Anne Veriato made history on Saturday night, becoming the first transgender woman to fight and defeat a man in MMA. The match went down in Manaus, Brazil at Mr. Cage 34 and ended in a unanimous decision victory for Veriato over Railson Paixao at 115 pounds.
Paixao kept things dangerous while they were on the feet, but once on the ground Veriato was aggressive with a number of submission attempts that led to the judges giving her the first MMA success of her now 1-0 career. Before switching into mixed martial arts, Veriato was an accomplished jiu jitsu practitioner and it was those skills she leaned on to take a hard fought win.
You can watch the entire fight here:
Veriato, who transitioned from male to female, made it a point that she wanted to compete against other men rather than face charges that she was seeking an unfair advantage in competition against women. Now she’s facing an uphill battle facing opponents with a lot more strength than her.
”It’s only fair to fight men,” Veriato told MMA Fighting. “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.”
“Since we do hormonal therapy to become more feminine, the male hormone starts to disappear and don’t come back anymore after a while. I didn’t have the same strength in the gym after that, so that’s why I train so hard to be strong enough to fight men. I feel the difference in strength, and that’s why I work hard.”
On Saturday night that hard work paid off, and Veriato can take the win along with the distinction of being an transgender pioneer in mixed martial arts history.