Cutman David Maldonado prepping MMA fighter Luke Sanders
Cutman David Maldonado prepping MMA fighter Luke Sanders — Photo by Jack Bratcher

My life in MMA is one that has me near some of the excitement and talk of the sport, both inside the cage and out. Significant injuries, controversial fighters, questionable decisions, I seem to be magnetized to such sources of conversation.

You won’t hear me complain, but I’m definitely in the wrong position if I’m trying to be out of the focus of attention and scrutiny. Thankfully in many of those cases I’ve been a mere bystander versus an actual contributor to such topics.

With some of what I see in different aspects of MMA, my standards and expectations come into direct conflict with those whose path I cross. That is within my specific industry as a cutman and beyond.

You likely won’t see me working with at least one particular promotion due to the fact that substandard selections are made for the positions filled. Those are based not on skill but rather friendship and ego protection.

We likely face such situations in our day jobs or other aspects of life. But what is redeeming is to see those that recognize my same truths and offer support to stay the course and stand for something higher.

Whether a fighter, ref, media personnel, or cutman, we can be lead by an inner voice that triggers the instinct to press on day after day knowing there is a bright future ahead. A future that will be positively affected by the skills you bring, the fruitful residue that leaves those near you with a new level of respect.

No matter what the circumstances surrounding us, we can only conquer today and that comes with being consistent in our actions. What matters is treating others with respect, not wavering in our beliefs and expectations, not taking the shortcut if it compromises the bigger picture.

Each of you knows how these ideas relate to you individually. For one friend it meant writing a proposal to his state commission trying to establish a formal standard for hiring and critiquing people in his industry. For another it may simply mean spilling more drops of sweat than his future opponents. For all of us it hopefully means maintaining integrity with our actions towards others.

It’s a great sport and I’m recently blessed to showcase my skills with yet another top level organization. With that comes practicing all of the above once again to leave them knowing the quality of person they can expect to work with in the future.

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.

One thought on “Between Rounds: Drama and Consistency”
  1. David is one of the most professional as well as passionate men in the game. I look up to him and the way he handles himself. Great job Complete Cutman!

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