Jacob "Stitch" Duran has closed some of the gnarliest gashes the UFC has ever seen. Chris Jones profiled MMA's premiere cutman in The Magazine, but here at espnthemag.com, we're taking a look at what's inside Stitch's fabled ringside bucket, which holds all the tools he uses to stop the bleeding like no one else can.
1. Bottled Water
While these bottles are primarily used to keep washcloths damp for cold compresses, or wiping down bloodied fighters, this stash of water has an even more important purpose: "Actually, to drink during the fights, believe it or not," Stitch says.
2. Adrenaline Chloride 1:1000
This solution, when applied to open wounds, constricts blood vessels to help dam even the most stubborn flows. "That's my main tool," Stitch says. "For the swelling and all that I could use my thumb, but to constrict a blood vessel, the medication is probably my most helpful tool."
Just before a fighter leaves his corner for another round, Stitch may apply a generous helping of everyone's favorite petroleum jelly to a wound, often mixing it with a bit of the adrenaline chloride 1:1000. "It does two things," he says. "It keeps the blood vessels constricted, with the adrenaline, and then with the Vaseline, it helps the punches slide off of the cut."
4. Cotton Swabs
Although they look like your average Q-tip, these swabs aren't octagon-ready right out of the package. "I'll go to the store and get 100% cotton balls and I'll just kind of roll it out as much as I can," Stitch says. "Then I'll cut it in half and roll that cotton onto the swab and make it a little bit thicker. That way, I can apply more adrenaline into the cuts."
To ease swelling, Stitch employs two metal enswells, one flat, one rounded, which are kept on ice throughout the fight. Applying light, concentrated pressure allows the ice-cold metal to constrict the vessels in the affected area. "The flat ones, for the most part, I'll put at the corner of the eye at the temple area or the cheek area," Stitch says. "The round one contours to the eye socket."
6. Sandwich Bag
In lieu of the once-standard rubber ice pack, Stitch uses an average, zip-top sandwich bag filled with ice. It might seem low-tech, but he insists it's actually an upgrade. "The ice penetrates so much more [in the bag], so it's a lot colder," Stitch says. "I mix a little bit of the old school in with the new school."