As of Tuesday afternoon, Duran said that the UFC cut him loose for doing so.
@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
A little background: Duran and his fellow cutmen, much like the fighters in the Octagon, had sponsorship deals that helped to supplement their UFC income. But when the Reebok deal went into effect, which blocks other sponsors inside the Octagon, the cutmen, like the fighters, were no longer allowed to wear sponsor apparel or logos inside the Octagon.
“No reason Reebok couldn’t be getting that exposure now. I wonder if Reebok realizes they are missing a nice piece of real estate,” Duran told bloodyelbow.com. “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.”
Duran said he would likely have to look for further work as a cutman with boxers in order to make up for the loss of sponsorship money. He prefers MMA, but told bloodyelbow that he and his peers were discouraged from working with other MMA promotions, that although they were independent contractors, it was “not highly recommended,” a sort of “unwritten rule.”
It appears now that “unwritten rules” or not, Duran will be turning more to boxing and other mixed martial arts promotions for work.
UFC officials had no comment on the situation when contact by MMAWeekly.com.
(Photo courtesy of StitchDuran.com)