Transgender MMA fighter Alana McLaughlin won her debut bout against Celine Provost on Friday night.
American McLaughlin defeated her opponent with a chokehold in the second round after a difficult start in the first round.
The American is the first openly-transgender athlete to feature in MMA since Fallon Fox stepped into the cage back in 2014.
McLaughlin had passed a series of medical requirements before the fight, including hormone assessments, but feared her chance to compete had gone when Provost tested positive for Covid-19 in July, resulting in the postponing of their original August 6 date.
Before her bout, McLaughlin, a former member of the US Army Special Forces, said: “I want to pick up the mantle that Fallon put down.
"Right now, I’m following in Fallon’s footsteps. I’m just another step along the way and it’s my great hope that there are more to follow behind me.
"If we want to see more trans athletes, if we want to see more opportunities for trans kids, we’re going to have to work out way into those spaces and make it happen.”
Post fight, McLaughlin revealed she had received messages of abuse, which she addressed on Twitter.
Posting a picture showing the wounds of battle on her face, she wrote: “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.
What did you think of McLaughlin's historic win? Let us know in the comments section.
“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.”
The fighter came out as transgender in 2003 but was denied gender reassignment surgery by her mother and the pair no longer speak.
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She served in Afghanistan and was later diagnosed with PTSD before undergoing gender reassignment surgery in 2016.
The athlete only started training in MMA earlier this year having struggled to find a gym which would welcome her.
McLaughlin then eventually joined MMA Masters in Florida before MMA promotion Combate finally found an opponent that was willing to fight her.
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