For perhaps the biggest event in combat sports history, you’d expect the best cutman in the business to be working it. Unfortunately that won’t be the case.
During an appearance Friday on MMAjunkie Radio, noted veteran cutman Jacob “Stitch” Duran detailed how negotiations to corner Conor McGregor for his upcoming boxing showdown with Floyd Mayweather went astray.RelatedIt's no 'F-CK YOU' suit, but Conor McGregor's Versace robe is pretty swanky
McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC) and Mayweather (49-0 boxing) face off on Aug. 26 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas in a pay-per-view event expected to be the most lucrative prize fight of all time, one that Stitch expected to take part in.
As stitch describes, things got off to a good start when McGregor trainer John Kavanagh expressed interest in bringing him on board during an encounter June 24 at Bellator NYC.
“He tells me, ‘I called Conor, and Conor likes the idea,'” Duran said. “So he says the guys will get a hold of (me), (Conor’s) management team. And they did. So we had a nice conversation, and one of the things was the details of what they wanted from me and all that. I had told Jon that I had like four dates already scheduled and asked him if he wrapped hands. He said not for boxing, and I told him I could do that.”
Stitch said he discussed details with a McGregor management team representative. The plan was for Stitch to make himself available not just for fight night, but also throughout training camp. He was on board.
They ironed out some details before price came up.
“I said,” Duran recalls, “‘That I don’t know, because this is a horse of a different color; nobody’s ever been in this position. Boxing, you know, we normally start working at a base of about 2 percent.’ So we talked, and he says, ‘All right, we’ll get back to you.’ So I got a hold of my attorney, because this is pretty big, right? And we sent out a fair proposal.”
That proposal, Duran said, included a price tag of a fraction of 1 percent for his services for the duration of training camp and fight night. Stitch said he again spoke to the McGregor management team rep, who turned negotiations over to a different person.
“Your contact guy is so-and-so,” Duran said. “Used to be an attorney for the UFC. UFC let him go. I never had a great relationship with him, and I don’t think any of the fighters or trainers did. When my attorney and I sent them the proposal, it came back and literally just said that I was too expensive. And they left it at that. There was no counter-offer or anything like that.”
For Stitch, it was a strange – and unfortunate – outcome considering he was approached by the trainer on behalf of the fighter himself. But were Kavanagh and McGregor part of the final decision?
“John Kavanagh sent me a text, and he said, ‘Man, I apologize. We wanted you, but they said you’re too expensive,'” Duran said. “… I don’t know if Conor decides that or not.”
We’re not sure who to blame in all this, but the bottom line is not having Stitch in your corner – when you were close to having him – is McGregor’s loss.
You can listen to Stitch’s entire explanation by fast-forwarding to the 50:35 mark in the video above or by clicking here.
For more on “The Money Fight: Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor,” check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.
Filed under: Blue Corner, News, UFC