Shad Smith made history as the first openly gay MMA fighter, and has now earned himself the nickname, “The American Badass.” But what gives? Well, it could have something to do with his spotty legal past, as Smith is a convicted felon.
Smith rose to fame in the underground world of fighting, courtesy of Felony Fights, which gives ex-offenders a chance to compete in the ring. The thing about Felony Fights? It’s not sanctioned by the state and it has no rules. Hence the nickname.
Fallon Fox didn’t exactly come out on her own terms within the MMA industry. In 2013, She had already been fighting professionally for six years as a woman, when she got a phone call from a reporter who let her know the secret was out.
So, she was basically forced to come out, after which time she faced a bunch of scrutiny for fighting as a woman (even though that’s who she had been for years.) She ended up making history for being the first openly transgender woman in the history of the MMA.
Racquel Pennington is an American MMA fighter that’s previously fought for Invicta, and now fights in the UFC’s bantamweight division. The openly gay athlete started as a professional fighter in 2009, quickly building up a solid record of 7 wins (5 by submission) to just 1 loss.
She and fellow UFC fighter, Tecia Torres, in the strawweight division, are engaged to be married.
This Mexican American MMA fighter Competed for the UFC Championship as a Strawweight. Her professional career started in 2006 with Absolute Fighting, and in 2013, she was the first female to sign with World Series of Fighting.
She also went on to become the promotion’s first female champion. Aguilar has been openly living as a lesbian for quite some time now and lives with her longtime girlfriend that she’s been with since 2012.
This Brazilian MMA pro was one of the first women to fight in the UFC’s very first match between two openly gay competitors, opposite Liz Carmouche. She is married to her wife, Fernanda Gomez, with whom she shares a traumatic experience. The two were robbed for their car and cell phones at gunpoint not too long ago.
The two got engaged in 2017, and they now live together in Rio de Janeiro