Transgender MMA Fighter Wins Her Debut Fight After Choking Out Opponent
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Alana McLaughlin, a transgender MMA fighter, won her debut on Friday night after choking out opponent Celine Provost in the second round.
McLaughlin was born a man and became the first trans fighter since 2014 to compete in a professional MMA contest.
She used a rear-naked choke to beat Provost on the prelims of a Combate Global event in Miami.
The 38-year-old passed a number of medical tests before the fight, including one that prove she had suitable levels of hormones in her system.
Fallon Fox made history as the first openly-transgender fighter back in 2014 and she was cageside for McLaughlin's win.
McLaughlin is a former a former member of the US Army Special Forces and paid tribute to Fox in her post-fight interview.
She said: "Right now, I'm following in Fallon's footsteps. I'm just another step along the way and it's my great hope that there are more to follow behind me.
"If we want to see more trans athletes, if we want to see more opportunities for trans kids, we're going to have to work out way into those spaces and make it happen."
She also said prior to the fight that it was hard to find an opponent.
"It was a nightmare trying to find an opponent," McLaughlin explained. "I have nothing but respect for [Provost]."
McLaughlin asked for gender reassignment surgery as a youngster but was denied it by her mother.
Having grown up in a religious family, the pair no longer speak.
She received backlash on social media following the result but released a defiant statement on Instagram.
McLaughlin said with a photo of her bruised face attached: "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 [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."
Featured Image Credit: Combate Global