Photographer Banned from Shooting Future UFC Events After Insulting Fighter on Instagram

Photographer Banned from Shooting Future UFC Events After Insulting Fighter on Instagram

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has banned a staff photographer from future events after he made comments online insinuating a female mixed martial arts fighter looked like a man.

Mark Aragon – a photographer for professional MMA training academy Jackson Wink – was shooting the Women’s Featherweight title fight. But after it emerged Holly Holm, seemingly his favourite, had lost out to Cris Cyborg, the photographer uploaded an image of Cyborg to his Instagram, referring to her in the caption as a “dude”, and using the pronoun “he”.

The now-deleted post read:

This dude is tough as hell! That being said at the press conference he said Holly was the first one to make his nose bleed! You are my hero @hollyholm see you back in the gym. #ufc219

Both Aragon and Jackson Wink have since released their own statements, attempting to explain the matter.

Cyborg acknowledged the post, but says that although she accepts their apology, she still hopes Aragon remains banned. Sure enough, the UFC have recalled Aragon’s press credentials, and banned him from all future events:

The UFC have commented, in a statement to MMA Fighting.

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 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 thanked them for their support.

Lead image credit: Coco Championship from Pexels

[via PetaPixel]

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Jonathan Brady's picture

Unfair punishment. Unfair in that, in the past, the president of the UFC, Dana White, said that Cyborg looked like Wanderlei Silva in a dress. Yet, Dana White is still the president of the UFC and suffered zero professional repercussions.
I don't see how this is any different.
Additionally, Cyborg needs to blame herself. If you're a woman who uses anabolic steroids, you're going to develop androgenic traits like increased muscle mass (obvious) as well as a more prominent forehead and jaw (look at her pictures).
So, I'd never call her a "him" or insult her in any way. But it's visually obvious she's been using anabolic agents and her failed tests for performance enhancing drugs back up the visual evidence with completely objective tests.

Bill Larkin's picture

I love Cyborg, but she does actually look like Wanderlei, LOL

Cyborg undoubtedly cheats and has been caught multiple times. With her resultant strength advantage she honestly should be fighting in the men's league as she now has massive strength dominance over women.
Compound this with the fact she went on to taunt Holly after winning, Cyborg deserves every bit of calling out as she gets.

Ariel C's picture

she was caught once in 2011.
she didnt taunt holly holm as you are saying.
get your facts straight

She was caught in 2017 also, but her team managed to convince usada months later it was doctor prescribed.
She was calling Holly a bitch and laughing at her post fight per the photographer, this isn't taunting?
Are you going to state that besides the 2011 suspension she was and is clean??

Johnny Rico's picture

Plot twist, what if Cris Cyborg identifies as a man.

Chad D's picture

or maybe a women trying to become a man who can then identify as a women

Chad D's picture

listen to fighters talk smack and tease others and its OK
always the victim anymore

dana white only used this to gain some attention IMHO

Gabrielle Colton's picture

Wow! Shows how powerful and important social media is for us

I'm a big UFC fan and I like Cyborg. She seems really nice (when she isn't smashing people). The photographer probably shouldn't have said that based on his job. BUT, how can Cyborg say that she accepts his apology and still ask for his job to be taken away?

Lee, let's say you break my camera and you apologize for it. And let's say I tell you that I accept your apology. Does that imply you don't have to take responsibility for what you did? Shouldn't you still have to replace or repair the camera?

I don’t think that’s the same thing. I’m not sure you would need to accept my apology or that I would even need to apologize if I bought you a brand new camera.

If we bid on the same job unknowingly and I told the client “I bet the other photographer isn’t any good” and they hire me and then later I find out it was you and you are rightfully mad and maybe you want to retaliate by messing up my potential jobs, but I apologize and you accept, I would imagine it stops there.

Dennis Murphy's picture

"entitled to a work environment free from sexual harassment " - actual LOL.

Gabrielle Colton's picture

Harsh punishment or not, good for them for banning him, they are showing how they want humans to be treated and that's the bottom line of it all!

She's a vicious cheater and apparently this photographer's sarcasm cut a little too close to the bone. Only in this false-outrage social media culture does the photographer lose his job. Especially in a sport where trash talking is encouraged!

Samuel Flores Sanchez's picture

I think the photographer had a lot of different ways to offend or even insult Cyborg, and he chose the wrong one. This situation, the Cyborg response, reminds me old jokes Eddie Murphy and others made in films time ago "...Is because I'm black?". It seems to me like insincere and opportunist but I can't know for sure.
But Gabrielle Colton has a point. The fact that a lot of sexual harassment from years ago even decades is been denounced now is because the sensibilities are changing. Society is evolving, we are more mature now. Years ago that behavior was quietly accepted or even encouraged. Not today, and is a good thing. Imaging what could have had happened if instead of mentioned her genre, he would have mentioned her race in a derogative way. I don't think no one would have defended that.
Well, my point is... is the same. Sexual derogative language will soon belong to the past like racism language, at least in healthy environments.
So the case has a lot of angles. I admire the fact that all the parts admitted the facts and no one is hiding or making weird excuses, but there's resentment too. The photographer recognized his fault and apologized. He made a mistake and learned from that. I think that kicking him out of work is excessive in this case and circumstances. They can fine him showing the world that they are not going to tolerate that behavior and that we all can have a mistake and be treated with tolerance at the same time.