In terms of having a memorable debut, Todd Duffee set the bar pretty ridiculously high in 2009, when he KO’d Tim Hague in just seven seconds. After getting stopped by Mike Russow at UFC 114 a few months later, however, Russow was promptly shown the door by ZUFFA and didn’t return to the Octagon until last December. Now that Duffee’s back in the UFC fold, and on track courtesy a stoppage win over Philip De Fries, he’s shared his thoughts on what fighting outside the UFC is like. How did Duffee like it? Not so much.
In a recent interview with Above and Beyond MMA.com Duffee stated:
“It was a nightmare every day. It was sickening. It was very depressing…I don’t know how else to put it. You see guys that you’re better than fighting in the UFC, you see guys you’re friends and training partners are saying you’re better than fighting in the UFC. I felt really stupid. I genuinely just felt like an idiot. Everybody was telling me I had all this talent but I was never going to be back in the UFC, it’s over. Obviously, I couldn’t let it go. I still believed I had a shot.”
Clearly Duffee has proven a few people wrong on that front. The 27 year-old fighter also talked about the difficulties he had finding fights outside the ZUFFA organization, and that in terms of financial compensation, he believes only some fighters with Bellator and ONE FC are making a comparable living to UFC athletes. Duffee also said that having a “good manager” is key.
Duffee only fought twice after he was released by the UFC. At the 2010 K-1 Dynamite card he was quickly KO’d by Alistair Overeem, and at a Super Fight League card last April he put away Neil Grove with strikes.
It will be interesting to see who the UFC gives Duffee next, considering his recent win and abilities.
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