A controversial mixed martial arts league fight in which a biological male former U.S. special forces soldier—who transitioned to a transgender woman—defeated a woman sparking outrage on social media.

The participation of biological men who ‘change sex’ in women’s sports once again generated debate and outrage on social media on Sept. 11 when Alana Mclaughlin, born Ryan, defeated Frenchwoman Celine Provost in a mixed martial arts (MMA) league fight.

The bout lasted two rounds. In the second round, Mclaughlin applied a chokehold on Celine and forced her to submit.

Users on social media were quick to show their indignation at the clear disadvantage between Mclaughlin and her opponent, who landed several punches to the face during the first round.

Left: Ryan Mclaughlin who transitioned to Alana Mclaughlin, right (@Joe_Hudick)

User CrystalHess sent a message to UFC President Dana White, the world’s premier MMA league, warning him of the danger of allowing biological men to fight women and advised transgenders to start their own league.

@ufc @BellatorMMA, if you ever allow this, it’s over! This is NOT right!!! He looks and moves like a man!! Start their own league!!!”

Ryan Mclaughlin spent six years in the U.S. Army Special Forces and, in 2010, began his process of “transitioning” to female.

Looking at the difference between the two fighters, Wookie sarcastically quipped, “Lol wtf how are they even in the same weight class. That’s like most husbands submitting there 110 pound yoga wives. Bonkers.”

Martin Gurrola1 noted that it’s biological men looking to compete against women and not the other way around.

“Same thing applies to EVERY sport. How come no girl gone boy has ever tried to compete against a man????? Freaks are well aware of their advantage fighting women. So infuriating.”

According to Daily Mail, Mclaughlin reacted to the comments against her, “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 Céline Provost some respect and take your concern trolling elsewhere. Transphobes are just making my block hand stronger.”

Some users posted photos of Mclaughlin when he was in the special forces and when he transitioned to a transgender woman.

Ryan Mclaughlin when he was a Special Forces soldier and after that when he became a transgender woman (@pete55653726)

“Who would have thought Ex special forces man beats woman in a fight?” pete55653726 wrote.

“How this individual can stand there and be proud about beating the crap out of a woman is a true embarrassment, look at the size of its legs compared to the girls legs same goes for the rest of there bodies it’s a clear miss match, create a new category the trans category,” Wallace84929681 wrote.

The controversy of transgender women participating in biological women’s sports made headlines during the Tokyo 2020 Olympics when Laurel Hubbard, a biological man from New Zealand, participated in the weightlifting competition in the women’s category. However, Hubbard did not achieve any victories.

However, in the case of a fight between a biological male and a female, the advantages of muscle mass and bone density play a greater role as they allow the male to withstand more hard blows to the face and elsewhere than women who are by nature, more fragile.

Adding to that, Mclaughlin spent six years training in the Army’s special forces.

“Why is society aiding and applauding men who get off on beating and choking out women??? This isn’t fair sports! This is ABUSE!”

Men can’t identify into another sex class any more than they can identify into little league.”

When men beat up women, it’s ABUSE! This man is an ABUSER,” criticized user KnownHeretic.

Other users pointed out that if this progressed in mixed martial arts, many transgender women could end up killing biological women, given the level of aggression the sport has.

Mclaughlin got approval from the Florida State Boxing Commission to compete after lowering her hormone level but noted that it was a “nightmare” to find an opponent for the fight.

Anticipating that her participation in the sport would draw criticism, Mclaughlin said her goal was to take another step toward getting more trans people involved and visible in the sport. 

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