After two months of controversy, and national headlines leading up to Friday’s CFA 11 co-main event at Bank United Center in Coral Gables, Fla., transgender fighter Fallon Fox finally got to fight an opponent as opposed to harsh criticism.
She defeated Allanna Jones via submission by a modified North-South choke, riding her shin across Jones' throat to force the tap at the 1:26 mark of the third round, advancing to the women's 145-pound tournament final.
Fox landed some good leg strikes early and scored some takedowns throughout the three-round contest. Jones showed she was an evenly matched opponent as she avoided any big strikes early, worked some offense from her guard on a couple of armbar attempts and stuffed several of Fox’s takedowns.
The Chicago-based fighter’s takedowns proved to be the difference in the fight. After her final takedown, Fox avoided an armbar attempt, passed Jones' guard and secured an advantageous position before ending Jones' night with the unique submission.
This was the toughest test to date for the polarizing fighter. The cries of Fox having an unfair advantage over her opponents have now moved on to the sentiment that she isn’t that deft of skill (according to Twitter) and needs to greatly improve.
“It’s pretty funny huh? That’s pretty hilarious,” Fox told Bleacher Report, when asked about the criticism after the fight.
Perhaps if the 37-year-old Fox dispatched Jones as quickly as the 36 seconds it took her to defeat Ericka Newsome in her last fight, the critics would be singing a different tune. Haters are going to hate, according to Fox.
"It’s all just from haters,” Fox stated about the backlash on her skill. “The ones who hated me in the beginning are going to say that I had an unfair advantage, and then when I go three rounds with someone and win by submission it’s hey all the sudden…I was pretty sure that was going to happen.”
Allanna Jones fired the first salvo of the night, walking out to Aerosmith’s “Dude looks like a lady.” Fox’s entrance was met with a cascade of boos. Fox would ultimately have the last laugh, as she earned the victory with the crafty submission finish in front of over 2,000 fans in attendance.
Could the submission of the fighter nicknamed “The Queen of Swords” earn a moniker of its own? Maybe it should be called “The Fox”? Not so fast, the 3-0 fighter explained. She learned that submission by studying a veteran women’s fighter with a high-level grappling background.
“I’ll give credit to Shayna Bazler for that one, to be honest,” admitted Fox. “I saw that in one of her matches one time and I was studying it and I’ve been trying to pull it off, and I finally did. It’s pretty awesome that I got to pull it off in this fight.”
Going into the third round for the first time seems to have quieted the discussion of if Fox has any clear unfair physical advantage over women fighters. If anything, it has helped her case going forward.
“Clearly, clearly, if I go can go to the third round, of course,” Fox said convincingly. “I agree with you on that.”
Fox will face Ashley Evans-Smith in the CFA women’s 145-pound tournament final, the winner takes home $20,000. A date has yet to be announced.
Michael Stets is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. All quotes were obtained first hand unless other wise noted.