Much has been made about transgender fighter Alana McLaughlin, and now Demian Maia is throwing in his two cents.
McLaughlin has sparked a debate within the MMA community. She defeated Celine Provost via second-round submission at a Combate Americas event. McLaughlin was born a man and had served in the U.S. Special Forces as a soldier prior to transitioning.
During an interview with Inteligência Ltda, Maia said he doesn’t like the idea of transgender fighters sharing the cage with females (h/t Middle Easy).
“I think it’s absurd for you to put a person who was born a man to fight a woman. I’m going to talk about my sport, which is fighting. The person (who faces the trans athlete) will get hurt. There is no comparison. ‘Oh, but she started taking (female) hormones early on.’ Does not matter.
“The development there… And it’s not prejudice, none of that. But you have to understand that to work on the issue of prejudice in society, it’s not like that. This is not what will make people more or less prejudiced.”
Maia isn’t the first well-known MMA fighter to voice his opinion on the matter. Former UFC Middleweight Champion and Hall of Famer Michael Bisping took to his Believe You Me podcast to chime in. He feels transgender fighters have an unfair advantage in women’s MMA.
Sean Strickland, who competes in the UFC’s 185-pound weight class, has had perhaps the most aggressive stance. He hopped on social media and blasted McLaughlin for what he believes to be a “coward” move fighting women.
For many longtime MMA fans, the Alana McLaughlin situation is giving flashbacks of Fallon Fox. Fox is a retired MMA fighter who is also transgender. When she was an active competitor, UFC color commentator Joe Rogan said he was totally against the idea of seeing Fox mix it up with women in MMA.