In completely unexpected news, MMA Junkie is reporting that the UFC has released Todd Duffee.
A little more than one year after Duffee burst onto the UFC scene with a seven-second knockout of Tim Hague, the 24-year-old is no longer employed by the sport’s largest mixed martial arts promotion.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) learned of the UFC’s decision from multiple sources with knowledge of the move, and Duffee’s manager, Alex Davis, confirmed the report.
Davis declined to comment further on the matter or speculate as to the reason behind the UFC’s decision.
Details are pretty scarce at the moment, but Josh Gross did manage to get a short comment from Duffee’s manager, Alex Davis, on his release.
“Well, I’m not sure exactly what the problem or problems were. I tryed [sic] hard to avoid, but Dana wasn’t listening. It unfortunate, but Todd’s an ass.”
I don’t want to speculate on what went on behind the scenes that led to Duffee’s dismissal, but if his own manager is calling him an “ass” in this situation, I’m guessing Dana White and the UFC think he’s an “ass” too which is exactly what you want to avoid if you’re an up-and-comer in the UFC with little to no leverage.
I’ll update this post if any further details come in.
Image via Sherdog
Update: Josh Gross says the quote he received from Duffee’s manager got cut off in the text message and half of it was missing when he tweeted. It just so happens where it got cut off changes the quote entirely. Apparently, Davis called Duffee an “asset,” not an “ass.”
“It’s unfortunate, but Todd’s an ASSET and he will keep on fighting. He is a young kid and gets a lot of attention.”
Exact reasons for Duffee’s departure are still unknown, but there is some interest from Strikeforce according to Gross.
Update 2: MMA Junkie spoke to Todd Duffee about his sudden release. If he knows why he was cut, he isn’t sharing.
“I’ve had every emotion there is to have. Right now, I’m just kind of numb… I don’t know what happened. I first heard from my manager, Alex Davis, about a week ago that I might get cut. I have some friends that fight for other organizations, and they actually told me they had heard a rumor that I was about to be released, too… Emotionally, I’m hurt. I’m hurt more than anything because I don’t know why. As a man, you just want to hear why so you can understand… I’ve lost a lot of things this year. I went from losing the biggest fight of my life to losing my dad two weeks later to losing my best friend a week after that. I lost a coach, and now I’ve lost my job. At this point, it isn’t the worst thing that could ever happen to me. There are people who would kill to be in my situation, and I just have to stay positive and keep moving forward – tuck your chin and keep moving forward… I think the best is yet to come. I think this is a part of it, and we’ll just kind of see what happens. In five or six years we may just look back and laughing about this. That’s my goal… I know the UFC is running a business, and they’re going to do what’s best for them at the end of the day. I’m not going to harbor any hard feelings or anything like that. I’m just going to roll with punches. It’s been a year of a lot of tough losses, but I think you grow from that. It’s been a good run of bad luck. I’m just trying to stay positive and learn from these life experiences.”
Fighters Only noted some of the rumors and speculation floating around.
Sources around the young heavyweight are being very tight-lipped about what earned him his marching orders but many believe his recent comments about being broke and needing to find a second job have not gone down well with the UFC.
Duffee also took a part in a movie – the sequel to Never Back Down – which begins filming this month and is scheduled to wrap in November. Duffee plays a fighter in the film, but had pulled out of an October fight with John Madsen at UFC 121 citing a lingering knee injury.
With Duffee’s manager referencing Dana White in his text message, that points to there being at least one very specific reason for Duffee’s removal from the roster. Gross’ opinion is that it “sounds like accumulation of things led UFC to release Todd Duffee. Overall attitude probably being at the top.”