From US special forces to transgender MMA fighter, Alana McLaughlin has got quite the remarkable backstory.
After winning her debut MMA fight, we take a closer look at Alana’s journey.
Who is Alana McLaughlin?
Alana McLaughlin is a transgender MMA fighter from the US.
She was born a male in South Carolina, US to a very religious and homophobic family and came out as trans at age 20.
For years, McLaughlin attended conversion therapy sessions upon her parents’ request. They refused her request to have gender reassignment surgery on several occasions and they did everything they could think of to make her more “masculine.”
Speaking to The Guardian, Alana said she was sexually abused for more than five years as a child, by one of the sons of family friends who owned a farm, where Alana was sent every weekend to spend some “masculine” time with the sons. Her parents didn’t believe her until the age of ten, when somebody else spoke out about the abuser.
In 2003, after an upsetting phone call with her mother where Alana said, “maybe I should just go get myself killed at war,” to which her mother replied coldly, “maybe you should,” Alana enlisted in the Army and never spoke to her mother again.
In 2007, she was deployed to Afghanistan in an elite, 12-man special forces unit as a medical sergeant. Alana served in the forces for six years, earning eight distinguished service medals. Surrounded by the “most masculine guys anyone can conceive of,” she told The Guardian, she still had doubts and felt conflicted.
After returning from Afghanistan, she was diagnosed with complex, lifelong PTSD, not only about the hellish ordeal she faced in Afghanistan, but she also experienced traumatic flashbacks of her abuse as a child.
At the age of 30, Alana went through with her sex reassignment surgery.
Having watched MMA since the early noughties, Alana thought training to become a fighter would help with her physical health - and she soon realised it was crucial to her mental health too.
The now 38-year-old won her debut fight against Celine Provost on 11th September. She’s the first trans fighter to compete in a professional MMA contest since 2014. But her win hasn't been free of controversy, as one former UFC fighter had a rather furious rant about it.
How old is Alana McLaughlin?
Alana's actual birthday isn't known, but she was 38-years-old in September 2021 at the time of her debut MMA fight, which means she was born in 1983.
How tall is Alana McLaughlin?
Alana is said to be around 6 ft (1.82 m) tall.
What is Alana Mcluaghlin's net worth in 2021?
Alana is estimated to be worth between $2-$3 million (£1.4-£2.2 million) in 2021.
Featured Image Credit: Instagram/@lady_feral
- Aussie MMA star is UFC's next big thing after continuing brutal KO streak
- KSI and Dillon Danis take aim at each other's families in bitter feud
- MMA fighter claims shocking TKO victory by picking up and slamming opponent while being submitted
- Nate Diaz and Dillon Danis forced to be separated outside of MSG, slaps and drinks were thrown