- Anne Veriato bested Railson Paixao in 115-pound match in Brazil, making her the first openly transgender female fighter to win against a man in mixed martial arts.
- Veriato said in an interview that she intended to fight in the male category rather than in the female category.
- She won many awards in jiu jitsu before she transitioned to mixed martial arts. She then applied the skills she had learned in order to win the fight.
A transgender fighter who transitioned from male to female vowed to compete in the men’s category in mixed martial arts and made history for winning against a man according to transgender news MMA Mania website on March 11.
Anne Veriato won her first, history-making victory in her fighting career against Railson Paixao in the 115-pound match at Mr. Cage 34 in Manaus, Brazil last Saturday, March 11.
The fight was a close one as Paixao was dangerous while on their feet.
However, Veriato overpowered him and was more aggressive while on the ground. With the number of submission attempts, the judges gave a unanimous decision in her favor, notching her 1-0 win-loss record.
Veriato told in an interview that she intended to fight in the male category rather than in the female category. She believed in her ability to competently continue fighting against men in the sports.
“It’s only fair to fight men,” Veriato said in an interview.
In addition, she said that she might have an unfair advantage when fighting against women.
“It never crossed my mind to fight a woman because I think I’m too good,” she said. “If I beat men my entire career, I can still beat them despite the hormone process. I only know that I’m good after I beat men. That’s what makes me happy and hungrier to train. I don’t think it’s fair to fight women.”
Jiu jitsu practitioner
Veriato won many awards in jiu jitsu before she transitioned to mixed martial arts. She then applied the skills she had learned in order to win the fight. She would now be facing stronger fighters in future matches.
Commenting on her hormone therapy, she remarked, “Since we do hormonal therapy to become more feminine, the male hormone starts to disappear and don’t come back anymore after a while.”
She also claimed that she needed to work double-time due to the effects of the therapy.
“I didn’t have the same strength in the gym after that, so that’s why I train so hard to be strong enough to fight men. I feel the difference in strength, and that’s why I work hard,” she said.
More details from MMA Fighting website revealed her journey in switching to mixed martial arts.
“I’ve been fighting jiu-jitsu for years, and I wanted to do something different,” she said. “A lot of people in my team fight MMA already, and I wanted to do it as well.”
“When I entered the mat to compete, they always thought I was in the wrong category, asked for documents and everything,” she revealed. “My opponents and their teams always said ‘You’re fighting her? Ok, this is going to be easy.’ Every time I won, they would come up to me and apologize. I kept competing and winning tournaments, and people started to respect me.”
Transition from male to female
She temporarily stopped going to the gym during her gender transition.
“It was a bit hard for people to get used to it in the gym,” she narrated. “I left the gym for a while and when I came back, no one recognized me. It’s all good now because they were used to it, but it was different in tournaments.”
She hoped that she will have long career in MMA.
“I know that a lot of people will talk, a lot of prejudice,” she said. “There are a lot of people rooting for me, especially after they start to know my story, but some still don’t respect me. They think I just want attention. They will only respect me after I have a few fights, but I know that a lot of people still won’t respect me.”