More than two years after he was unceremoniously released from the UFC, Todd Duffee has signed a new deal with the promotion and will fight Phil De Fries at UFC 155 next month in Las Vegas.
The Las Vegas Sun first reported the news Wednesday, and it was later confirmed by the UFC.
The 26-year-old Duffee was released in Sept. 2010, almost four months after he was knocked out by Mike Russow at UFC 114. Duffee knocked out Tim Hague in just seven seconds in his Octagon debut at UFC 102 in Aug. 2009.
UFC president Dana White told MMAFighting.com at UFC 119 that the UFC released the heavyweight because of his bad attitude.
"The biggest problem that I have with Todd Duffee is his attitude," White said. "You guys don't see, you don't know. I deal with tons of guys. We have hundreds of guys under contract. I've had thousands of guys under contract over the last ten years, and Todd Duffee, to me, doesn't seem like he wants to be in the UFC. He doesn't like being in the UFC. Let him go fight in the smaller organizations and work his way back up, if he even wants to work his way back up to the UFC.
"He's got a horrible attitude. He can still go back and train and fight in these smaller leagues and work on his skills and attitude."
Apparently, Duffee has done just that.
Since his release, Duffee went 1-1 outside of the UFC. Alistair Overeem knocked him out in 19 seconds at Dynamite!! 2010, and he needed just 34 seconds to TKO Neil Grove at Super Fight League 2 in April.
A slot opened up for the 26-year-old after Matt Mitrione, who was originally scheduled to fight De Fries at UFC 155, agreed to replace Shane Carwin against Roy Nelson at The Ultimate Fighter 16 Finale next month. De Fries (9-1, 1 NC) is 2-1 inside the Octagon, most recently submitted Oli Thompson at UFC on FOX 4.
UFC 155, headlined by Junior dos Santos vs. Cain Velasquez 2, will take place Dec. 29 in Las Vegas.