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View Full Version : UFC cut man Stitch Duran deserved to keep his job



danharr
7/22/2015 8:17am,
http://l3.yimg.com/bt/api/res/1.2/QpxmtPs5zYlcimH7uqAfig--/YXBwaWQ9eW5ld3M7Zmk9ZmlsbDtoPTYzOTtpbD1wbGFuZTtweW 9mZj0wO3E9NzU7dz05NjA-/http://l.yimg.com/os/publish-images/sports/2015-07-22/4a3a3a60-3038-11e5-adc6-cff0acdb6680_STITCH-AUGUSTO.jpg

The greatest thing about writing about fights and those involved in them for nearly three decades are the wonderful people you meet along the way.
Men, for example, like Stitch Duran and Burt Watson. Duran and Watson are UFC workers who did jobs that are so anonymous and so dreary so well that they became minor celebrities.
Duran is one of the finest cut men in boxing and mixed martial arts. People have been fighting each other for money for more than 100 years, and almost from the time they began, there was someone alongside to tend to them when, inevitably, they were cut.


Until Duran came along, these cut men were virtually anonymous. A few had a bit of notoriety within the tightly knit fight community, but it was mostly because of how effective they were at their jobs.
A cut man as a celebrity, though? It was a laughable notion. And then Jacob “Stitch” Duran came along and, sure enough, he became a celebrity.
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http://l1.yimg.com/bt/api/res/1.2/r_N5hTg.mV14pO.M3pKgog--/YXBwaWQ9eW5ld3M7cT04NTt3PTMxMA--/http://l.yimg.com/os/publish-images/sports/2015-07-22/1b451710-3039-11e5-a30a-01e4837399d4_URIJAH-STITCH.jpgUrijah Faber (L) gets his hands wrapped by cutman Jacob 'Stitch' Duran inside the locker room at UFC 175 at the …



The guy wrote a book on his life that has played to rave reviews on Amazon. He’s hounded for photos in Germany, where he’s nearly as big of a star as the fighters he helps.

At the Philadelphia Airport, he was signing so many autographs the day after an event that it caught the notice of a 50-something married couple.
“Who’s he?” the man asked his wife.
“Oh, you know,” she said. “I can’t think of his name. He’s that actor. He’s on TV a lot. You know him.”


He was the UFC’s cut man, until he spoke his mind and lost his job.
Duran, who was personally hired by UFC president Dana White in the early days of Zuffa’s ownership of the UFC, made public comments on Twitter and in an interview with the website Bloody Elbow (http://www.bloodyelbow.com/2015/7/20/9002195/veteran-ufc-cutman-stitch-duran-reebok-deal-cutmen-go-to-boxing-mma-interview) regarding the company’s new uniform deal with Reebok. On Tuesday, Duran announced he’d been fired by the UFC.

@daej81 (https://twitter.com/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 (https://twitter.com/StitchDuran/status/623636360746827776) White declined to comment about Duran when asked by Yahoo Sports, so the exact reason for his dismissal is unknown.
What’s disturbing about it, though, is that if Duran were indeed fired for his comments about Reebok, nothing he said was particularly inflammatory.
In the interview with Bloody Elbow, the most significant point he made was that he would lose a lot of sponsorship money under the new deal.


Fighters are paid to wear the Reebok gear during UFC fights and the associated pre- and post-fight activities, but no one else is. Duran said in the interview that the cut men were informed that once the Reebok deal went through, they would have to remove all of the other sponsors from their clothing during the events.
That, he said, would hurt his bank account.


“I made really good money on that sponsorship,” Duran told the site. </p><p>
Nowhere in the piece did he criticize the UFC, Reebok or the new uniforms. He even said of UFC officials, “I don’t think they did this out of malice,” in regard to the cut men losing their sponsorship opportunities.


In an interview with MMA Junkie Radio, Duran said he didn’t like the design (http://mmajunkie.com/2015/07/stitch-duran-reebok-would-have-asked-for-opinion-on-cutman-gear-if-they-were-smart) of the vest he was given to wear because it didn’t have a place for all the equipment he carried with him into the cage.
It should be noted that UFC 189 at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas was the first show in which the Reebok deal was in effect. Blood flowed freely during the epic fight card, and Duran and Mike Afanasiev did a terrific job on the cuts. So, the design of their new outfits weren’t really a hindrance to them doing their jobs.
Duran’s comments were tame, particularly in comparison to those made by some fighters, yet he lost his job.


He probably won’t ever make up the full amount of what he lost from sponsorships, but that was gone before the UFC fired him. Because he’s in heavy demand among boxers, the good news is he’ll likely replace a lot, though not all, of the money he lost by being fired.


It should come as no shock that he was fired, though. Those who run large companies don’t typically tolerate low-level employees who speak out publicly against them. UFC management certainly has not through the years.
It’s understandable on one level why White and UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta (http://sports.yahoo.com/ncaaf/players/232579/) aren’t pleased with the public criticism of the Reebok deal. </p><p>
.

http://l3.yimg.com/bt/api/res/1.2/OIekfmFT4..pzqQTKrIy6g--/YXBwaWQ9eW5ld3M7cT04NTt3PTMxMA--/http://l.yimg.com/os/publish-images/sports/2015-07-22/b018e9c0-3039-11e5-a30a-01e4837399d4_Dana-Reebok.jpgUFC president Dana White. (Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images)

It’s an important deal for the long-term future of the company. It’s a play to make the product more appealing for television. And when the UFC’s current deal with Fox expires, no one at Zuffa headquarters would complain a bit if ESPN decided to enter the bidding.

So White and Fertitta want not only to make certain the product’s look and feel is more palatable for television, but they want to insulate a business partner with whom they signed a $70 million deal from criticism by those they have in their employ.


It’s tough for them to say too much to the fighters, but you can bet they’re going to play hard ball with those they feel are disposable, or easily replaceable.
Firing Duran, though, was a mistake and a gross overreaction. His skills, both in closing cuts and wrapping hands, are highly valued by fighters. That should have been, though most likely was not, taken into account.
It’s not a free speech issue, though many have incorrectly brought up the first amendment. Companies have the right to control the message their employees and contractors portray publicly.

This situation cried out for a far more moderate solution. If White and/or Fertitta felt Duran had gotten too big for his britches – and his public comments don’t seem to indicate that he had – they could simply have asked him to quit speaking to the media.


The best solution would have been to have someone call him and tell him to knock it off. They could have let him know what they found objectionable and told him to cool it.


Firing him, though, feels an awful lot like a guy getting 10 to 20 years for jaywalking.
It’s wrong, no matter how you look at it.

http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/mma-cagewriter/veteran-ufc-cut-man-stitch-duran-didn-t-deserve-to-lose-his-job-061131689.html

Tranquil Suit
7/23/2015 12:27pm,
Dana White doing damage control with utmost professionalism:

http://www.bloodyelbow.com/2015/7/23/9022217/ufcs-dana-white-spirited-twitter-exchange-with-idiot-and-moron-fans



Iunno, maybe he's trying to draw the bad press away from Reebok and onto his persona.

chaosexmachina
7/23/2015 5:31pm,
They won't fire Joe Rogan for talking about it on his podcast, though... 9_9

Tranquil Suit
7/23/2015 5:56pm,
They won't fire Joe Rogan for talking about it on his podcast, though... 9_9

That guy is a company man, the ufc filters those podcasts when deemed fit.

Wherestehbeer
7/24/2015 7:29pm,
I don't say this in support of Dana, and to fire the best cutman in the game today???

However... This was a brilliant move by Dana. No warning, no STFU Stitch, no fine. Just fired the next day. Everyone is singing their praises of Stitch, but they all talk about him like he's dead. "He was the nicest guy, best in the business, we'll miss you" etc etc, but not a single one saying **** that, I'm not fighting without my guy. Too bad for you but I'm gonna keep my mouth shut.

That's the power of fear. The whole roster is scared. I can't help but think about the time Dana was criticizing the Yakuza for how they ran Pride, must've given him some ideas.

chaosexmachina
7/29/2015 10:52pm,
That guy is a company man, the ufc filters those podcasts when deemed fit.

Joe is very specific about not wanting any bosses and being able to say what he wants on his podcast (and he has discussed the Reebok deal on the podcast). He is always touting the fact that he can do so, so I highly doubt the UFC has any say in his podcast. Besides, he doesn't need to do UFC anyway. He makes money doing comedy, his podcast and residuals from Fear Factor and NewsRadio.

Tranquil Suit
7/30/2015 3:55am,
Joe is very specific about not wanting any bosses and being able to say what he wants on his podcast (and he has discussed the Reebok deal on the podcast). He is always touting the fact that he can do so, so I highly doubt the UFC has any say in his podcast. Besides, he doesn't need to do UFC anyway. He makes money doing comedy, his podcast and residuals from Fear Factor and NewsRadio.

Yeah, and that's bullshit. The UFC has filtered (read: cut pieces out) his podcasts. One of those times was when he and Brendan Schaub were talking about the Reebok deal.

He can get high as a kite and ramble about aliens and that's fine but when the UFC tells him to jump, he'll be like "Is this high enough, boss?"

chaosexmachina
7/30/2015 4:49pm,
Show me where they cut material out of his podcast. Otherwise your claim is bullshit.

Tranquil Suit
7/30/2015 5:13pm,
https://youtu.be/fT9PE4vjtdc

vs

https://youtu.be/RxVgyj-p6N4

chaosexmachina
7/31/2015 6:45pm,
That's from the UFC on Fox YouTube account. I'm at work so I can't check, but I'm willing to bet it is still unedited on the official Joe Rogan Experience YouTube page(PowerfulJRE). Them asking to use footage from the podcast and editing it isn't the same as Joe editing his raw footage because UFC brass told him to do so. He would tell them to **** off and quit, I guarantee it.

Tranquil Suit
8/10/2015 5:14pm,
That podcast happened on Dec 11, 2014. It's mysteriously absent from his private channel. Guarantee what now?

The skip happens at 1:07:40 by the way.




Them asking to use footage from the podcast and editing it isn't the same as Joe editing his raw footage because UFC brass told him to do so.

Homie, taking the whole 2-hour podcast and cutting out exactly the 4 minutes when they talk about Reebok isn't "asking to use footage".

This is willfull ignorance on your part.

chaosexmachina
8/12/2015 4:56pm,
Ok, I'm going to have to listen to the official, original podcast and see if it's cut out there. The point I was getting at is that it's most likely not cut out in the original. Which should still be available on the JRE's official YT page.

Wherestehbeer
8/16/2015 5:04pm,
The UFC didn't pull this one

https://youtu.be/DAjX6LiuuUU

-TANK-
8/28/2015 8:32am,
Hopefully Mr. Duran will be able to come back. I do think that (knowing him) he has always had an opinion. He has always been respectful however, and he has always done a great job buying one more round. Mr. Duran and others have also influenced the regulations around the country, with things like proflex, proper tape use, and some added ideas that include science in how hands should be wrapped for the protection of the fighters and the fairness of the contest. I love and respect the work Mr. Duran has done, I l hope that he can get back in, he is needed, and while there are certainly others who are competant and worthy, keeping Mr. Duran OUT does not help the sport, there are not THAT many cut men with the experience. Doctors at fights, listen to him, as well as the others however if Mr. Duran believes a cut above the brow can be stopped for long enough and no nerves or secondary problems are at risk, these Dr's listen to him. They know he knows.

I wish him luck.
as for Rogan, he is one funny ass dude, however I would not want my young children tuning in to him. Not sure what role he plays for Dana, or whether or not he has enough followers that Zuffa would not ex-him as well. I do believe that there are other personalities out there who can sit in for him, perhaps not as clever, or witty, BUT, to improve on the sport- He is certainly replaceable. He is an entertainer who increased as a MA. To me he is an entertainer.