The above photo is currently on the first page when you type "Marcus Davis" into Google Images.
Davis is currently being put into the stockades and pelted with tomatos for a comment he tweeted on Twitter that pertained to the photoshopped image of him on the above cover.
It seems all of MMA fandom instantly leaped to consensus that Davis is a major douche. So I'm going to be the contrarian and argue that Davis is right.
When a fan asked if he wanted a rematch with Dan Hardy, Davis wrote:
I hope Hardy dies of aids.
Davis then deleted the tweet, and explained his momentary transgression:
Dark&Bad taste-thought it was fitting after he did the gay photos towards me which is worse IMO this was words those pics are up for life.
This has led to Davis being pilloried as a thin-skinned homophobe. There were endless links to the gay photoshops, and now Fightlinker is even running a contest asking fans to create more gay photoshops with the explicit goal of taking over his name on Google with them. To wit:
I think we need more gay pictures of Marcus Davis out there. Photoshop the best pictures of Marcus Davis being mega gay and win a shirt. The best three submissions win, and after that we’ll take all the entries and hurl them across the internet with the goal of making sure any time someone types ‘Marcus Davis’ into google, the gay pictures come up.
This may be defamation of character, and the fact that it is already working could make it easier to prove monetary damages.
First, let's examine what Davis did to Hardy: wishing he died from AIDS. Yes, it's in bad taste. But it falls into the "sticks and stones" category. Wishing doesn't make it so.
Unlike Frank Mir, who drew fire for wishing Brock Lesnar be the first person to die from Octagon-related injuries, Davis is not in a position to make his wish come true. He cannot in fact infect Hardy with AIDS the way Mir could cripple or kill Brock in a fight.
Really this is no different than wishing somebody die of cancer or get hit by a truck--again, in poor taste, but who among us hasn't had those dark thoughts?
On the other hand, putting up photoshopped pictures of Davis in gay situations does have the potential to materially impact his earning power. These pictures could lead those unaware of the "joke" to believe they are authentic or at the very least authorized by Davis.This could cost him sponsors. It also affects the mental well-being of his family, who must live with the images being in the public eye.
Davis may not have expressed himself well, but his underlying argument is correct: publicly distributing photoshopped pictures of someone in faked sexual situations is much more harmful than wishing death on Twitter.
I would add that the latter is Constitutionally protected speech--we all have the right to express opinions--whereas the former may not be: Knowingly distributing false information with malicious intent can be civilly prosecuted, especially if the target can prove monetary damages.