UFC heavyweight fighter Todd Duffee burst on the MMA scene at UFC 102, destroying Tim Hague in 7 seconds for his first UFC win. Duffee immediately stated that he wanted to face the best fighters in the post fight interview, and stated that he wanted to be 'fast tracked' to the top. Duffee is a physical specimen, standing at 6'3" and around 250lbs so he's big enough to compete with the behemoth's of the UFC HW division. However, what we want to do here is look at some factors in regards to fast tracking someone like Todd Duffee. So let's get to it:
-Duffee is young in his MMA career at 23 years of age
-Duffee has been fighting for 2 years and is (5-0) while logging a total of 6 minutes and 11 seconds in those five fights
-Duffee trains with the reputable American Top Team camp
-It's clear that Duffee has physical tools and some athletic ability.
I don't know if Duffee meant he wanted to fight the likes of Cain Velasquez and Shane Carwin, or the likes of Heath Herring and Justin McCully in regards to being fast tracked. Preferably, you'd want a young fighter like Duffee to gradually work his way up. I mean the kid barely has 6 minutes of fight time under his belt and he's still really young. So those two factors support the gradual build up of him in my opinion. Jon Jones and Cain Velasquez and even current UFC LHW champion Lyoto Machida are prime examples of gradually building a fighter up so to speak against tougher competition each go round. Todd Duffee may in fact be the next big thing, but there's no sense in wasting the momentum he's built with a 7 second KO in his first UFC fight. I mean if he were to go out and lose his next fight against someone like Cheick Kongo, then all of that momentum he had would be lost. On top of that you would have to wonder how that would affect him mentally? Would he be able to bounce back from a loss like that?
There are some fighters that absolutely must be fast tracked and Brock Lesnar was one of them. If you factor in his popularity, his age, and all the wear and tear of WWE/amateur wrestling it was a no brainer. However, Duffee has time on his side and a great training camp to improve at a very quick rate. If he's patient, that could lead to big things for him. Patience young grasshopper, patience. It looks like Duffee will be making his second appearance in the octagon at UFC 107. Who would you like to see Duffee face next?