The second openly transgender athlete to compete in MMA, Alana McLaughlin won her professional MMA debut fight against Celine Provost via submission on the Combate Global prelims in Miami. Alana is a former member of the U.S. Army Special Forces and has turned herself into a pro MMA fighter. McLaughlin, 38, passed all the medicals, including a hormone panel, issued by the Florida State Boxing Commission in order to compete Friday night, according to Combate Global executive Mike Afromowitz. McLaughlin has been training at MMA Masters in the Miami area. Alana also stated that it was quite a task for the Cobate to find her an opponent to fight.
“It was a nightmare trying to find an opponent,” McLaughlin said before the bout. “I have nothing but respect for [Provost].”
It was the very first time for the Combate to have a transgender fight in their roster and also to compete on their card. It was the second time when a transgender has competed in the MMA circuit. Fallon Fox was the first ever transgender to compete in the MMA. Fallon Fox has supported Alana throughout her journey and was cageside watching McLaughlin compete in her first ever fight.
The fight itself was pretty interesting as Celine opened up with amazing standup and her striking looked on point. In the very early moments of the first round of the fight, Alana was rocked bad and Celine was looking good. The fight took a turn in the second round as Mclaughlin took the fight to the ground and showed her grappling and BJJ skills on the ground. She took Celine’s back and locked in a rear-naked choke and submitted Celine to become the second ever transgender fighter to compete and win in MMA.
After the fight, Alana McLaughlin gave a message to her supporters and critics on Instagram:
“Good morning, friends, supporters and others! I’m getting a lot of variations of the same nasty messages calling me a cheater like I didn’t just get beat on for a round and a half. Y’all need to show @cylinelagrande some respect and take your concern trolling elsewhere. She almost finished me more than once, and on scorecards she definitely won that first round. This is the only post I’ll make about this. Transphobes are just making my block hand stronger.”
Alana Mclaughlin also revealed that she wants to use this platform to normalize people like her in the sport.
“The fact of the matter is I’m at the beginning and 38,” McLaughlin said when speaking with The Guardian. “I want to go as far as I can, but I really want to help normalize trans people in sports. This (fight) will start my contribution.”
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