Trans Fighter Responds to Shields, Maia & Bisping

Majority of the MMA community is appalled that Combate Global put on the fight. As a reminder here’s what some current and former professional fighters said regarding the trans woman fighting biological woman in MMA.

Demian Maia:

“It is very clear that you cannot let this happen. It’s one thing for a man to want to fight a woman and for a woman to say: ‘Okay, I’m going to fight. The choice is mine’. Now, for you to force a woman to fight a transgender person who was born a man is absurd. I think that only those who are not in the sport accept this, because they have no idea what it is.”

Sean O’Malley:

“I don’t think that’s okay. I just don’t think that’s okay… in just competing in sports, I mean, especially mixed,” O’Malley began on his YouTube channel.

“it’s like she had testosterone for, who knows, 20, 30 years of her life and now I’m a girl. And look at that, you could tell that’s a dude. A jacked girl. I mean, look at those arms.”

Michael Bisping:

“I’m not here to talk about transgender rights, you can identify as whatever you want,” Bisping said. “But I do believe that if you’re a woman that feels trapped in a man’s body, there are certain advantages that you should have to give up. If you have the body of a man, competing against girls or women, when you’re using your body to beat someone unconscious, has to be one of those things you sacrifice.”


And now Alana McLaughlin herself is responding:

“I will say it’s kind of surreal to see athletes that i watched on tv when i was in the army and, like, when i was younger having opinions on me you know – like – uh Michael Bisping and, and Jake Shields and Demian Maia and like all these all these people weighing in.”

“And it’s like, you know, while I respect them as fighters and I respect things that they did for the sport they don’t know [ __ ] about trans issues they don’t know anything about the actual processes that take place in the body with a hormone replacement like. It’s just people people repeat a lot of the things that they’ve heard over the years without actually doing any kind of real like investigation of it, you know.”

You can watch the full interview with McLaughlin here:

In examining the scientific body of research on this topic it’s relatively hard to find conclusions you can lean on due to a controversial nature. However even a trans researcher agrees that strength based sports might not be the most fertile grounds for practicing inclusion:

 “The strength changes that these nonathletic trans women go through are relatively modest, 5-10% and it’s important to know that cisgender men are up to 50% stronger in their upper body than cisgender women.” – Joanna Harper, a transgender woman, runner and researcher.

The same article also shared another interesting perspective from Harper:

Last fall, World Rugby decided to ban transgender women from women’s competition (but not trans men from men’s competition), based on an analysis of weight, height and tackle strength. Their conclusion: even after transition, transgender women are likely to create head and neck forces that pose an unacceptable increased collision risk to cisgender women. “There are some people who say World Rugby is transphobic,” Ms. Harper said. “They’re risk-averse, but they’re not transphobic. They made a serious attempt at coming up with reasonable rules.”

So perhaps it’s easier to liken MMA – a contact sport to Rugby than it is to compare it to endurance sports or something like shooting?