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Transgender fighter Alana McLaughlin has revealed that she has been sent “nasty messages calling me a cheater” after winning on her professional MMA debut.
The former member of the US Army Special Forces successfully defeated Celine Provost with a rear-naked choke in the second round at Combate Global: Perez vs Roa.
McLaughlin became the second openly transgender woman to fight in MMA after Fallon Fox, who hasn’t competed since her 2014 win over Tamikka Brents.
Fox, whose controversial involvement in MMA was ruthlessly slammed by the likes of UFC legend Joe Rogan, has helped McLaughlin in her fighting career.
The 45-year-old American was also present at cageside for McLaughlin’s win over Provost at the Univision in Miami last Friday.
Today I learned that every woman in mma has no choice but to fight me or their career ends. News to me, I could swear I've only had one fight and that lots of potential opponents turned me down. Weird.— Alana McLaughlin🏳️⚧️ (@AlanaFeral) September 12, 2021
McLaughlin has now broken her silence on Instagram and staunchly defended her featherweight fight with Provost on preliminary card.
The 38-year-old MMA fighter claimed that her critics need to show “some respect” to Provost, who “almost finished me more than once.”
McLaughlin accused those who had attacked her of transphobia and added that her haters are only “making my block hand stronger.”
She wrote on Instagram: “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 [Celine Provost] 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.”
ESPN reports that the Florida State Boxing Commission approved McLaughlin to fight at Combate Global after she passed all her medicals.
McLaughlin, who has been undergoing her training in MMA Masters in the Miami area, holds a 1-0 record in MMA.
Despite the controversy surrounding her involvement in MMA, McLaughlin claimed that her aim is to “help normalise trans people in sports.”
She told The Guardian: “The fact of the matter is I’m at the beginning and 38.
“I want to go as far as I can, but I really want to help normalise trans people in sports. This [fight] will start my contribution.”
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