UFC middleweight Sean Strickland did not hold back when sharing his thoughts on the debut of transgender MMA fighter Alana McLaughlin.
This past Friday at Combate Global: Perez vs. Roa, McLaughlin made her debut against France’s Celine Provost, who was also making her pro debut in the fight. Provost had a successful first round but would later fall to McLaughlin in a second-round submission loss via rear-naked choke.
As could be expected, this bout was met with very polarizing reactions. Some applauded McLaughlin for being true to herself and not letting anyone deter her from her goals. Meanwhile, others felt that the fight shouldn’t have been allowed since the former US Army Special Forces member was born a male.
UFC middleweight Sean Strickland has quickly developed a reputation for saying whatever is on his mind without a filter when sharing his thoughts with the public. He would continue this tendency when giving his two cents on McLaughlin’s debut, a fight Strickland feels should be her last (h/t MMA reporter Jordan Ellis).
“Change your name, call yourself a woman…but you’re still a fucking man. Get out of women’s MMA coward. This is why the athletic commission is useless,” Strickland posted on his Instagram Stories.
“I consider myself a classical feminist. If your religion or government has an unequal standard for women, then I’m not with it.
Testicles at birth==man”
McLaughlin is the second openly transgender fighter to compete in MMA, the first being Fallon Fox. Fox competed professionally from 2012-2014 and had a professional record of 5-1, with all five victories being finishes. Her lone loss came against Ashlee Evans-Smith, who scored a TKO victory over Fox at CFA 12 in 2013.
Like McLaughlin, Fox was also subject to heavy criticism, including from UFC commentator Joe Rogan. Rogan argued why Fox should not be allowed to compete against women in MMA, stating that she had natural advantages due to being biologically born as a male. Fox would later demand an apology from Rogan in response to his remarks, which she and some others considered transphobic.
McLaughlin has not named anyone personally, but she has already responded to her detractors in an Instagram post. In the post, McLaughlin states that this will be the only time she addresses them.
“Good morning, friends, supporters and others! I’m getting a lot of variations of the same nasty messages calling me a cheater like I didn’t just get beat on for a round and a half. Y’all need to show @cylinelagrande some respect and take your concern trolling elsewhere. She almost finished me more than once, and on scorecards she definitely won that first round. This is the only post I’ll make about this. Transphobes are just making my block hand stronger.”
Sean Strickland is currently ranked #7 in the UFC middleweight division and is currently slated to fight former champion Luke Rockhold at UFC 268 on November 6.
What are your thoughts on Sean Strickland’s comments?