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Legacy FC 55: Interview with the Cutman; David Maldonado

Wednesday May 18, 2016 Baby, baby, how sweet it is! The Crown Jewel of MMA, Legacy FC, took its 55th card to another level. To read the recap, official results and video highlights of the event click here.

H-Town was taken by storm this past Friday, May 13, 2016, and Houston Arena Theatre blew the Hell up! The house was packed and fans were treated to a killer roster of fights that ran the gamut from exhilarating, to awe-inspiring, to emotionally uplifting, to insanely raw, to off the hook warrior combatants giving it their all. Ships steward, Mick Maynard has done a masterful job of delineating the perfect market space. 

But when we look at the machinations involved in running an MMA promotion, one thing becomes clearly apparent; you’re only as good as the aggregate of your components. Top to bottom requires an amalgamation of business savvy, and corporate navigation protocol, combined with a basal super structure imbued within the co. culture, that is firmly and loyally entrenched.

It is with this sentiment that we offer you; Interview with the Cut Man.

Patrick Courtois: David, thank you for taking time from your busy schedule to give us an interview:

1). Let’s start off with how you got into Mixed Martial Arts. Are you now, or have you ever been a Martial Artist, and what attracted you to this sport?

I have never been a martial artist, I was drawn to this role in the sport after watching as a fan and realizing the many mistakes I was seeing taking place by others on television. After further research I realized that none of them had formal training and were making mistakes only because they didn’t know better. Background as merely a boxing coach and no medical training explained why the fighters weren’t getting the care they needed.

2). How did you come to be involved with Legacy?

Mick can attest to the fact that I tried many times over to point out how I could make a difference to help his fighters. Having already proving my worth to other top promotions, he took a chance on me and I hopefully have backed up my words and kept Legacy from having any early stoppages since then.

3). How did you get involved with FightBookMMA?

I have been aware of Robert’s efforts and FightBook for a few years now. I’ve always been happy to work with quality people and it has been a pleasure to help others learn about the resource that FightBook has to offer.

4). Do you employ your cutting services to other MMA or sport organizations?

I most certainly do help other promotions and organizations. It has been my personal goal to elevate the expectations of the industry. Letting the country witness what I bring is my best method for spreading that effort. Anyplace I go I look to see if there is a new promotion I can help, even for just one event. Some of the organizations I have worked with include RFA, Titan, XFC, Invicta, Victory, and dozens of others.

5). I’m going to put you on the spot here, but here goes. Is it fair to say that not all MMA promotions are equal in how they operate, treat their staff, remuneration and loyalty? And I’m referring to fighters, refs, cut men etc.

I appreciate you introducing the topic as such honesty often is not taken well by others even though those facts are not intended as a personal attack. All promotions are very much not equal. There are good people out there, and not so good people. Men of integrity, and well, other sorts. The sport as a whole often works without empirical knowledge of how to evaluate what they are doing and who does it better and why. Fighters get evaluated the best though they are not treated the same across the board. Staff is hit and miss, I know my current organizations are top notch and work seamlessly together. People can not typically define the role and expectations of a cutman so they are usually lacking necessary skills. If they simply dress and act in a familiar way people assume they are “one of the best out there.” It is a true joy to use my attention to detail to help improve those interested, whether it be feedback for an announcer, ref, cutman, or staff.

6). Do you agree or disagree with UFC color commentator Joe Rogan’s views regarding the need to do away with open thumb gloves in MMA?

I tend to side with Dana in this way as eye gouging isn’t a result of the length of the single fingers but rather an abrupt contact with a non-flat object. Eyes are sensitive and the mesh itself would be irritating to the eye surface and likely scratch as well, not to mention the still blunt fingertips that can do equal damage as before. Now as for protecting thumbs, my stance is that fighters should do more for themselves to support them but that is another topic that I educate about on an individual basis before fights.

He’s emphatic that unless this is addressed, eye pokes and gouging’s will continue. He suggests using a mesh type glove that covers the ends of all fingers with a little give in between for adjusting, but that are not individually separated. He’s even gone further and said that gloveless MMA could be an option. He justifies it by saying it would force fighters to punch with a straight wrists, and use their first two knuckles to strike. He’s also not a proponent of wrist taping. What are your views? Dana white seems to think that there is no way to prevent eye pokes. He goes on to say that even boxers with their big, padded pillow- like gloves, routinely nail each other’s eyes with pokes that cause injury.

7). Where do you see the future of MMA? It seems to be growing at an astonishing rate, perhaps more than any other sport. With the recent legalization of the sport in NYC, the sky is the limit it seems.

MMA is growing and I see it growing more in line with other major sports in terms of some of the stances I mentioned previously. Having medical professionals such as athletic trainers in a formal role to protect and prepare the fighters as well as to assist with injury recovery post fight. Enhancing the education of those involved to improve training methods, injury prevention, and other helpful areas.

By: Patrick Courtois


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