Allanna Jones has accepted a matchup with transgendered athlete Fallon Fox, paving the way for a women's tournament semifinal bout in the Championship Fighting Alliance card set for May 24.
CFA's CEO Jorge De La Noval confirmed to MMA Fighting on Tuesday that Jones had informed him of her decision.
"Everyone's following the story on Fallon obviously because of the controversy, but, the fact Allanna is stepping up and taking it is huge," he said.
De La Noval said he has spoken with Jones several times in the past week as she weighed her decision. He said that she was always in favor of taking the bout, but first wanted to hear the concerns of her coaches and managers.
Since Fox made her public revelation in early March, there has been much debate with no clear consensus over whether she should be allowed to compete in the women's division. Doctors have argued both sides of the topic, and prominent female fighters have publicly speculated about whether they would accept a fight with her. Those in her corner cite studies that show that testosterone production is diminished by several years of estrogen therapy, while adversaries contend that those studies are flawed, and that she has an unfair advantage in muscle mass.
Fox is 2-0 with two first-round knockouts in her nascent career. Jones, meanwhile, is 2-1.
The last word on the fight's sanctioning will come from the Florida State Boxing Commission, which oversees combat sports. The sanctioning body confirmed that Fox's license is not currently suspended or frozen, but is under review for alleged discrepancies in the information Fox provided when she applied to compete.
De La Noval said he has spoken to commission personnel on a daily basis, and that he has been told they could make some ruling on Friday, but that it would be dependent on several factors including obtaining complete medical records. If they do not do so at that time, they can reserve a ruling for a future date, but they could also ultimately pass on doing so. Essentially, until they act to stop the fight, Fox is penciled in against Jones.
"To be honest, we're not basing our next event on that specific fight," De La Noval said. "We have such a strong fight card that if it drops, well, we know we can't base the card on one fight. It is what it is. If she gets licensed, she will fight. And if she doesn't, she won't. We have a very strong card."
De La Noval said he is currently in negotiations with two networks to have the fight card broadcast, and is "70 percent sure" it will wind up on TV.
Mike Kyle vs. Valentijn Overeem will headline the BankUnited Center event in Coral Gables, Florida, while Luis Palomino and Alexis Vila will also be featured in separate matches. Peggy Morgan and Ashlee Evans Smith comprise the tournament's other women's semifinal match.