Former MMA World Champion Issues Massive Challenge to ‘the 10 Toughest Trans Men in the World’

In the News

Few topics engender more impassioned takes than the topic of transgender athletes in sports.

Few sports better highlight the innate physiological differences between men and women than mixed martial arts.

Perhaps due to those two facts, former MMA champion Jake Shields issued an open challenge Thursday on social media to prove a long-simmering point about gender and sports.

“Since trans men are real men I would like to challenge the 10 toughest trans men in the world to a fight,” Shields tweeted, before adding that he would be willing the run the gauntlet.

“I fight them with no training camp and no rest between each fight,” he said.


As a point of clarification, despite the nomenclature confusion, “trans men” are people who were born female — also known as women.

Shields continued on Twitter, doubling down on this transgender challenge.

“Let’s go, alphabet people get your 10 best and prove me wrong,” he said.

Shields, a former Elite XC, Shooto and Strikeforce champion, ended his Twitter thread by questioning the testicular fortitude of “trans men” fighters.

“A million views and not a single trans Man has stepped up to accept my challenge,” he tweeted. “I’m starting to think they don’t have the balls to fight me.”


While the idea of Shields fighting 10 women claiming to be men is absurd on its face, it does illustrate the grander point that he was trying to make.

Even though he’s 44 years old and hasn’t fought in two years, he probably would do significant bodily harm to those women — not unlike what has gone on in some spheres of the mixed martial arts world.


Fallon Fox, a man who claims to be a woman, generated headlines for the brutal fashion in which he has roughed up women fighters, even leaving one with a fractured skull.

Similarly, “transgender” fighter Alana McLaughlin also has come under scrutiny for (literally) choking women out in the octagon.

Of course, MMA is hardly the only arena where transgenderism is presenting problems for female athletes.

Lia Thomas — formerly known as the mediocre University of Pennsylvania swimmer Will Thomas — has been a lightning rod for controversy since dominating collegiate women and winning an NCAA national championship last year.