just stopped competing, but I didn’t. I kept competing and I kept talking about this issue and I’m going to continue to do it.
“No, he (Rogan) shouldn’t speak, especially on this issue that’s so important to transgender people and transgender people’s lives,” Fox continued. “Just like coronavirus is important to people’s lives. He just brings up these things and just makes them up. I think people should pay attention to what he said, that he’s not an expert. You know, he’s not an expert, so people should take what he says with a grain of salt.”
One of Rogan’s main points brought up against Fox participating in MMA against women was the difference in bone densities between genders.
“People like to ask me about the science behind trans athletes, and I’ll tell you what I know, but it’s not like I’m pulling all this stuff out of thin air,” Fox said. “Nowhere in the tale of the tape is bone density ever introduced. Right? Nobody ever talks about bone density.
“And there are bone density differences between men also and in women also. For instance. African-American women have more dense bones than Caucasian women do. I don’t see anyone saying that we shouldn’t have African-American women competing against cisgender women.
“Most of the time to have more dense bones than cisgender white men do,” she added. “We never talk about this. And I think it’s just bogus for them to even bring up bone density in the first place. Things like that that people just bring out of thin air and just say our truth, that [is what] we’re fighting against.”
The now-45-year-old Fallon Fox retired due to injuries after a 5-1 pro career spanning from 2012 to 2014. In those six bouts, she never once went the distance compiling three knockouts and two submissions. The one blemish on the featherweight’s record came against current UFC bantamweight Ashlee Evans-Smith.
Fox notes that her current relationship with the sport is a “challenging” one. However, she still enjoys watching it and hopes to get back into training at some point.
“A lot of prominent people haven’t recognized what I’ve done, like Joe Rogan and Ronda Rousey and all that,” she said. “So I don’t think the world of MMA is ready to have an intelligent conversation about transgender athletes, but I’m willing to have that conversation and I’m always willing to stand up.”