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UFC bans Jackson-Wink photographer who called Cris Cyborg a man on Instagram

MMAJunkie logo MMAJunkie 03/01/2018 Steven Marrocco

The photographer who called UFC featherweight champion Cris Cyborg a man will no longer be credentialed at UFC events.

The industry-leading MMA promotion issued a statement today saying it was "aware and troubled" about a social media post from Mark Aragon, who served as Holly Holm's photographer at UFC 219, and won't issue Aragon a media pass to future events.

"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," read the statement, which was sent to MMAjunkie after an initial report by MMAFighting.com. "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."

Aragon, who in addition to his work with Holm (11-3 MMA, 4-3 UFC) also serves as the media director for the famed Jackson-Wink Academy, on Sunday morning referred to Cyborg (18-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) as a man on his Instagram account, prompting backlash online and a demand for an apology from the UFC champ.

It is not acceptable for an official representative of @hollyholm @jacksonwink_mma to call me transgender following my Fight. Their official photographer was given a backstage credential to attend the @UFC and I expect an apology or their ability to get credentials for future UFC events to be affected by these actions. @ma2_media 🇧🇷🇧🇷🇧🇷🇧🇷🇧🇷🇧🇷 Não é aceitável que um representante oficial da @hollyholm @jacksonwink_mma me ligue transgênero na sequência da minha luta. Seu fotógrafo oficial recebeu uma credencial de bastidores para participar do @UFC e espero que uma desculpa ou sua capacidade de obter credenciais para futuros eventos do @ufc_brasil sejam afetadas por essas ações.

A post shared by CRIS CYBORG 🇧🇷★ #ufc219 (@criscyborg) on

"Their official photographer was given a backstage credential to attend the @UFC and I expect an apology or their ability to get credentials for future UFC events to be affected by these actions," Cyborg wrote on her Instagram account.

Jackson Wink founders Mike Winkeljohn and Greg Jackson both did not respond to multiple requests for comment on the matter when contacted by MMAjunkie. On Monday, Aragon apologized on his Instagram account, writing, "My personal emotions got in the way of my professional status which I failed to adhere to." He also explained his choice of language as a reaction to behavior from Cyborg and her camp, including repeated accusations of doping prior to the fight.

A statement from the official Facebook page for Jackson Wink said it didn't condone Aragon's behavior but didn't mention him by name and backed the photographer's story of using the language as a response to offensive language used by Cyborg after the fight.

"Our media guy was defensive of our fighter and space and he used Cyborg's past history of steroid use, in a knee jerk, response," read the statement. "We were unaware of all the backstage talk and his response on a public forum until yesterday. He regrets putting JW in this position. We don't condone putting others down. Congratulations to Cyborg and her team and we look forward to a rematch."

Cyborg outpointed Holm this past Saturday to defend the women's featherweight title and cement her status as the most dominant presence in women's MMA. Despite her success, she's repeatedly dealt with offensive comments from fans and even her promoter, UFC President Dana White, before turning over a new leaf with a lucrative contract.

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