Jackson-Wink MMA photographer Mark Aragon won’t be attending any more UFC events after referring to women’s featherweight champion Cristiane Justino as a man in an Instagram post.
“UFC is aware and troubled with the recent statements made by a social media representative from the Jackson-Wink 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,” read a statement initially sent to MMAFighting.com on Tuesday. “The organization has reached out to the Jackson-Wink team to inform them that the individual in question will not be granted access for future events.”
After Jackson-Wink MMA standout Holly Holm lost a five-round verdict to “Cyborg” at UFC 219, Aragon posted a photo of the Brazilian on his Instagram with the following caption: “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.”
Justino responded to the post -- which has since been deleted -- and demanded an apology or that Aragon’s credentials be revoked. Aragon later apologized but also attempted to justify his remarks by claiming that he overheard “Cyborg” calling Holm a “bitch” and laughing about a picture in which the champion’s toes were Holm’s eyes after delivering a kick.
“When I got back to the hotel I posted a picture with an inappropriate caption that everyone is now talking about,” Aragon wrote. “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.”
Aragon has something of a checkered history in his previous law enforcement career, as well. According to a 2007 report from the Albuquerque Journal, Aragon was rejected by Albuquerque Police Department Chief Ray Schultz in 2002 over “personal finance concerns.” While Aragon was never charged with a crime, he dealt with numerous issues that led to APD reopening an investigation into Aragon's background, including allegations that he stole from the evidence room of the Bernalillo County police, his previous employer; having a restraining order filed against him by his ex-wife; and having his wages garnished for not paying child support. In 2004, Aragon was also demoted by the Bernalillo police, which called the decision a “personnel matter.” Aragon had previously served with the Albuquerque Police Department from 1990 to 1999, according to the report.
After Aragon’s post, several prominent figures associated with Jackson-Wink MMA condemned the comments and distanced themselves from the photographer.
.@criscyborg is a true champion, and great representative of our sport. I know the coaches and fighters that truly represent @JacksonWinkMMA think the same. Congratulations to Cyborg and her amazing coaching staff on another victory. pic.twitter.com/I3vSuJ2UjQ— Brandon Gibson (@SixGunGibson) December 31, 2017
Disgusting . He acts alone . Not a reflection of Greg & the gym . They wouldn’t approve... https://t.co/lv6ABncgiz— Derek Brunson (@DerekBrunson) December 31, 2017