There was quite the hullabaloo a few years ago when it was revealed that transgender woman Fallon Fox had been fighting other women without disclosing to her opponents or the athletic commissions that she used to be a man. We imagine there’ll be some controversy again with this latest news that another transgender woman will be competing in MMA ... this time against a man.
21 year old Anne Veriato is an experience jiu jitsu practitioner who has been training and competing in the sport since she was 7. She’ll be making her MMA debut against Railson Paixao at Mr. Cage 34 on March 10th. MMA Fighting reached out to Veriato and Mr. Cage promoter Samir Nadaf to talk about the match.
”This [fighter] is a phenom in jiu-jitsu, and you look at [her], it’s a woman,” Nadaf told MMA Fighting. “They asked me for an opportunity. My answer was ‘I can give you an opportunity, but at Mr. Cage, men fight men, it doesn’t matter if you have a penis or not. If you were born a man, you’ll fight a man.’ [She] said ‘that’s exactly what I want.’”
”It’s only fair to fight men,” Veriato said. “It never crossed my mind to fight a woman because I think I’m too good. If I beat men my entire career, I can still beat them despite the hormone process. I only know that I’m good after I beat men. That’s what makes me happy and hungrier to train. I don’t think it’s fair to fight women.”
The debate surrounding transgender people in sports has heated up over the past few years after a slew of male to female athletes have crushed their cisgender competition. The subject was especially thorny in MMA considering you have opponents literally beating each other up. Some claim transgender women have no advantage after a certain period of time as a woman, but other point to the disparate results we’ve already seen as proof that’s simply not the case.
Having Veriato compete against other men is a whole different debate. But with Veriato game and excited to take on men, it’s hard to argue she shouldn’t be allowed.