Stitch: It’s a spiritual moment
Jacob “Stitch” Duran, 62, sat down with London Real and talked wrapping hands and closing cuts in the Octagon since 2002.
He has 55 seconds between rounds to stop the bleeding, apply the cold and pressure, calm the fighter, and give confidence with his presence. All of this is done with one goal in mind: to give that fighter “One More Round.”
Born into a migrant camp in California, he was working in the fields at 5 years of age. From there he enlisted in the Air Force and went to Thailand where he would fall in love with kickboxing before returning home to America to start his own school.
He a job with a company car as a sales rep for RJ Reynolds Tobacco, but he packed it in and moved to Las Vegas to pursue his dream of being a Cutman.
“It is really a spiritual moment,” said Duran.
“When I get in there to start wrapping… these guys are in there with their camps, save, eight weeks, but when I get in there, it is just me and that fighter. And it is just one on one. I've had fighters cry when I'm wrapping their hands.
“I know that anxiety is in them. My job is to take that away from them, and give them that point of confidence. Outside of being a good cutman, wrapping hands and working cuts, psychology is a big, big issue. And I'm very good at that.
“When Miesha Tate fought Ronda Rousey, they had another guy wrapping Miesha's hands, and they wanted me to wrap them. He comes up to me and says 'Hey Stitch, the reason I want you to wrap her hands is because of that psychology that you give her, right before she goes out.
“The way I look at it, if i can give you one ounce of confidence, that one ounce might be the one ounce that it takes for you to go out there and win the fight. And so I feel very treasured in having those moments with these fighters.”