Nunes screamed with joy after her hand was raised and the belt was placed around her waist.
After a touching embrace with the gracious Tate, Nunes spoke to UFC commentator Joe Rogan. “I feel amazing,” said an emotional Nunes who then spoke of her excitement to return to Brazil and celebrate with her family.
Nunes’ girlfriend is Nina Ansaroff, herself a UFC fighter, and they live in Orlando, Fla.
Nina is the best training partner I’ve ever had in my life. This girl is going to be the next UFC champion. I’m telling you. Look at her, she’s shy. This girl has so many talents. And she is going to be back in the cage soon and show everybody that she is going to be the next champion in UFC. It means everything to me. This girl, she helps me everyday. I love her. It’s amazing (to be first UFC gay champion). I am very happy with my life. That’s the most important thing.”
Nunes entered the fight with Tate as a big underdog, in terms of both media expectations and betting odds.
The native of Bahia, Brazil, who trains at American Top Team in Coconut Creek, Fla, had a professional record of 12-4 going into the contest. Despite having won three fights in a row (including one by submission and one by TKO) it was considered surprising that the lesser-known fighter was given the opportunity to fight Tate for the women’s bantamweight crown.
Tate had earned the belt back in March when she beat Holly Holm and many had expected Tate to fight someone with more name recognition, such as former champion Ronda Rousey.
Despite the odds being against her Nunes walked to the cage smiling, clearly knowing something many fans and media members didn’t quite believe — that she had the power and tenacity to stop Tate in under four minutes.
As soon as the bell rung the fight was all Nunes. Quickly she began landing hard punches to Tate’s head, over and over, making the then-champion both dazed and bloody.
Eventually Nunes’ strikes buckled Tate.
Along with this achievement, she will also forever be known as the woman who not only gave UFC 200 its most electrifying moments, but who finished off that landmark card with a stellar (and ferocious) performance that will long be replayed and remembered.
What’s next for Nunes? Many believe Ronda Rousey’s self-imposed exile from the sport is coming to an end, and with MMA now legal in the state of New York, Nunes’ next fight could be at Madison Square Garden against the biggest star MMA has ever seen.
If that fight happens, it promises to be yet another historic night for both the UFC and world LGBTQ sports.
Fallon Fox, the first openly transgender mixed martial arts competitor, has spoken about coming out, and about the astonishing hate she encountered.
Now 39, her early career was dogged by fear that someone would out her when she wasn’t ready.
I expected that someone was going to out me; you just can’t go through life with a microscope on your career without someone delving into your past a little bit. But it’s something you really can’t prepare yourself for.”
Fox is a ground-breaking woman in the history of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). She is the first of her kind in a plethora of ways.
Not only did she dutifully serve for four years in the Navy, but her MMA athletic record is undeniably impressive: Fox began her training in 2008, and she currently holds a record of 5-1-0.
Along with her military background and extraordinary MMA success, Fox also happens to be the first openly transgender woman in MMA history.
Though she had gender reassignment surgery just shy of a decade ago, she vividly remembers grappling with her gender identity from the time she was just 5 years old. She frequently dressed up in her sister’s clothes behind closed doors.
Unlike a lot of LGBTQ+ youth, Fox never suffered through the throes of feeling “different” from her peers. Fox assumed all male-bodied young boys felt the same way she did.
As she got older, the displaced feeling of being born into the wrong gendered body never left Fox. After leaving the military in 2000, she began to research what she was coping with. She found a name that described exactly what she was experiencing: gender dysphoria.
So, what exactly is gender dysphoria? To put it in the simple and articulate words of Fox herself:
It’s when your brain sex doesn’t match your physical sex.”
After so many years of alienation and confusion, Fox was finally was able to identify her struggle. She began taking hormones in order to begin the process of transition.
In 2006, after working as a truck driver for years, Fox finally saved enough money to embark on her life-changing transition and underwent gender reassignment surgery.
So, what exactly sparked Fox’s interest in women’s fighting? As soon as she was exposed to MMA fighting, she found herself magnetized to the sport. She was deeply inspired by the strength and the confidence of the incredible women fighters of the MMA.
Feeling empowered, she set her intention to be one of them.
When Fox first started her career, no one knew her backstory.
Fox says through gender reassignment surgery and hormones, her testosterone levels are lower than any non-transgendered woman.
She fought like every other woman in the industry until the day came when a reporter began to contact her and vehemently press her about the past. Fox knew she had a choice: She could either be outed, or she could out herself.
The fighter wisely chose the latter.
After coming out to SportsIllustrated.com, she found herself in a whirlwind of controversy. Most hurtfully, UFC color commentator and stand-up comedian Joe Rogan repeatedly expressed his vast disapproval of her fighting with other women.
Fellow fighters claimed she had an alleged “unfair advantage.”
Seemingly overnight she was the target of excessive criticism and bullying from within her own industry, an industry in which she felt she belonged.
Fox was so devastated by the surplus of hateful words bestowed upon her, she found herself suicidal – until she realised she had an important story to tell.
It was one that could help save the lives of so many LGBTQ+ young people who suffer in silence. She now uses her media attention as a platform, a powerful tool that serves as a lifeline to an otherwise voiceless youth.
To those who disapprove of her fighting, Fox strongly feels education is the key to acceptance. She says,
The solution is education on the subject.
All of us, especially LGBT youth who are struggling to find there way in a world that often excludes them, deserves the respect of inclusion on every level.
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Kitsch Mix, is a rapidly growing social platform developed to promote the diverse creative ventures of women in the LGBT community. It aims to chronicle and celebrate the stories, people and voices that are emerging and inspiring all of us, ranging in topics from pop culture and style to politics and news, all through the lens of today’s LGBTQ community.
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