Phil De Fries is set to face the man who gave him one of his worst nights in the cage as he prepares to face Todd Duffee at KSW 79.
De Fries and Duffee first fought at UFC 155 in December 2012, with the heavy-handed American’s punch power proving decisive as he handed De Fries one of the most crushing defeats of his career with a first-round knockout at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas.
The Englishman went on to suffer another first-round stoppage in his next fight at the hands of Matt Mitrione, and he departed the UFC shortly after.
After a patchy run of form following his UFC exit, De Fries eventually signed with KSW in 2018 and has gone unbeaten ever since. He stands 8-0 inside the KSW cage, and 10-0 in his last 10 outings, and is in the best form of his career.
But now De Fries is set to face Duffee once again, with the American signing to KSW and immediately stepping into a title fight with De Fries.
Once considered a potential UFC heavyweight contender of the future, Duffee never quite established himself with a lengthy run in the Octagon, with injuries plaguing his time with the promotion. He eventually called time on his career with a career record of 9-3 (1 no contest), including a UFC run of 3-2 (1 no contest).
When fit, Duffee was a powerful presence in the UFC’s heavyweight division, and his seven-second knockout of Tim Hague at UFC 102 remains one of the fastest KOs in UFC history. He also finished Neil Grove and Anthony Hamilton in 34 and 33 seconds, respectively.
His win over De Fries was the longest victorious bout of his UFC career, with the Brit lasting two minutes, four seconds. But the Sunderland man will be looking to turn the tables on the powerful American, who is coming out of retirement to fight for the first time since a September 2019 no contest with Jeff Hughes at UFC on ESPN+ 16.
Since his retirement, Duffee has appeared in feature movies “Batman vs. Superman” and the “Never Back Down” franchise, but has also been in training ahead of a comeback.
That comeback takes place on Saturday, February 25 in Liberec, Czech Republic, where he’ll look to claim his second win over De Fries and capture the KSW heavyweight title in the process.
“”KSW is one of the best MMA promotions in the world and I am excited to come in and become KSW champion,” said Duffee.
“Phil is a good fighter, better than he was when I knocked him out, anyway. This is the right opportunity and right opponent to give me the motivation I need.”