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Who is transgender MMA fighter Alana McLaughlin? What you need to know

LockerRoom Team
Calendar Icon13 July 2022

Transgender MMA fighter Alana McLaughlin had caused many debates recently. So who exactly is Alana McLaughlin?

Alana McLaughlin is a transgender MMA fighter and is the second openly transgender woman to compete professionally in MMA, following Fallon Fox, who last competed in 2014.

Alana McLaughlin who was born in 1983 is an MMA fighter and former member of the United States Army Special Forces. She has a professional record of 1-0-0, having made her debut on September 10, 2021, in Miami at Combate Global. She is only the second openly trans woman to compete professionally in MMA.

Early Days of Alana McLaughlin

McLaughlin grew up in West Columbia, South Carolina, in a conservative family that tried to make her more masculine and sent her to conversion therapy on several occasions.

McLaughlin was not permitted to participate in sports until her junior year of high school when she joined the cross-country team. McLaughlin performed well enough in her final two years of high school to earn a scholarship to Newberry College, where she ran for two years before transferring to Winthrop University.

During her time at Winthrop, McLaughlin had her final conversation with her mother, who stated unequivocally that she would rather her child die in battle than live as her daughter.

McLaughlin earned her bachelor's degree in fine arts from UNC-Asheville in 2015. She, then 20, joined the United States Army Special Forces in 2003. By 2007, she was a medical sergeant deployed to Afghanistan as part of a 12-person unit. She decided not to re-enlist after six years of service.

McLaughlin received eight distinguished service medals during her career.

Alana McLaughlin: The Second Transgender MMA Fighter

McLaughlin made her professional debut against Celine Provost on September 10, 2021, at Combate Global. McLaughlin, fighting as Lady Feral, won the fight by rear-naked choke in the second round, giving her a professional record of 1-0-0. Prior to the fight, McLaughlin trained at MMA Masters in Hialeah, Florida.

In her pro-MMA debut, McLaughlin seized her opportunity decisively in Round 2. She performed a takedown in order to negate her opponent Celine Provost’s height and reach. Once she had the desired grapple, McLaughlin used a rear choke4 hold to force a submission with 1:29 remaining in the round.

Following her fight, McLaughlin noted on Social media that she is getting mixed responses for her fight.

“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." tweeted McLaughlin. Y'all need to show Celine Provost 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,” she noted on Twitter.

Fallon Fox who was the first transgender MMA fighter was watching McLaughlin from the cage. Fox had six MMA fights throughout her career picking up five wins and one loss.

Reaction to Alana McLaughlin’s MMA Fight

The MMA debut of Alana was met with mixed reactions with most people in the MMA community pointing out that she should not be fighting women.

What are your thoughts on the journey of Alana so far? Let us know in the comment section of the article below.


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