The UFC 155 event scheduled for Las Vegas, Nevada on December 29th has added a Heavyweight fight between Phil De Fries and Todd Duffee to the undercard. De Fries was originally slated to face Matt Mitrione, but Mitrione has since been moved off the card to a mid December match with Roy Nelson. This will be Duffee’s second run with the UFC, as the massive Heavyweight went 1-1 in his first run before being cut due to alleged ‘attitude problems’. Well with the talent pool at Heavyweight so light, the UFC can overlook those problems two years later. Let’s look at the fight.
The return of Duffee opens up a few questions. Duffee is young, at 26 years old, he has a thunderous KO punch and he looks like an athlete. But there is a lot of baggage around Duffee as well.
Since being unceremoniously cut by the UFC more than 2 years ago, Duffee is 1-1 overall, with less than 1 minute total ring time. Last time around, at age 24, he already had an exemption to use Testosterone from the Nevada State Commission, so he is legally allowed to use Testosterone.
I look for Duffee to be favored in this fight when the line is released at the sportsbooks. De Fries is basically an average Heavyweight who has thrived on average competition in his native England. He is mainly a ground fighter who has scored a lot of submission victories, but he will likely have a lot of trouble getting Duffee to the mat. Duffee, because of his KO power, is a more dangerous opponent than Matt Mitrione for De Fries.
Rumors swelled when Duffee was cut the first time about him asking for money from the UFC for a surgery. Presumably, he is healthy and healed. He was scheduled to fight veteran Jeff Monson for the India SuperFight League earlier this year, but was cut by that company as the were re-organizing to a more local format.
Hopefully Duffee shows some improved cardio, because that is what cost him against Mike Russow. He could not take Russow out despite trying, and he lost as his energy level dropped. If De Fries has a chance, it will be to box smart and to tire out Duffee, probably by absorbing a lot of big shots. We will see what kind of stuff De Fries is made of, and we will see if Duffee does deserve to be back in the UFC after paying minimal dues to return, all on December 29th. I am going with Duffee on this one, unless the juice is just too much….