Nearly a month removed from women headlining in the UFC, the MMA world faces another controversial hurdle in Fallon Fox, the sport's first known transgender participant.
The story was broken by MMA journalist Loretta Hunt after Fallon Fox exclusively revealed to Sports Illustrated that she was a transgender fighter.
According to Sports Illustrated, Fox underwent sex reassignment surgery back in 2006, which included supplemental hormonal therapy.
In her professional MMA debut, she defeated Elisha Helsper in the first round by injury stoppage.
Her second bout took place over the weekend in Coral Gables, Florida, at Cage Fighting Alliance 10, where she earned a 39-second knockout victory over Ericka Newsome in the quarterfinals of the promotion's eight-woman featherweight tournament.
Unfortunately for Fox, licensing issues could keep her from progressing any further in the tournament.
Sports Illustrated was informed by Sandi Copes Poreda, Director of Communications for Florida's Department of Business and Regulation, that Fox's application for MMA licensure is currently under investigation.
"Our department is currently investigating allegations pertaining to the information provided on [Fox's] application," wrote Poreda.
In her Florida application, Fox claimed that she had already been licensed by the California State Athletic Commission earlier in the year. The confirmation of licensure approved in other jurisdictions generally looks good on an application and typically makes the process run much smoother.
Fox told MMAJunkie she didn't knowingly provide the wrong information to the Florida commission, and she honestly believed she had been approved for license in California.
Andy Foster, Executive Director of the California State Athletic Commission, confirmed the state agency had only mailed Fox a receipt for her $60 application, not a license to compete. Fox's application remains under review by the California commission.
"I think it's imperative to remember that the Florida commission allowed this fight, not the California commission," said Foster, according to Sports Illustrated.
"California merely received and is processing the application. We're working on the necessary medical reviews. We simply have an application. CSAC staff handled this without notifying me of the unusual circumstances.
"Because this is the first of its kind situation, this matter should have been referred to me for review under the commission's medical review panel, which ultimately makes a decision in how to proceed in a case like this. I'm taking appropriate actions to make sure this protocol is followed next time."
Fox was slated to fight Allanna Jones in the semifinals on April 20 at CFA 11, but everything will depend on whether or not she is finally granted a license to compete.
For those interested, Outsports is putting together a documentary on Fox's courageous journey of acceptance in the MMA world. A preview of the upcoming feature has already been placed on the MMA website's YouTube page.
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