Veteran boxing and MMA cutman Jacob ‘Stitch’ Duran has experienced an unexpected few months of heavy media attention, and it all started when he spoke out against the UFC-Reebook deal. Duran openly gave his opinion after it was revealed he would receive no compensation for wearing Reebok branded apparel on fight week, and it landed him in hot water with his Zuffa employers. ‘Stitch’ got fired and ostracised by UFC president Dana White, and the fanbase of Duran spoke up in volumes against the decision.
He would soon find work once again in the world of pro-boxing, and also at World Series of Fighting, and remained positive about his chances of working for the UFC again. Of course Duran can work as an independent contractor, meaning a UFC fighter could themselves pay for ‘Stitch’ to be their cutman, but he tells MMAJunkie.com that may cause some friction between said athletes and the UFC:
Duran also mentioned the possibility of a return to the UFC was “extremely high” if fighters independently paid for his services, as the promotion clarified after releasing him from an exclusive contract.
“My question if it does happen … is what kind of backlash would these guys get for bringing me on under all these things that are happening?”
The UFC made a turnaround on their stance, later claiming that Duran was fired on an unrelated matter, but the dust had already settled by that stage. ‘Stitch’ would call BS on that BS, and even had a message for UFC president Dana White:
“I’m fine,” he said. “I’m going forward. My challenges come as I get these offers. I personally want to thank Dana White for launching the next phase of my career,”
The offers that Duran talks of are from Spike, the parent channel of Bellator MMA, who apparently approached the renowned cornerman in request of his services. Also affiliated with new Super Fight League owner and former world boxing champion Amir Khan, the world is Jacob Duran’s oyster.
Do you think the UFC would make life hard for a fighter seeking Duran’s aid, or was this all just a shrewd business decision?