If Dana White and "Stitch" Duran weren't friends then, well, they certainly are not now.
White, the UFC president, said on the FOX Sports 1 post-fight show following UFC on FOX 16 that Duran will not be coming back to the UFC and made sure to emphasize that he and the legendary cutman were not that tight.
''Stitch' Duran needs to learn what the meaning of the word friend is," White said. "'Stitch' Duran and I were never friends. We were work associates. We came up together in the boxing world and when we hired cutmen he was one of the guys I brought in here. Friends are people you call on the phone, hang out with, you talk to all the time. Don House, who's one of our cutmen, he and I were very close and still are. 'Stitch' Duran was never my friend."
The UFC told Duran that it would not be using him anymore this week. "Stitch" said it was because of comments he made to Bloody Elbow about the UFC's Reebok deal. Duran had a sponsorship with Bad Boy and he wore the logo on his vest during events. Starting this month, he had to wear a Reebok vest and cutmen didn't see any of the revenue from the sponsorship deal. Duran said he would lose a chunk of money from the Reebok contract and would consider taking more boxing jobs.
"It's a solid shot," Duran told Bloody Elbow. "I got paid on a monthly basis so it definitely added up. I made really good money on that sponsorship so it's kind of a shocker to transition."
The very next day, Duran said he was fired by the UFC due to the comments. The UFC has still not released an official statement on the matter. However, after a deluge of social media backlash, Reebok did release a comment on Twitter.
UFC fans: We have no input on decisions of UFC employment or fighter compensation. Our focus is providing the best gear for fighters & fans.— Reebok (@Reebok) July 22, 2015
Duran told MMAFighting.com that he was disappointed that White didn't call him and fire him directly since White was the man who hired him to the UFC in 2001 after the two saw each other at a K-1 show at the Bellagio in Las Vegas.
"That's another thing that pisses me off, that he didn't have the balls to call me directly," Duran said of White. "He had some other guys call me."
Added Duran: "Dana has definitely changed. Now it's all about the economics. It used to be a fighter friendly environment."
White said on FOX Sports 1 that Duran should have never expected a call.
"I've never dealt with the cutmen ever," White said. "We have a department that deals with them. We weren't friends, we're not friends and no he shouldn't have been expecting a call from me. And if he's my friend, why didn't he reach out to me? Right? If we were such good friends and all that."
Duran is one of the most well-known cutmen in combat sports, so much so that he appears in UFC video games. He also works with heavyweight boxing champion Wladimir Klitschko and recently signed to work with Andre Berto for his fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. in September.
Duran expressed a willingness to reconcile in an interview with MMAFighting.com's Dave Meltzer this week.
"I think it was a knee-jerk response [by the UFC]," Duran said. "I don't think the UFC realized they picked on the wrong guy. I bring more to the table than just wrapping hands and working on cuts. The fans, the fighters, the trainers, even people within the organization, and commissioners, have called me. They should understand I bring a lot more. If they called me tomorrow, I'd be more than willing to sit down."
White doesn't sound like he would be interested, though.
"He won't be coming back," White said. ... "You realize we have 10 cutmen who work here at the UFC? We have 10 cutmen."