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Featured Image Credit: Combate Global, Alana McLaughlin/Instagram & Michael Bisping/YouTube
UFC legend Michael Bisping believes transgender MMA fighters should not be allowed to compete in standard female MMA divisions.
His comments come after Alana McLaughlin stopped Celine Provost by submission in the second round of their clash at Combate Global: Perez vs Roa last Friday.
McLaughlin became only the second openly transgender woman to fight in MMA after Fallon Fox, who competed back in 2014.
Bisping recently addressed McLaughlin's career and stressed he has no issue with people identifying however they please, but thinks some 'sacrifices' need to be made.
"I'm not here to talk about transgender rights, you can identify as whatever you want," Bisping explained per Low Kick MMA.
"But I do believe that if you're a woman that feels trapped in a man's body, there are certain advantages that you should have to give up.
"If you have the body of a man, competing against girls or women, when you're using your body to beat someone unconscious, has to be one of those things you sacrifice.
"If you want to play volleyball, soccer, be my guest. But in a sport that you beat someone into submission or unconsciousness, it shouldn't be allowed. It's unfair to women's MMA."
One-time UFC welterweight title challenger Jake Shields took a different route and blasted McLaughlin for fighting women, firing shots at her on social media.
In one tweet, he said: "This is just insane that any fight show or commission would allow a trans person to fight a women."
Another reads: "This is the 'women' mma fighter that they just allowed to beat up a girl in Florida So brave of 'her' to transition then live 'her' dream of beating up women."
He quote-tweeted Fox's post, with the caption: "Heres two trans 'women' celebrating because they've both beaten up real girls This is sick and perverse and will only get worse if we sit back as a society and pretend it's okay."
This is the "women" mma fighter that they just allowed to beat up a girl in Florida- Jake Shields (@jakeshieldsajj) September 11, 2021
So brave of "her" to transition then live "her" dream of beating up women pic.twitter.com/3B7AbsbgWM
McLaughlin remains headstrong about her career and posted a defiant message to her critics on Instagram.
She wrote: "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."