UFC Vegas 89 winner Julian Erosa calls out controversial trans athlete Lia Thomas: ‘I don’t like cheaters’

UFC standout Julian Erosa calls out controversial trans athlete Lia Thomas: 'I don't like cheaters'

UFC standout Julian Erosa planned to call out controversial trans athlete Lia Thomas following his win on Saturday night.

Returning to the Octagon at UFC Vegas 89, ‘Juicy J’ burst back into the win column with a quick first-round guillotine submission victory over Ricardo Ramos. It was an impressive victory that snapped a two-fight losing streak and got him to an even 7-7 record under the UFC banner.

Julian Erosa

Speaking with members of the media during his post-fight press appearance, Erosa revealed his grand plan to call out Lia Thomas, a collegiate swimmer who has been mired in controversy ever since she won an NCAA national championship as a trans woman.

“I don’t know how you guys feel about this whole situation, but I don’t like cheaters so I wanted to call out Lia Thomas,” Erosa said. “I wanted to encourage her… er… Encourage him to transition from women’s swimming to women’s MMA. Then I’ll transition into a woman and beat that dude’s ass. That’s what I wanted to say because it’s all about getting a little bit of shock value, but in the world that we’re living in, there’s no common sense anymore. It’s becoming a bit ridiculous.

“That’s one of the big things that’s going on now. I just don’t agree with me in women’s sports. The whole Fallon Fox thing. Guys that are fighting in women’s MMA and knocking them out, it’s a bad look.”

Who Is Lia Thomas and why is Julian Erosa calling her out?

For those unfamiliar, Lia Thomas is the first openly transgender athlete to win an NCAA Division I national championship, having won the women’s 500-yard freestyle swimming event in 2022. Thomas began swimming on the men’s team at the University of Pennsylvania in 2017. Two years later, Thomas began transitioning via hormone replacement therapy but was still required to compete in the men’s division during her junior year.

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After taking a year off due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Thomas returned for the 2021-2022 season and met the NCAA hormone therapy requirements to swim on the women’s team.

Lia Thomas

Thomas has been at the center of a public debate over the inclusion of trans women in sports with many outspoken conservatives demanding that Thomas and all trans women be banned from competing in women’s sporting events. However, multiple Olympic-level swimmers, including silver medalists Brooke Forde and Erica Sullivan have spoken out in favor of seeing Thomas compete among other women.

Three-time Olympic gold medalist Nancy Hogshead-Makar also supported the participation of trans women saying, “so long as they can demonstrate that they have lost their sex-linked, male-puberty advantage prior to competition in the women’s category.”

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In 2022, Sports Illustrated dubbed Lia Thomas “the most controversial athlete in America.”

Lia Thomas

“If you went through male puberty, there’s nothing you can do to shrink your bones down,” Erosa added. “The proof is in the pudding. You have Mr. Thomas who, whatever he was ranked as a man, is now just beating all the women. It’s obvious. It doesn’t matter how much estrogen you’re taking. Obviously, it’s a gray area, but these gray areas are stupid to me because it’s common sense. I’m not the smartest crayon in the box, but if I don’t know anything about anything, I can still tell you it’s unfair in my opinion.

“People are going to have their own opinions and say whatever they want, but it’s something that I strongly believe in. It’s so funny to me that women will fight for their own spaces and then they’ll also fight for trans women to be in those spaces. Those are just men. When’s it gonna be when there are hundreds of men in these sports and it just becomes another man sport? It’s so weird to me.”

In January, Thomas legally challenged the World Aquatics gender inclusion policy which only allows trans women to compete in the women’s category as long as any male puberty was halted by age 12.

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