Fallon Fox’s sweet-tasting victory over Ericka Newsome March 2 at CFA’s (Championship Fighting Alliance) eight-woman MMA tournament turned bitter in the blink of an eye. Fox knocked out her opponent Ericka Newsome with a vicious knee from the clinch in less than one minute into the first round. All of Fox’s victories (5-0) have come in the first stanza. The win moved her into the semifinal round scheduled for April 20. However, just two days after the fight, it was released that the undefeated fighter is a transgender female.
According to reports, Fox stated on her Florida fight license application she was licensed to fight by the California State Athletic Commission. However, the CSAC said she only submitted the paperwork (which included medical documentation), and the application was still under review, not approved. It is likely Fox mistook the receipt she received from the CSAC to process her paperwork as confirmation that she was licensed.
Fox maintains that she did not knowingly misrepresent herself to the Florida commission and genuinely thought she had been issued a license by the state of California. Girl-Jitsu was unsuccessful in its attempt to reach Fallon Fox, but we were able to speak with Ericka Newsome and her corner lady, Brooksie Bayard, for their thoughts on the matter. The interview is as follows:
Girl-Jitsu – How did you get this fight?
Ericka Newsome – Sam Wilson contacted us about finding someone to fight Fallon because her opponent dropped out.(Sam Wilson is not affiliated with CFA, nor does she work for the organization).
GJ – Had you known beforehand Fallon was a transgender female would you have taken the fight?
EN – It definitely would have been something to take into consideration, but I don’t think I would have backed out. I would have prepared differently. We knew nothing about her. We tried looking her up online, but couldn’t find much. We didn’t worry about it too much. It was an opportunity to fight.
GJ – At the weigh-ins, could you tell there was something different about Fallon (looks, physique, body body language, etc.)?
Brooksie Bayard (Ericka’s Corner Lady) – No. Anytime you have a muscular woman people are going to raise eyebrows. But Ericka is not a small girl either. She works out a lot, and anyone at anytime can make an assumption about her. Nothing looked out of the ordinary to us. (Ericka at one point weighed 315 pounds. She has cut that weight down to less than half that – 148 pounds).
GJ – Did she hit unusually hard once you guys started to fight?
EN – She never really landed a punch on me. I took her down pretty easily and felt dominant. She caught me with a knee and the referee stopped the fight. I – and my corner – thought the fight was stopped prematurely. I felt like I recovered quickly; I was aware and had my witts about me. We felt the fight should have gone on.
GJ – Do you count this as a legitimate loss?
EN – I’m a fighter. It doesn’t matter her medical history, although I think she should have disclosed it. If the commission comes back and counts the fight as a fair fight I will be disappointed as a fighter and not because of who she is.
GJ – Do you feel violated or used in any way?
EN – I do feel used. But I feel used by reporters and other people contacting me now for their own personal gain.
GJ – Do you have any ill feelings towards Fallon?
EN – I wish she would have disclosed the information, but like I said, I would have probably still taken the fight but been prepared for the situation.
GJ – If you had the chance for a rematch, would you take it?
EN – Yes. I don’t care about her gender reassignment. I just want a chance to prepare for each match accordingly.
Ericka Letrice Newsome is 33 years old. She trains and fights out of FightworX (Pasadena, California). Newsome has been training for five years in the disciplines of Krav Maga, Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. She has been fighting for two years and has an amateur record of 5-0. She has a pro record of 0-2, including her fight against Fallon Fox.