A familiar face will step into the Octagon at UFC 155.

That face belongs to 26-year-old heavyweight Todd Duffee.

Prior to his time in the UFC, Duffee ran through his opponents, going 5-0 with five knockouts, four of which took place in the first round. That run prompted an invite to the UFC. In his promotional debut, he landed a seven-second knockout, which was acknowledged for the fastest knockout in UFC history for several years. However, the magic wore off when his fists were unable to put away Mike Russow, who managed a huge knockout of his own after being rocked for two-and-a-half rounds by Duffee.

Duffee was planning on then taking his third promotional fight until a knee injury sidelined him. But then, surprisingly, he was released by the company. The rumor mill spun wildly afterwards as to why, but one way or another, he moved on.

In his time after the UFC, Duffee fought twice—a loss against Alistair Overeem and victory over Bellator veteran Neil Grove. Placing value on both of these fights is difficult to do.

Duffee took the fight against Overeem, the Dream and Strikeforce champion, on two weeks’ notice. It wasn’t exactly shocking that he lost that fight, but on the same token it wasn’t entirely shocking that he took down Grove, who had won just one of his previous four outings heading into that fight.

With Matt Mitrione stepping up to fight Roy Nelson at The Ultimate Fighter Finale, Phil De Fries was left without an opponent at UFC 155. And in to fill that spot as De Fries’ opponent is the American Kickboxing Academy product. The question at this point with Duffee is whether or not he has what it takes to survive in the UFC?

Looking at his upcoming fight against De Fries, Duffee appears to have an advantage. He isn’t afraid to throw the leather and he also has strong wrestling capabilities. This fight draws a lot of comparisons to that of the Englishman’s fight against Stipe Miocic, where Miocic knocked De Fries out in less than a minute. Duffee could very well deliver a similar performance to that of Miocic.

But even so, what can Duffee do beyond this fight?

His career is still very young, and he’s just 26 years old. A victory in his fight versus De Fries could possibly line him up for a fight with Shane Carwin or Stefan Struve, both of whom would be tests for him at this point. With the striking that those two fighters have displayed, it is difficult to gauge how Duffee would fair. If the Overeem and Russow fights proved that he simply has no chin, then he won’t last long. But if those fights were fluke displays of how he can take a punch, Duffee may have what it takes to last in the promotion.

He might not make an impact right away, but if his chin can hold up, Todd Duffee may be able to make some noise in the UFC down the road.

Photo: Todd Duffee (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

About The Author

Brian McKenna
Staff Writer

Brian McKenna was born and raised in the suburbs of Boston, Massachusetts. A sports nut from as long as he can remember, he came to be a fan of Mixed Martial Arts from a roommate watching The Ultimate Fighter while attending Westfield State College. Brian came to writing by starting his own blog, Four Down Territory, which focuses on Boston based sports, life, and of course MMA.