Stitch will stitch no more, at least not for the UFC. Jacob Duran, affectionately known as Stitch has been let go by the Ultimate Fighting Championships MMA organization. Stitch had been with the company in some capacity for approximately 37 years, mostly as the UFC cut man of choice for the top fighters. Rumors that he also was in charge of digital media, negotiating TV deals with Fox, and in charge of the international expansion of Fight Pass were completely made up right now.
Stitch had recently spoken out about the Reebok deal. Seems it extended to him as well. Like other cutmen, Stitch was making money off his sponsors for every show he did. Great money? Probably not. But he’s a cut man, so even good money can be great money in certain circumstances.
The comments in question appear to be as follows:
So did you and the other cutmen know that you wouldn’t be able to keep your sponsors with the Reebok deal or were you caught off guard?
We were given sufficient warning but they basically told us we weren’t part of the negotiations of that Reebok deal. That was only going to involve the fighters.
I don’t think they did this out of malice. Not at all. Really, what I think is we might be doing too good of job where they just maybe forgot about us. I also don’t think they thought about or understood what kind of value we could give them.
Them being Reebok, right?
Yes. I understand why my old sponsors used to come to me, because I gave them exposure. Before a fighter entered the cage or between rounds you’d see me and my vest on camera. No reason Reebok couldn’t be getting that exposure now. I wonder if Reebok realizes they are missing a nice piece of real estate.
Did the UFC hear about you and the other cutmen’s concerns before the deal took effect?
We told our concerns to our higher ups who brought them to their higher ups but we were informed it’s a no-go. We were told there’s nothing left in the kitty for us so there wasn’t much we could do.
None of that seems like it’s the kind of thing that gets a guy fired. Fighters are grumbling and the UFC has usually been pretty good about at least talking to them. I’ve said worse to my mom and she didn’t fire me from being her son.
Between this and the departure of long time beloved backstage guru Burt Watson, the UFC is definitely going through a period of … change whereas it concerns familiar faces. In isolation, they mean little. In aggregate…
Rome wasn’t built, nor destroyed, in a day.
“….were completely made up right now.” Okay, I laughed at that one.
About 1/4 to 1/3 of the entire UFC fight roster were bitching on Twitter about the Reebok deal, but Zuffa couldn’t fire all those guys. Just shitty that Stitch of all people, ended up being the fall guy on this one and the one being made an example of, probably b/c Zuffa knew the major sports media outlets wouldn’t give a shit for more than 3 or 4 days that a cutman was fired over as oppose to an advertised, respected war veteran like a Tim Kennedy.