Jeff Osborne on Fallon Fox


To those that don’t know, Jeff Osborne is a long time MMA promoter. He’s the founder of the HOOKnSHOOT promotion and was a UFC color commentator in the early 2000’s. He was also the first American MMA promoter to have an all-female mixed martial arts event (2002). He’s been a keen observer of MMA for ages and he’s always had a lot of knowledge to share about the sport. So as a fan of what Osborne’s  role in MMA, I have to say I am a bit disappointed by this statement he made about transgender MMA fighter Fallon Fox. From the March 12, 2013 issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter:

Evansville promoter Jeff Osborne stated to us, “She did my women’s grappling tournament in 2010 and destroyed the women and looked like a man in doing it. She also entered the absolute and did the same to the point where I advised the smaller girl (yet more skilled) to bow out and just let her have the belt. I always suspected this, despite boobs. This was brought to my attention last week and I was asked to speak to multiple officials and news outlets but chose not to. I don’t believe it is fair to grow up and build muscle as a male, have your parents tell you that you’re gay, do the sex transition and go against women. To make matters worse, she shows up with a girlfriend at events. I actually like Fallon Fox, but I’m pretty much torn here. Interesting week ahead. I think she believes that she will get a UFC gig with this.”

How does it “make matters worse” to show up at public event with a girlfriend? Is that Osborne’s way of saying Fox’s gender identity is bogus? Being transgender does not reveal anything about one’s sexual preferences. Also the part where he implies that Fox’s parents had a role in this is weird. It seems like he is suggesting that Fox went through this “transition” to have an advantage in combat sports. The whole statement reeks of transphobia.

This isn’t to bash Osborne, just that his take on this particular situation is ignorant and misguided. I hope someone close to him is able to express their thoughts to him about what he said here. If one has some questions about Fox competing in professional mixed martial arts, it’s best to read it from people that are knowledgeable about sex-reassignment, like Dr. Marci Bowers. Making assumptions about Fox’s intentions and questioning her in such a way just makes you look like “an uneducated fool” (that GSP line will live forever).

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