Between Rounds: Help!

MMA cutman David Maldonado
MMA cutman David Maldonado greasing a fighter

I love what I do helping fighters, helping coaches, helping promotions, helping the sport. I welcome each and every chance to demonstrate what I do or to explain how I bring a new level of skill to the industry.

Quickly I tell people that I do not coach, will not try to advise a fighter, that’s not what I do. I won’t try to extend myself and give such advice. I know my role, I know my limitations. It’s very common that coaches are often forced to take on more skills than they are qualified. Someone has to do it in a pinch. The topic of this segment is to tell those out there that….it’s ok to not know, it’s ok to hand off a task to someone who can do it better. And to that point, it’s smart to consider prevention and the decisions taken by those experts in other areas.

A referee may tell you to trim your nails or cut a string on your hand taping or shorts. There is a reason and all of us simply want the best, safest outcome for all fighters. Recently I had another of the rare instances where corners aren’t used to a cutman intervening, so therefore a fighter also isn’t used to the extra help. But when it comes, it’s likely for a purpose. If your camp isn’t used to it, get them used to it! Practice situational moments where a cut exists, a bloody nose needs management. Learn to get used to something up your nose, pressed onto your face, practice breathing through your mouth so you can still recover during that crucial time when medical intervention is given. A fighter doesn’t need the stress of new situations, dealing with foreign moments, they need to be focused and take things in stride. Recently a fighter pushed away my help because he wasn’t used to it and didn’t realize the larger oncoming problems that I was there to prevent. Four more rounds followed and the promotion and his team would have been crushed if more damage occurred and the fight was stopped due to his injury.

Fighters prepare for their opponent, be ready to prepare for the inevitable opponent of fight damage and those who will help manage it.

In his column “Between Rounds” MMA cutman David Maldonado shares with readers his experiences and thoughts from inside the world of MMA. Readers are encouraged to respond, interact and ask questions about the life and work of the MMA cutman. “Between Rounds” is part of‘s ongoing series of exclusive content written by individuals involved in the mixed martial arts industry.

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