Crude ‘transgender’ swipe’s ugly fallout
CRIS "Cyborg" Justino has thanked the UFC after it revoked a photographer's accreditation for making crude remarks about the featherweight champion following her win over Holly Holm at UFC 219 on Sunday (AEDT).
Social media staffer Mark Aragon - representing Holm's team from the JacksonWink MMA Academy - called Cyborg a "dude" on social media after her victory.
"This dude is tough as hell!" Aragon wrote. "That being said at the press conference he said Holly was the first one to make his nose bleed."
His comments prompted an immediate response from Cyborg, who said it was "not acceptable" for someone involved with Holm's camp to "call me transgender".
The UFC agreed, releasing a statement this week saying it would not allow Aragon to enter 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," the statement read.
"UFC does not condone or tolerate the remarks that were used. The organisation has reached out to the JacksonWink team to inform them that the individual in question will not be granted access for future events."
Cyborg appreciated the move, saying everyone is entitled to work in an environment without being subjected to prejudice.
Aragon this week apologised for his insensitive remarks, which he said were made in the heat of the moment.
"As the most hated photographer in the world today, I feel it's necessary to comment on the recent fall out I'm causing for both Holly's and Cyborg's camps, and their respectful friends, fans, and families," Aragon wrote on Instagram.
"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."
However, he said he wasn't the only one at fault, slamming Cyborg for spreading lies about Holm and her team.
"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," Aragon wrote.
"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.
"That being said I am embarrassed by my actions and I sincerely apologise 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 apologise to the members of team JacksonWink who were effected by that insincere post."
Cyborg defeated Holm via unanimous decision (48-47 x 2, 49-46) on Sunday but the American didn't make it easy for her. Despite eating punches throughout the fight Holm somehow took the Brazilian the full five rounds.
She became the first fighter to ever push Cyborg to a fifth round - and did so with her face beaten to a pulp and her left eye all but completely closed up from swelling that was painfully obvious as early as the second round.
Cyborg landed 118 significant strikes during the fight and they had a devastating impact, shown by the gruesome photo shared on social media of Holm alongside legendary ring announcer Bruce Buffer.