Earlier this week longtime cutman Jacob ‘Stitch’ Duran blasted UFC president Dana White for his controversial firing in the aftermath of some supposedly derogatory comments he made about their controversial new uniform sponsorship deal with Reebok
‘Stitch’ was angered that White didn’t call him personally to inform him of the bad news, but the polarizing executive apparently (and not surprisingly) didn’t really care about Duran’s feelings. In a post-fight interview with UFC on FOX following tonight’s (Sat., July 25, 2015) UFC on FOX 16, White said that he and ‘Stitch’ were actually never friends:
”Stitch’ Duran needs to learn what the meaning of the word friend is,” White said. “‘Stitch’ Duran and I were never friends. We were work associates. We came up together in the boxing world and when we hired cutmen he was one of the guys I brought in here. Friends are people you call on the phone, hang out with, you talk to all the time. Don House, who’s one of our cutmen, he and I were very close and still are. ‘Stitch’ Duran was never my friend.”
It sounds like some more harsh words from White, who took part in an insult-laced tirade on Twitter when fans showed up to blast the firing in droves. ‘Stitch’ has since picked up a job with World Series of Fighting (WSOF), and also declared that the UFC had previously suspended him for working with his friend Ray Sefo’s fledgling promotion.
Perhaps that’s where some of the animosity between White and ‘Stitch,’ who worked for the UFC for 14 years, comes from, but overall, the whole scene has been deemed quite a P.R. mistake by most. Reebok promptly responded that they didn’t have anything to do with the decision, but the damage had been done and it appeared they were guilty by association.
But White isn’t backing down from his usual hardline stance. Although ‘Stitch’ doesn’t think he said anything that bad and is open to coming back to the UFC, it looks like the president won’t be considering that, as he put the ball back in Duran’s court with a parting shot:
“And if he’s my friend, why didn’t he reach out to me? If we were such good friends? So, you know, that’s that.”
White doesn’t appear to be all too concerned with losing a supposed friend, and judging from his actions this week, he isn’t concerned with making any new ones, either. Has the game passed him by, or is he as effective as ever?