The life and role of a cutman is
often overlooked and shrouded behind the more noteworthy attention
deserved by fighters, title belts, celebrities, and media. They
are seen briefly but their complete list of activities is largely
unknown. Due to the extreme shortage of qualified cutmen worthy
of claiming such a title, most promotions in the U.S. and beyond
do not use someone in that role. Corners in those situations are
left doing their best to salvage a fight and a show that invests
a great deal of time, energy, and money into an evening of entertainment
for excited fans.
As a formally trained cutman in MMA, I combine my expertise as
an athletic trainer and board certified sports physical therapist
to bring a level of support to shows and fighters not yet seen
by the sport. Grateful to be active throughout the country, questions
often come wondering about my schedule and responsibilities. The
job varies based on the size of show, the flexibility of the governing
commission, and the location of the event. Follow along as I take
you through a typical schedule of activities that I follow to
ensure a quality delivery of my skills to a high level MMA show:
Showtime: 7pm first bell, live television main card beginning
26 hours out: Having arrived in town to get settled, I formally
greet the commission and inspectors at the weigh ins. Saying hello
to fighters and confirming duties for the next day, the goal is
to make the next night a comfortable time without any surprises.
It's never that smooth but one can at least try...
9am: Happy to have no alarm clock set, I consider the higher priority
amongst breakfast, exercise, and mentally recharging to get myself
right for an important day.
Noon: Double check my materials and clothing needed to be ready
to leave in a few hours for the venue.
1pm: Clean up and organize my to do list for the evening, having
already calculated the volume of fighters needing to be taped
for battle yet expected a few stragglers to pop up last minute.
2pm: Find food, including a late night snack if needed. This will
be the last chance I have to eat for the next 7-8 hours.
3pm: Gather up my outfit, touching up anything necessary to look
professional and represent properly.
4pm: After a brief nap or time of relaxation, head down to an
awaiting shuttle or personal car to head to the venue.
4:30pm: Get familiar with the venue, looking for needed resources
and personnel who can help me succeed tonight including security
members or facility staff. If possible, claim a spot cageside
to call home for the evening once the lights go bright.
5pm: Confirm my list of fighters needing my assistance, set up
my station cageside. Introductions with referee’s and other cage
personnel including ringside physician.
5:30pm: Fighter's meeting; clarify my role to the fighters and
corners. I need to be a familiar face to them so it's not confusing
when it's crunch time.
5:45pm: Change clothes, tape needed fighters, mentally prepare
6:50pm: Make my way cageside and get ready to begin. Confirm needs
of camera and production people. Finalize expectations with referee’s,
commission, and physician.
7pm: Lights up, fists up!
8:30pm: Break in the action from the undercard, but no break for
me. Immediately I go backstage to get the final main card fighters
ready that scheduled with me.
9pm: Main card begins, live TV starts and it's time for everyone
to prove themselves!
11:30pm: A great night ends; I clean up the mess, tend to injuries
needing my attention, and say my goodbyes to new friends made.
Retreat to a much awaited cozy room and late night food to enjoy
on my lap. In some cases prepare for an early departure, but in
every case, reminisce on an evening that I'm appreciative to be
a part of.
My goal is always to improve the sport and raise the level of
expectations of all involved. I look forward to bringing injury
prevention and treatment insights as well as discussing behind
the scenes observations and opinions from an expert viewpoint.