The UFC has been mum about the recent events where Stitch Duran has been fired due to his comments about the new Reebok deal. But just recently, Reebok has finally released a statement regarding this issue.
The MMA fighter, as well as Duran and the other cutmen, each had their own sponsorship deals where they get a significant amount of money from it. But when the new deal with Reebok came into effect, all of those sponsorships were blocked. The fighters, as well as the cutmen, were no longer allowed to wear their chosen sponsor apparel when they are inside the Octagon.
Now that the Reebok deal is on, the compensation for the mixed martial arts fighters have changed. The fighters are now compensated on a tiered per-fight structure. Unfortunately, this is not the case with cutmen. Duran and the rest of the cutmen are not included in the new compensation structure.
During a recent interview, Duran revealed that they tried to bring this issue first to their bosses. “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,” he said. Duran further said that there is no reason for Reebok not get the exposure caused by the issue now. He also wondered if Reebok realized that they are missing an important piece of the whole deal.
Last Tuesday, Duran was fired by the UFC because of the comments he made about the said deal. Duran simply stated in an interview that it is unfair for the UFC to not include the cutmen in the compensation but they are required to drop their current sponsors and use the Reebok gear. This has clearly struck a nerve with the UFC higher-ups, which eventually got Duran fired. The UFC has not yet released any statements regarding this issue, but surprisingly, Reebok did.
In Reebok’s statement released via Twitter, they said: “UFC fans: We have no input on decisions of UFC employment or fighter compensation. Our focus is providing the best gear for fighters and fans.”
Reebok did not drop Duran’s name in their statement, but given the timing, it is quite obvious that they are trying to steer clear with the UFC’s problems in handling the situation.