The UFC parted ways with veteran cutman Jacob “Stitch” Duran after he made comments concerning the Reebok deal taking away income from his work.
Joe Lauzon, who is known for his bloody battles inside the Octagon that require the attention of those at ringside, offered up his thoughts on the situation in a very detailed blog post that you can read from his personal website below.
Lauzon returns to the Octagon this Saturday night vs. Takanori Gomi at UFC on FOX 16:
When I was 16 years old, my first real job was working for my dad. My dad owns his own business and part of that is being a wholesale supplier for live and frozen fishing baits to all of Cape Cod.
For Friday deliveries we would take orders on Thursday mid-morning and later that morning 4 or 5 of us would load the trucks. We would leave at 3am on Friday to make deliveries to the bait shops as they were opening. These are customers that buy from us every week so we are dependent upon them for income. Many times, they could be difficult to work with. They would give us one order, we would load it all on the truck and then right before we close at 8pm they would call and completely change everything in the order. Some of the stuff is very heavy and was already loaded in the order it was supposed to come off in. When we originally load in the morning we have a bunch of guys but by the end of the night it would just be me. Instead of a train of people to load everything, you have to get it from the walk-in freezer, carry it to the back of the truck, put it on the back of the truck, climb into the truck, uncover the frozen bait that is already stacked, stack it so it doesn’t fall and then cover everything again. Its a huge pain having changes like that last minute… but we always did it.
So many times 3am would come and I would spend most of the drive complaining to my dad and cursing out so-and-so for calling last minute to massively change their order. I would tell him how at 755PM the phone would start ringing and I would want to ignore it but I would always end up picking up and taking the change in their order. I always picked up and I always made the changes even if it took me an hour or more after we were supposed to be closed to get their order right, and I had to be up in a few hours to help make their deliveries.
Now we always told people we needed an accurate order as soon as possible, and last minute calls should be final tweaks and not big changes… but that didn’t help very much. Orders always had massive changes. What was convenient for us wasn’t always convenient for them… and they were the reason we made money. So we sucked it up and would do it.
I was always genuinely happy to see the customers because I had my time to vent to my dad and I was over it. The time and place to bitch and complain was to my Dad in the truck, when no one else was around. It wasn’t to complain to the customers of our customers and make them look bad. Part of anyones job is to keep the people who pay your bills happy. Sometimes that means customers. Sometimes that means bosses. Sometimes that means keeping the people happy that keep your bosses happy.
You can’t criticize your bosses, work, sponsors or customers publicly. Maybe you are unhappy about certain things, but there is a time and place and twitter is not that place. If you want to vent you need to get it private, or deal with the consequences.
It sucks about Stitch being gone but you can’t bad mouth the people who pay your bills. I saw an article a few days ago about Stitch being unhappy about the Reebok deal and their inability to have sponsors. It might be a blow to their income, but its a bigger blow no longer be working with the UFC.
Reebok signed a deal with the UFC and that is the extent of their involvement. Put all fighters and personnel in this gear… and we will pay you X number of dollars. That is the end of their involvement in decisions. From there, its on the UFC to make decisions on what to do with that money… and how to divide it up. Many people are up in arms about the Reebok deal as is. So what should the UFC do? Give the athletes more and cut out the cutmen? Or give the athletes less and give some to the cutmen? There is only so much to go around so decisions become difficult. At that point though, it is the UFC making decisions and not Reebok.
A long time ago we had a fighter at our gym that did very well locally. He was a local champ but he was causing some major headaches for us so we told him he had to take a break from the gym… and he tried to get everyone to leave the gym with him. When he wanted to come back way later, he would have been allowed back had he not tried to get everyone to leave with him. But now, he will never be let back in and I worry that might be the case with Stitch now.
I don’t know any specifics about whats going on with Stich more than anyone else has read online, but from the further comments he has made I am pretty sure he will be done with the UFC. It could have been a slap on the wrist and not working a few shows or maybe it was final from the start. It sucks, but everything we do or say has consequences. I hope nothing but the best for Stitch as he was always awesome to me. It sounds like he was doing better financially from a few boxing shows a year, so maybe its not the biggest financial blow. I am glad he has other options… but he will definitely be missed.