Fallon Fox is getting back into the cageand she's fighting in Chicago for the first time in her pro career.
Fox, the first openly transgender fighter in mixed martial-arts ( MMA ) history, is on the card of XFO 50, set for Friday, March 21, at the UIC Pavilion ( 525 S. Racine Ave. ). The event is billed as the "Biggest Night in XFO History" and the action starts at 6 p.m.
"I am so incredibly excited [to get] back in the cage, especially since this will be XFO MMA's 10th anniversary show," Fox said. "There's going to be lots of great fights on this card, including many of my teammates from the Chicagoland area fighting also, or cheering me on."
Fox is fighting Heather Bassett, who Fox said looks like more of a striker.
"She's got some decent skills in that area and she's got a lot of wind. She looks tough, and that is encouraging because I want this to be a good fight from a game opponent," Fox said. "I don't believe I've ever met her in person. But, her acceptance of this fight is encouraging. It goes to show that there are other female fighters out there who understand that I'm not some uber strong out of physical range monster. Other female fighters realize they have a very real chance of defeating me."
After all, Fox lost her last fightagainst Ashlee Evans-Smith on Oct. 12, in Coral Gables, Fla.
"I'm so eager to respectfully touch gloves with her and give the crowd a show," Fox said.
Fox certainly will have the home-field advantage. Bassett hails from Fond Du Lac, Wisc., and is 1-0 after defeating Breea Gilbert by submission 3:23 into the first-round of their late August fight.
Fox's record is 3-1.
"This time I'll have the luxury of having my hometown fans and teammates behind me," said Fox, who added that she wants a strong LGBT fan base at the fight. "XFO MMA is an LGBT-friendly organization. I've been to many of their fights and always come away from them pleased, so this should be a good event for everyone who shows [up]."
Fox said her strategy is to take Bassett to the ground, "and put her in my world." But, if that doesn't happen, "I'm totally comfortable staying on my feet, and we can go about getting at each [on our feet]."
Fox knows the importance of this fightto avenge the loss in her last fight.
"I've had losses in Jiu Jitsu and submission fighting over the years. But, that [October] loss in MMA hit me hard, especially with everything that was surrounding me," Fox said. "I needed to take a break for a few months and get my head screwed back on correctly. Now I'm back, and more determined than ever. I learned a lot from my loss, both in technique and mentally. This fight will be an opportunity to come back and get back on track."
This is Fox's first XFO fight.
"They have a history of putting on really exiting matches with incredible fighters," Fox said. "As mentioned, it is their 10th anniversary show. It's been a long time coming. But, finally I have been selected to fight for them … it's a dream come true."
Fox added, "I'd like to encourage readers to come out and see me compete on March 21. After the fight I hope to make my rounds and sign autographs. I'd also like to connect to all of the fans who have supported me lately and perhaps drink a few beers at the event after it's over. So come check it out."
- Fox's Twitter is, @FallonFox and her official Facebook fan page is "Fallon Fox"
- For ticket information, go to: www.xfomma.com .