By Danielle DeVor
While this might seem obvious to some, the cutman or woman is the fighter’s most important ally in the middle of a fight. I would counter that they are even more important than the coach. Why? Because the cut person has the amazing ability to save a fight.
How? What gives the Cut Person that ability over a coach? Well, while a coach can say, throw in the towel if they see a fighter in horrible trouble (which I have never personally seen in an MMA fight. That’s more of an event in boxing.), but a cutman can take a fighter who looks like they are done, work some magic with enswell or an eye iron to use exact placement of pressure and manage to stop the bleeding so that the fight can continue.
A coach cannot demand the blood to stop.
And not just anyone can stop bleeding in a fight. It actually takes knowledge of physiology, pressure points, and equipment. A cut person has to be trained. A good one anyway. Use of an enswell requires training too. You can’t just “iron” out a bruise. That will cause more severe damage to a fighter. A true cutman will be trained how to use the enswell properly.
While most athletic commissions require licensing for cutmen, there isn’t any certification or schools to become one. Cutmen are self-trained or apprentice to professionals to learn the trade. While they usually cost 10-15% of the fighter’s purse, that fee is worth it. Using a cornerman as a stand-in for a cut person can be done, but it’s in the best interest of the fighter to make sure they have at least some training or a fighter will only hurt themselves by that choice in the long run.