Well, if Jacob 'Stitch' Duran was thinking about leaving MMA cut man work for boxing, it looks like the decision has just been made for him. The longtime UFC cutman recently spoke to Bloody Elbow about the Zuffa's Reebok deal, which went into effect earlier this month. Duran revealed that, as part of the deal, he and other cutmen & women had lost their own ability to carry sponsors on their apparel during UFC events. And unlike fighters, Duran said, he and the others in his profession weren't being compensated by Reebok for their losses. He went on to suggest that the move may lead him to consider doing more boxing work, as unspoken rules made cross-promotional MMA work difficult.
Duran on how Reebok deal affects his pay
Fighters aren't the only one's feeling the impact of the new Reebok deal. The legendary "Stitch" Duran tells us why cutmen are also feeling the loss of sponsors and what it could mean for the future of the UFC.
It looks like the UFC brass were not happy with those statements and Duran has since revealed, via Twitter that his contract with the promotion was terminated as a direct result:
@daej81 You will be the first to know that the UFC just let me go because I spoke out about the Reebok deal. Got to look for a new job!— Jacob Stitch Duran (@StitchDuran) July 21, 2015
No official statement has been made by the UFC at this time, but Bloody Elbow has contacted them and will follow up with a statement if or when one is released.
UPDATE: MMA Fighting's Marc Raimondi spoke with Duran following his firing. Here are some of his quotes:
"I learned from that," Duran said. "There's no way that me as a person would go through that, as an adult, go through that again. It's been coming in the years where the UFC has just shown no respect for the great work that the cutmen do."
Duran said that he might have been most upset that UFC president Dana White didn't call him personally. White was the one who brought him on in 2001 after seeing him work a K-1 show at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. Duran said he and White worked together to establish the UFC's cutman program and gives White credit for "changing my whole career."
"That's another thing that pisses me off, that he didn't have the balls to call me directly," Duran said of White. "He had some other guys call me."
"It's not like I'm going to lack any type of work," Duran said. "It's just that I really enjoyed working with the fighters and the people in the UFC. To get a nut shot by Dana in him not calling me and having the balls to call me, it just showed me the kind of characters that I was dealing with."