Alana McLaughlin was victorious in her MMA debut at Combate Global: Perez vs. Roa against Céline Provost over the weekend, securing a second-round victory via submission in the featherweight fight.
McLaughlin, a U.S. Army Special Forces veteran, made history as the second openly trans athlete to compete in MMA; Fallon Fox, who was in attendance at the fight, was the first. ESPN reports that McLaughlin cleared all the relevant medical tests in order to be allowed to fight by the Florida State Boxing Commission.
Provost came forward with a flurry of punches right from the start, and though McLaughlin pushed forward, Provost’s punches continued to hit their mark. McLaughlin managed to land a solid body shot, but Provost recovered quickly, keeping her opponent at bay with push-kicks and punches to the head. The fighters clinched up, and McLaughlin sprawled on top of a takedown attempt by Provost. She managed to land a few body shots before the fight returned to the feet, then being forced to defend against another onslaught of punches by Provost. A big right hand from Provost wobbled McLaughlin, who barely managed to stay on her feet as Provost continued to push forward. Another big right from Provost, which was followed up by a kick and then another strong right hand. With two minutes left in round one, McLaughlin finally got a few consecutive punches in on Provost, but the latter fighter was able to move away from the cage and escape further immediate damage. McLaughlin again tried to get Provost’s back to the fence, and Provost successfully navigated back toward the center of the cage. Both fighters continued to send combos at each other, each getting a few significant shots on the other and Provost landing a few more big strikes in the final seconds before the end of the round.
Round two saw more of Provost’s attempts to use her reach advantage to land strikes on McLaughlin while keeping her distance. A big right hand from McLaughlin sent Provost stumbling backward, and McLaughlin briefly clinched up with her opponent to throw up a few knees. Provost created distance and traded punches with her opponent, and McLaughlin landed another strong right hand. A few more striking exchanges, and then, with just over two and a half minutes left in the round, McLaughlin shot for a takedown. She brought Provost to the ground, and Provost closed up her guard. Provost opened her guard, and McLaughlin flattened herself out on top, but Provost was then able to reverse the position. McLaughlin seized the opportunity to get to her opponent’s back, sinking in a rear naked choke and getting the tap with a minute and thirty seconds left in round two.
Alana McLaughlin was declared the winner by submission; her record improves to 1-0, while Provost’s changes to 0-2 as a professional.
McLaughlin shared a post on social media following her victory, which Provost reshared onto her own Instagram story: