It has been one of the most controversial fights in MMA history but the recent victory of transgender fighter Alana Mclaughlin has now attracted the attention of Demian Maia as well. The fight has attracted criticism from professional fighters and many key figures involved in the sport, while also receiving support from members of the public as well. Mclaughlin won her MMA debut on September 10th against Celine Provost by locking up a rear-naked choke in the second round and ever since then, the discussion has seemed never-ending.
Demian Maia is a unique position to have his opinions heard, as a UFC veteran with a phenomenal background in BJJ who intends to return to the sport after his retirement from MMA.
I think it’s absurd for you to put a person who was born a man to fight a woman. I’m going to talk about my sport, which is fighting. The person [who fights a trans athlete] will get hurt. There is no comparison.
“Ah, but she started taking [female] hormones early on.” Does not matter. And it’s not prejudice, none of that. But you have to understand that to work in society, the issue of prejudice is not like that. That’s not what will make people more or less prejudiced. It is very clear that you cannot let this happen. It’s one thing for a man to want to fight a woman and for a woman to say: “Okay, I’m going to fight. The choice is mine.”
Now, for you to force a woman to fight a transgender person who was born a man is absurd. I think only those who are not in the sport accept this, because they have no idea what it is.
In fairness to Demian Maia, he doesn’t seem to put any blame on the transgender athlete herself, and instead puts most of the attention on the MMA promotion that decided to put on the fight:
Unfortunately, it seems to me that it might even be the event’s strategy to draw attention, which is an even more regrettable thing. You use that sort of thing to get attention, or to signal virtue, which is ridiculous. I once heard a thinker say something very interesting: “When you want to help people, you speak the truth. When you want to help yourself, you say what they want to hear.”
The below footage of Alana Mclaughlin winning her MMA debut comes courtesy of the official Twitter account of The Weasle:
Alana Mclaughlin (pink hair), the second transgender fighter wins MMA debut.
— Weasle (@ThaWeasle) September 11, 2021