Cutman Jacob “Stitch” Duran is no longer employed by the UFC. The long-time cutman of the Octagon, who also works cuts at boxing events, was allegedly fired by the UFC for speaking out on the Reebok deal in an interview with BloodyElbow.com, according to Duran via Twitter. A source close to the UFC later confirmed that he is “no longer working shows” in a statement to MMAjunkie.com. In the interview, “Stitch” said he felt he and the other cut people were being unjustly hurt the Reebok deal because they wouldn’t be allowed to wear sponsors on their vests. He also said that the cut people were not given a cut of the Reebok deal, unlike the fighters who are getting a portion of the money the UFC is being paid by Reebok in their exclusive uniform agreement. Duran later spoke to MMAFighting.com and claimed that UFC president Dana White didn’t even call him personally, but rather had a Zuffa worker call him to tell him he had been released, which upset Duran, who has worked with the UFC for nearly 15 years. As soon as the news was released, fighters, fans, and media scolded the UFC for their move, one that is extremely controversial. “Stitch” is one of the best cutman in the history of combat sports and has been an integral part of UFC events for a long time. To release him for having an opinion about the Reebok deal looks awful on the UFC’s part, and it’s very hard to agree with what the UFC did in this situation to someone who was only giving their opinion on a very hot topic in the world of MMA. Personally, I am appalled by this decision. “Stitch” is an important part of the UFC and of MMA and combat sports in general, so to get rid of him just like that, after working for Zuffa for such a long time, is a very poor way to treat an employee. Duran’s firing is very similar to the release of long-time event co-ordinator Burt Watson, who was released by the UFC this year after an apparent mishap at the UFC 184 weigh-ins in Los Angeles, California. Watson has since worked with other promotions and is still a part of the sport, but many fighters have remarked how much they miss him and wish he was still part of the UFC. Already the sentiment has been similar for Duran, with many fighters saying they already miss him and many praising his skills as a cutman. The outpour for “Stitch” by the MMA community has definitely been nice, but it doesn’t change the fact “Stitch” has lost his job, although I fully expect him to start working high-profile boxing events to make up for the lost income. Still, the sport of MMA won’t be the same without “Stitch,” and as someone who has covered the sport for a long time, I wish Duran good luck in his future endeavours and only hope he succeeds in the next chapter of his cutman career.