Dana White (pictured) would like nothing more than for this whole Reebok controversy to blow over. That’s easy for a UFC president who’s reportedly worth a few hundred million dollars, but it’s a tougher pill to swallow for fighters who pocket as little as $10,000 per outing and needed that extra sponsorship money in order to support their families and make MMA their full-time job.
However, UFC fighters weren’t the only ones who took a financial hit from the UFC’s new partnership with Reebok. Legendary combat sports cutman Jacob “Stitch” Duran hoarded the MMA headlines last week because he was fired from the UFC for publicly speaking out about how the Reebok deal directly affected his bank account.
The strange part is Duran didn’t say anything defamatory about the UFC or Reebok, he merely spoke his truth – that he and his fellow cutmen are no longer allowed to secure their own sponsors on the vests they wear in the cage and that they must wear a Reebok one that they get paid no money for.
Grounds for terminating a 14-year UFC employee who is regarded by many as the best in the business? Absolutely, according to White.
When White was asked about Duran’s situation during Saturday’s UFC on FOX post-fight show, he focused on Duran saying that he wished White would have called him directly to fire him since they had worked together for so long. White kept reiterating that they were never “friends.”
Um, I think you missed the point, Dana. Or you intentionally bob and weaved the point so you and the UFC don’t look any worse in this debacle.
White is right in stating it’s not his job to call a cutman to inform him of his release. As UFC president, he certainly has bigger fish to fry. But that’s where the White-is-right train ends.
After Duran revealed he was fired, several fighters offered up their support for him because they understand the importance of his job. He not only helps keep them safe, but knows every trick in the book to minimize the damage on their faces so they can stay in a fight in hopes of pulling out a win and doubling up on their salaries with a win bonus.
By pulling this shrewd move, White sent a stern, and possible final, message to everyone under the UFC banner – DON’T SAY ANYTHING ELSE NEGATIVE ABOUT REEBOK, OR ELSE…
What’s next, is White going to have FOX fire Karyn Bryant for daring to ask him about Duran on TV? Is he going to cut every fighter who had the audacity to support Duran after he was canned? Is he going to ban me from the Internet for writing this?
Sorry, Dana! Reebok is the best, way better than Nike! Those new Reebok uniforms don’t look generic at all! The “customization” on the Reebok uniforms is so seamless that you can barely tell that the only difference between them is colorways. You should charge fans way more than $95 for the “Giblert” Melendez replica Reebok jersey, it’s way worth it!
#Reebok #ReebokRules #ILoveReebok #ThanksForTheMemoriesStitch
Please click the media player below to hear White explain that he and Duran aren’t BFFs: