The UFC moved quickly to ban the staff photographer from the Jackson-Winkeljohn gym after he insulted women’s featherweight champion Cris Cyborg by repeatedly referring to her as a man in a social media post.
Mark Aragon, who is the official photographer for the famed gym in New Mexico as well as working on their social media team, posted a photo of Cyborg following her win over Holly Holm with a distasteful caption that he later deleted. Aragon had been issued credentials by the UFC to cover the event as a photographer for the team.
Aragon later issued an apology for his actions but then also wrote a lengthy post in an attempt to explain what led to his original post where he insulted Cyborg.
As the most hated photographer in the world today, I feel its necessary to comment on the recent fall out I’m causing for both Hollys and Cyborgs camps, and their respectful friends, fans, and families. At the conclusion of UFC 219, I took the final bus out of the arena back to the hotel and ended up on the same bus as Cris Cyborg and her team. As I sat in the back I began to hear them cheer and revel in their victory and discuss small parts of the event. A couple things really bothered me. I heard them laughing and commenting on a picture that renowned photographer Esther Lin took of Cyborgs toes literally in Hollys eye from a kick. Cyborg then went on to discuss how during clinches “the bitch” just “stayed and hugged her but she did nothing”. When I got back to the hotel I posted a picture with an inappropriate caption that everyone is now talking about. I was obviously acting out of anger and frustration. My personal emotions got in the way of my professional status which I failed to adhere to. But there is more to it, Cyborg leading up to the fight through her own Social Media accounts accused Holly and our camp of being the most drug failed camp ever. This is a totally fabricated lie and can’t be based on any merit whatsoever. Only one CURRENT athlete from our camp has ever been punished for USADA related issues and I was extremely frustrated with the perception that Cyborg and her fans had painted us as cheaters and losers. Jackson Wink had over 60 UFC fights throughout the world and hundreds of other fighters fighting all around the world at many different organizations. Every fighter has their home team based out of whatever country or state they hail from and come here for training, some of them with their own teams. We absolutely can’t be responsible for each and every one of their daily activities. That being said I am embarrassed by my actions and I sincerely apologize to @criscyborg and her friends, fans, and most importantly her family for posting such an ugly misrepresentation of a great hard earned championship retention. I also want to apologize to the members of team Jacksonwink who were effected by that insincere post.
On Tuesday, the UFC issued a statement confirming that Aragon would no longer be allowed credentials to any event and that the Jackson-Winkeljohn gym had also been notified of their decision.
“UFC is aware and troubled with the recent statements made by a social media representative from the JacksonWink MMA Academy in Albuquerque, New Mexico as it concerns women’s featherweight champion, Cris Cyborg,” UFC officials said in the statement initially released via MMAFighting.
“UFC does not condone or tolerate the remarks that were used. The organization has reached out to the JacksonWink team to inform them that the individual in question will not be granted access for future events.”
Cyborg not only demanded an apology from the gym but also asked for his credentials to be pulled after she was insulted and demeaned in the post. Cyborg later wrote that she did accept the photographer’s apology for his actions but still hoped that the UFC would ban him from attending future events as a credentialed member of the media.
Cyborg later issued a statement of thanks after the UFC opted to ban him from attending future events.
I want to thank the @ufc for showing their support. everyone is entitled to a work environment free from sexual harassment and prejudice pic.twitter.com/u3AwIVIUkL
— #CyborgNation (@criscyborg) January 3, 2018
As for the Jackson-Winkeljohn gym, a separate social media post was made once again attempting to explain the reason behind Aragon’s post without ever actually apologizing for his actions. Neither Greg Jackson or Mike Winkeljohn have personally addressed the matter yet.
Cyborg defeated Holm in the UFC 219 main event that night in the first defense of her women’s featherweight title.