In the MMA world, transgender competitors are still considered rather unusual and are sometimes viewed unfavorably.
Recently, prominent UFC competitor Ricky Simón found himself at the center of a heated debate regarding transgender athletes. His comments about a transgender Brazilian jiu-jitsu grappler stirred up strong reactions.
Simón praised a cis-gender woman’s victory over a trans-woman, while inadvertently misgendering the athlete. This led to allegations of transphobia and bigotry.
Former Daily Planet editor Arthur Baitson was quick to call out Simón, accusing him of being transphobic. In turn, Simón defended his stance by labeling Baitson as anti-feminist for advocating the inclusion of transgender women in women’s combat sports.
He wrote: “Anti Feminist for the @DailyPlanet outs himself as a bigot. Arthur, a white privileged they/them wants women to get beat up in athletic competition by men. The Daily Planet has a long way to go if these are the views of their editors “anything science, technology and nature”.”
Putting aside the controversy, Ricky Simón’s career has seen its share of ups and downs. He recently suffered a TKO defeat against bantamweight power puncher Song Yadong in the fifth round.
Simón had previously enjoyed a five-bout win streak, including a victory over the undefeated Jack Shore. He now looks to regain momentum in his upcoming bout against Mario Bautista at UFC on January 13.
Meanwhile the cisgender woman from the clips pointed significant attention to the flaw in the policy at NAGA – which caused significant changes.
NAGA updated its policy for transgender female athletes.
NAGA’s new policy allows only cisgender females in the women’s category.
Transgender female athletes must compete in the men’s category.
NAGA aims for fairness, inclusivity, and respect in its decision.
The organization established an enforcement protocol.
In her video, Wilk detailed her experience, saying, “I signed up for a tournament called Submission Challenge on July 8th in Marietta, Georgia. I wasn’t fully expecting to get a match because I was a purple belt at the time, and there was no purple belt signed up other than me. But sometimes a blue belt will step up to fight a purple belt.”