Todd Duffee signs with KSW, challenges heavyweight champ Phil De Fries on Feb. 25

Former UFC heavyweight Todd Duffee is coming out of retirement.

Duffee, 37, revealed Wednesday on The MMA Hour that he has signed with KSW and is set to challenge for the promotion’s heavyweight title against Phil De Fries on Feb. 25 at KSW 79.

“Who else are you going to call besides an American to come save the heavyweight division for KSW?” Duffee joked on The MMA Hour.

Duffee has not competed since Sept. 2019 no-contest due to an accidental eye poke against Jeff Hughes at UFC Fight Night: Cowboy vs. Gaethje. Once considered a top heavyweight prospect, Duffee compiled a 3-2 (1 NC) UFC record over two different stints with the organization from 2009-10 and 2012-19, but dealt with several multi-year layoffs during his career due to injuries and a variety of outside-of-the-cage circumstances.

Duffee’s UFC debut, a memorable seven-second romp over Tim Hague in 2009, still stands as the third-fastest knockout in UFC heavyweight history.

His return at KSW 79 will be his second dance date with De Fries. The two previously met in late 2012 at UFC 155, with Duffy scoring a first-round stoppage that earned Knockout of the Night honors.

De Fries’ career has turned around in a big way since. The 36-year-old rides a 10-fight win streak into his eighth defense of the KSW heavyweight title at KSW 79 — a run that includes stoppage wins over UFC veterans Luis Henrique and Darko Stosic, as well as two victories over former KSW light heavyweight champion Tomasz Narkun.

KSW 79 takes place at the Home Credit Arena in Liberec, Czech Republic.

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