Transgender fighter Alana McLaughlin subjects Céline Provost to her MMA debut
Alana McLaughlin, the first openly transgender athlete to compete in mixed martial arts in the United States since 2014, won her MMA debut on Friday night, defeating Celine Provost via a submission to the Combate Global preliminaries in Miami.
McLaughlin used a bare back choke to finish 3 minutes and 32 seconds into the second lap.
A former U.S. Army Special Forces member, McLaughlin is just the second transgender woman to fight in MMA. Fallon Fox, who was first, looked at McLaughlin from the edge of the cage.
In the first round, Provost rocked McLaughlin with punches several times and looked like he was close to finishing. But in the second, McLaughlin shot Provost down, picked her up and tightened the choke.
McLaughlin, 38, passed all medical exams, including a hormone panel, issued by the Florida State Boxing Commission to compete on Friday night, according to Combate Global executive Mike Afromowitz. McLaughlin trained at the MMA Masters in the Miami area.
It was not easy for Combate to find an enemy for him, she said.
“It was a nightmare trying to find an opponent,” McLaughlin said before the fight. “I only have respect for [Provost]. “
McLaughlin hopes to be a trailblazer for trans athletes in combat sports, saying she wants to “open the door” and “make room” for others like her.
Fox fought six times in MMA from 2012 to 2014.
Patricio Manuel made boxing history in 2018 when he became the first transgender man to compete in a professional boxing match in the United States. Manuel defeated Hugo Aguilar by unanimous decision.