It looks like fans won’t be seeing the familiar face of Jacob “Stitch” Duran at UFC events any longer, as the iconic cutman is reporting he’s been canned by the promotion, as a result of recent comments he made about the Reebok deal.
Duran recently spoke with Bloody Elbow.com, and discussed the fact that he’s no longer allowed to have sponsorships on his vest, as a result of the UFC’s uniform deal with Reebok. Duran relayed that the sponsorships were a significant source of income, so much so, he was considering working more boxing fights, as a means to make more money. Duran also claimed that he and his fellow cutmen were informed that there was no money left from the Reebok deal for them.
The veteran cutman was asked if he can work for other MMA promotions, but Duran said there’s an “unwritten rule” against doing that with the UFC.
Well, not long after, Duran revealed on Twitter that he’s been let go by the UFC. In a follow up interview with MMA Fighting, Duran said his walking papers came in the form of a text from a UFC official. The cutman, who had worked for the UFC since 2001, also had this to say about the fact Dana White never reached out to him.
“That’s another thing that pisses me off, that he didn’t have the balls to call me directly,” Duran said. “He had some other guys call me.”
“Dana has definitely changed,” Duran added. “Now it’s all about the economics. It used to be a fighter friendly environment.”
It remains to be seen how this will all play out in terms of widespread, fan reaction, but Duran has been re-tweeting a lot of comments from fans, who seem pretty upset with the UFC’s decision. Whether you believe the Reebok deal is a positive for fighters or not, there’s no question the agreement and the fall out has prompted some heavy criticism of the promotion.
All this aside, UFC on FOX 16 will go down this Saturday in Chicago.