by Matt Lo Cascio
After a training camp that must have seemed like an eternity, Midwest Training Center’s Fallon Fox probably expected the furor over her transgender status to be over as she warmed up for her CFA featherweight tournament semifinal fight. But as she waited for her introduction to the cage, there was one final reminder of the frenzy it created as opponent Alanna Jones walked out to Aerosmith’s “Dude Looks Like a Lady” in a blatant display of disrespect.
Fox would have to earn her respect in the cage, and she did just that.
Fox caught a Jones kick with about 3:35 left in the final round, turned it into a double-leg and took Jones down. Fox then went to work from inside Jones’ guard, landing some elbows and punches that scored but didn’t do major damage.
With just less than two minutes left, Jones went for an armbar that didn’t catch and Fox moved into side position. From there she got to north-south, wrapped her left arm around Jones’ neck and placed her left knee on her throat. It was enough to make Jones tap.
Fox improved to 3-0 and moves on to face Ashlee Evans-Smith in the CFA featherweight tournament final.
“It’s just like kind of a knee-ride choke that I picked up, it works pretty well, chokes ‘em out pretty good,” Fox told Pat Miletich in the post-fight interview.
Fox told Miletich she was “quite sure” Jones was tougher than she looked on film, but was still able to finish the fight. “I noticed (Jones) just tried to get away from me a lot, so it was hard trying to catch up with her, but I did in the end so that was pretty awesome,” Fox said.
Fox got to work right away, repeatedly landing outside leg kicks in the first minute of round one. After controlling the pace for most of the first round, Fox landed a forearm strike that sent Jones to the ground. Fox took top position, but got up to escape an armbar attempt. She moved back to the center of the cage and took Jones down and into a shoulder lock, but Jones was able to get out of it and back to her feet. Fox seemed gassed for the remainder of the round, but it was clear that she had done enough to win it.
Round two began with Fox going right back to the outside leg kicks, continuing to work on Jones’ lead leg. But Fox did not display the trademark burst and energy that was seen here in her local fights.
Fox caught another of Jones’ fingers in her eye at the 3:35 mark of round two. Jones offered her gloves up in apology, but Fox landed a hard, straight right instead of tapping gloves. Michael Schiavello and Pat Miletich thought it was a cheap shot, but it looked like Fox was still squinting the poked eye when she threw the punch. The energy of the round picked up considerably after that.
Fox shot in for a single-leg and while she wasn’t able to secure the takedown, she was able to grab Jones’ arms and roll through to get to top position. Fox’s head coach Alex Trujillo called loudly for Fox to pass Jones’ guard, but she wasn’t able to do so. However, Fox was able to score with some ground and pound, and clearly won the second round.
Before finishing the fight with the choke, Fox again employed the outside leg kick to start round three. “The low kicks are adding a bruise on Alanna Jones’ leg, it’s getting nasty,” analyst Pat Miletich said.
Scouting reports on Jones pumped her up as a nasty striker that landed combinations with power, but that was nowhere to be seen during this bout. Fox was never in trouble and never hurt from anything Jones threw at her.