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Cover image for How to become an MMA cut man like Timo Plewa

How to become an MMA cut man like Timo Plewa

leewynne profile image Lee James Wynne Updated on ・7 min read

Many thanks to Timo here for taking time out of his busy life to speak to our growing MMA community, we always want to ensure that we deliver content that inspires our community, teaches, shares ideas and in turn helps everyone grow. These are core values at thisMMAlife.

lets do it

Immediately after engaging with Timo we could tell he has more than an intense love for MMA and combat sports, it goes way beyond that, he has a fighters wellbeing deep at the center of his heart, his approach to another persons well being is also evident in what he did during his education as a nurse.

If you want to learn more about Timo, have a look at his Instagram, it's really interesting 👇🏼

On to the interview!

[thisMMAlife]
Tell us a bit about yourself Timo.

[Timo]
I am 28 years old and live together with my two dogs (Maja and Tara) and my wife in Duisburg, Germany. After some years on the soccer field, I have now decided to dedicate my life to my love of martial arts.

Timo and his dogs

Martial arts has played a big role in my life, not only on the mat at the gym I train at Backyard MMA Duisburg, but also as a cutman which takes up a lot of time! At this point, I think it important that I thank my wonderful wife for her ever-loving support and understanding, she is amazing!

[thisMMAlife]
What is your day job?

[Timo]
I am qualified and have a background in nursing but now I work as a prison correctional officer.

[thisMMAlife]
How did you get into the MMA scene?

[Timo]
It is a common story with martial arts and how it increases confidence in unpredictable scenarios, a long time ago, totally unjustified, I was attacked by a stranger in a public place. So I turned to martial arts to learn self defense as I wanted to be better prepared for any future attacks.

[thisMMAlife]
Do you train MMA? If so what disciplines and why?

[Timo]
After the attack, in 2015 I started with Krav Maga and then transitioned to MMA in 2017.

I have been training mixed martial arts for 3 years. Our gym Backyard MMA Duisburg offers different disciplines every day. Whether Grappling, BJJ, kickboxing or for example Bolt Wrestling by Kenny Johnson from Black House MMA, I enjoy every training session. Many thanks to our brilliant coach Sascha Roth!

[thisMMAlife]
How long have you been a cutman?

[Timo]
Wow, time flies when you enjoy what you do so much, I can't believe that I have been working as a cutman for 3 years now!

time flies

[thisMMAlife]
At what point did you decide that you wanted to get into being a cutman?

[Timo]
In 2017 our coach Sascha Roth asked if anyone was interested in a cutman seminar. He wanted to offer our fighters the best possible support. As I have a medical expertise due to my education as a nurse, I decided to registered for the seminar.

So I guess you could say that when the opportunity came knocking, I took it, I'd say to anyone reading this to do this same, just go for it! Why not you? If you don't, someone else will.

do it

[thisMMAlife]
What did you do first to become a cutman?

[Timo]
For the Cutman seminar I flew to Salzburg, Austria. The two-day seminar was presented by Cutman Roland Rolandus Aicher. One of the best in Europe. Topics such as anatomy, hand wrapping, equipment, common injuries, treatment of swelling and cuts were taught.

After that I came back to Germany and tried to develop myself as a cutman.

I wrapped the hands of my friends, gym members and family every day. I wanted to give the fighters the best protection. I wanted to achieve a perfect working method. So I met up with my friend Cutman Liberty Schmidt. He showed me his way of wrapping hands and gave me some good tips for the practice.

I wanted to learn from the best cutmen.

It's great to exchange your knowledge with other people in the business.

That is also the reason why I met Juan Ramirez in 2019 during my USA road trip in San Diego at the House of Boxing. He is a cutman at Bellator MMA and owner of Cutman 4 Hire Supplies.

A fantastic guy with so much experience.

[thisMMAlife]
What certifications or training did you need to complete to become an MMA cutman?

[Timo]
Every association has different requirements. You should have attended at least one cutman seminar. It is a very responsible job. Together with the doctors and the rescue service you are responsible for the health of the MMA fighters!

[thisMMAlife]
How did you get your first opportunity to actually be an MMA cutman for real?

[Timo]
Michael Schmidt gave me the opportunity to accompany him. So I could get a first insight into the practice. He gave me a great support. It was very helpful for the beginning and I could see the differences between theory and practice which is really important.

So after that I was ready to work independently. But months passed until I got my first job. In the beginning it is very important to show initiative and persistence.

I decided contacted the gym of my brother to get my first practical experience. At that time we did not have any active fighters in our gym.

It was March 10th, 2018. I had my first job at Big Game 2!!

[thisMMAlife]
How many bouts have you been a cutman for?

[Timo]
I generally don't keep count but, it's definitely over 100 fights already, lots of experience.

[thisMMAlife]
Do you get paid?

[Timo]
At the beginning of my career I had to invest a lot of money myself. Since then, yes I earn money with it. But that is not my main focus, I love sitting at cage side or at the boxing ring and taking care of the fighters. It is an important role, one that I take very seriously, I want the fighters that I work with to know that I am 110% committed to doing the best job I can when they are cut.

[thisMMAlife]
If any community members wanted to be a cutman today, what advice would you give them to get started?

[Timo]
MMA needs so many great people that are in it for the love of the sport and most of all, the care of our athletes. MMA athletes put it all on the line, it is a sport like no other and they deserve the highest level of respect and care when they are competing.

Obviously, if you already have medical experience it is an advantage. But we also have many people in our profession from all walks of life. If you are professional, motivated, responsible and enjoy medical care, then take your chance and take part in a seminar!

[thisMMAlife]
Which promotions do you work in the most?

[Timo]
In Germany I mainly work in the German MMA Championship. This is the biggest MMA event here in Germany. We also have other great events like the Elite MMA Championship. The German MMA scene is developing very well.

But I am not only active in MMA, I also work in boxing or kickboxing. In boxing I could already collect great experiences and successes with the team Nick Klappert. He won the IBO Continental super welterweight title last year.

[thisMMAlife]
Are there any cutwomen?

[Timo]
Of course! We're always happy when we can inspire women to get involved with this profession. We have very good cutwomen all over the world who must receive exactly the same recognition as everyone else. We need more of women for sure like cutwomen in the World Cutman Association such as Pia Mazelanik from Germany or Vanessa Diniz from Brazil.

[thisMMAlife]
Tell us about the World Cutman Association and what is your role there?

[Timo]
Our association was founded on January 6th, 2019. A small group of cutmen had the goal to create an organization with a unified philosophy, with unified global standards for the care of athletes.

We are cutmen and cutwomen from all over the world. Not only professionals, but also beginners. Everyone will be supported. Over 40 cutmen and cutwomen have already joined us. I am one of the founding members.

You can read more on our website here or on our Instagram page 👇🏼

[thisMMAlife]
What is the ultimate success for a cutman?

Sure it would be nice to work at a big UFC or Bellator fight one day. However, I feel that the greatest success for me is when the fighter leaves the cage healthy. No matter if it is a professional or amateur fighter. I want to keep the fighter in the game, so they leave the bout feeling cared for and with the opportunity to continue with their career. Less than 60 seconds of adrenaline. That is my job, my life..

[thisMMAlife]
Timo, thanks so much for taking time out of your busy shedule to talk with us and our community, we really do hope someone out there reads this and goes for the role as a cutwomen/man, it sounds like an amazing experience

[Timo]
No problem, I hope it is helpful

Finally, I would like to thank everyone who has supported me to become a good cutman. My coach Sascha Roth, Backyard MMA Duisburg, Roland Aicher, Michael Schmidt, Juan Ramirez, the members of the World Cutman Association, Team Klappert, Tomi Dijakovic, Isa Topal, Dr. Mahmoud Taghavi and many others and last but not least my wonderful supportive wife, without her support I wouldn't be here. Thank you for your trust.

If anyone out there is near Duisburg and wants to train MMA, then feel free to reach out, we are welcoming, friendly group of MMA enthusiasts that love what we do and love teaching it just as much if not more.

Posted on by:

leewynne profile

Lee James Wynne

@leewynne

Mixed Martial Arts fanatic and Web Developer. I like to think I am a good all-rounder (but my ground game is non-existent). Founded this community. Driven by inclusivity.

Discussion

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thanks to Timo for a great interview!

 

Well know we know how to get into that then! Always wondered how to get into these different roles, thanks Timo.

 

Always wondered how people got into stuff like this, I bet being ringside is incredible!

 

I mean, must be great having a front row seat to all those fights right? Do most promotions work like the UFC though? Where the cutman seems to work for the promotion and not the fighters camp?

 

Timo sounds like such a nice guy 🧘🏾