It was the moment ideology met cold, hard reality.
Alana McLaughlin, 38, the second transgender MMA fighter to compete in the sport, used a powerful choke hold to beat Celine Provost, 32.
The latter was demonstrably a more skilled and experienced fighter during their bout on Friday night – McLaughlin only took up MMA earlier this year, whereas Provost’s been doing it for a decade - but just couldn’t compete with the overwhelming physical strength of her opponent.
Provost’s punches bounced off McLaughlin like a baby lion’s off its father, and when she was pinned to the ground, she couldn’t move and quickly tapped out.
None of which is entirely surprising given that McLaughlin spent six years serving in the US special forces as a man.Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
McLaughlin (right) only took up MMA earlier this year, whereas Provost (left) has been doing it for a decade
McLaughlin used a powerful choke hold to beat Provost
There is a striking topless photograph of her during her time in military service.
In it, she closely resembles the stereotypical appearance of male special forces operatives with full beard and moustache, and very muscular tattooed arms and torso.
At this point, let me be clear: McLaughlin was a war hero, rising through Army ranks to become a special forces medical sergeant who went to serve in Afghanistan in 2007 as part of an elite, 12-man team. There, she helped save many lives as she treated IED casualties in a highly dangerous combat zone.
I have huge respect for her military service, during which she was awarded eight distinguished service medals.
Just as I also have huge empathy for someone whose mother couldn’t cope with her son’s desire to be a woman and has now disowned her.
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In a striking topless photograph of her during her time in military service (left), McLaughlin closely resembles the stereotypical appearance of male special forces operatives with full beard
Celine Provost (pictured) could have been killed as so-called ‘progressive feminists’ around the world welcomed and celebrated the event that could have caused it
In an interview with the Guardian, McLaughlin paints a grim picture of life growing up in South Carolina where her strongly religious family forced her to attend conversion therapy sessions and she was made to spend ‘masculine time’ with a farmer’s sons, one of whom raped her when she was just five years old.
Finally, in an anguished phone call with her mother, McLaughlin exclaimed:
‘Maybe I should just go get myself killed at war.’
To which her mother allegedly responded: ‘Maybe you should.’
Nobody should be treated so cruelly, and many transgender people have endured similar appallingly bigoted behavior from their own families.
But regardless of her military record or personal struggles growing up, none of this justifies what happened on Friday night.
I found the bout sickening to watch.
It was obvious very quickly that McLaughlin was too strong, and equally obvious that this strength came from the 33 years she spent as a biological man.
As I’ve said before, the restrictive hormone treatment that sports authorities make transgender women do before they can compete in women’s sport does not reduce muscle density or power.
This creates a bad enough unfairness in non-contact sports like sprinting or weightlifting, but when it comes to combat sport like MMA it creates a potentially deadly disparity.
I once asked a UK government minister who supports trans women competing in women’s sport if she would be OK if Floyd Mayweather announced he was transitioning and got in the ring to fight women born with female bodies.
She refused to say it would be unfair because she was too terrified of upsetting the very vocal and aggressive