Fallon Fox, the former MMA fighter who came out as trans in 2013, is again the target of ill-informed people trying to entirely ban trans women from women’s sports.
Fox has often been a target of these people, with many of them using false or misleading claims to discredit and defame her.
To be sure, a thoughtful conversation about the inclusion of trans women in sports is important for today’s society.
Yet this conversation needs to stick to the facts and an honest discussion.
Sadly, some people are resorting to the spreading of misleading information or flat-out lies.
Here are some of the most dishonest falsehoods about Fox being disseminated by people trying to create universal bans of trans women in women’s sports.
Fallon Fox broke the skull of an opponent
This has been a favorite line of anti-trans-athlete detractors, like Glenn Beck’s The Blaze, and it is incredibly misleading.
When people use the term “skull,” they’re almost universally talking about the thick, hard cranial portion of the skull that protects the brain.
In reality, the skull is made up of various bones that are essentially fused together. The orbit — consisting of the bones around the eye — is part of the facial skeleton and is what was broken in the fight.
To read articles and social-media posts from people opposed to the inclusion of trans women in women’s sports, you’d think this was a once-in-a-lifetime injury.
While of course broken bones don’t happen in every MMA fight, this kind of injury is not unique to fights involving trans athletes.
“I’d say we see broken orbitals as the result of MMA bouts about once every two to three months at the highest levels,” Zane Simon, editor at Bloody Elbow, said. “Maybe at times slightly more often than that.
“Obviously, with the large amount of MMA that takes place around the globe and on smaller, regional shows, those kinds of facial fractures are going to be a fairly common thing month-to-month. But we certainly don’t see them as often as we see broken noses or hand injuries.”
The nose is also part of the fused skull. But of course we don’t see “unfair MMA fighter breaks opponent’s skull” when there’s a broken nose.
Fallon Fox defeated one opponent in 39 seconds
This is a true statement. However, it lacks incredibly important context.
On March 2, 2013, just days before Fox came out publicly as trans, she faced Ericka Newsome. And in the first round of the fight — just 39 seconds in — Fox knocked out Newsome.
But you know what happened eight months earlier? Newsome was knocked out by Katalina Malungahu in just 36 seconds. If I’m doing my math right, Fox took 8% longer than her cisgender counterpart to knock out the same opponent.
Malungahu was hardly an unbeatable force, going 2-2 in her professional career and failing to land a notable professional fight less than a year after her bout with Newsome.
To use this fact to claim Fox had an unfair or dangerous advantage over her opponent is simply false.
This is a photo of an opponent after facing Fallon Fox
It’s impossible for something to be less true than this claim.
This is one of the images floating around social media, claiming this to be one of Fox’s opponents after a fight, and thus disqualifying Fox as an unfair opponent:
The problem is, that photo on the right of Kay Hansen wasn’t taken after a fight against Fox, it was taken after another fight. And in fact, Fox never fought this woman.
The photo was taken years after Fox retired, in a fight against Kal Schwartz. You can see the video here.
Given the photo has been used to discredit and disqualify Fox from ever fighting again, you’d think those same people would be mounting that campaign against Schwartz, the woman who actually inflicted those injuries.
By the way, Schwartz was hardly a wrecking ball in the sport, going just 2-1 in her professional career. That was the only TKO of her amateur or professional career.
Cisgender women had ‘no chance’ against Fallon Fox
Fox lost to Ashlee Evans-Smith in her fourth professional match. So, false.