Popular UFC heavyweight Todd Duffee is known for his knockouts in the cage. It won't be so easy to defeat his latest opponent.
Duffee revealed this week that he has been diagnosed with a painful nerve condition known as Parsonage-Turner syndrome. The disorder, which comes on with little or no warning and has no known cause, affects the nerve bundles around the arms, shoulders and chest, resulting in weakness, numbness and severe pain.
“It’s one of those moments where your whole perspective on life changes and you have to start kind of looking at things differently,” Duffee said this week on the Sherdog Radio Network's "Beatdown" program.
According to Duffee, the UFC was considering him for an appearance on the UFC 168 megacard, headlined by a title fight between Anderson Silva and Chris Weidman. However, Duffee's doctors apparently ruled that out immediately, given that the average recovery time for Parsonage-Turner sufferers can take up to two years.
Duffee said on the radio interview, however, that he is aiming to return within a year, though a specific timetable remains uncertain.
“I’ve talked to all the therapists I’ve worked with and the doctors,” Duffee said, “and they’re all very confident that I can come back inside a year...Already I’ve had a very fast recovery. I’m very advanced.”
Duffee, 27, returned to the UFC last December after more than two years outside the Octagon. And he returned in style, notching a first-round TKO of Philip De Fries. The return came at the end of a strange, winding road for Duffee, who at one point seriously considered leaving the sport.
The chiseled heavyweight (8-2) is known for his heavy hands, which have earned him all eight of his pro wins, including a near-record seven-second knockout of Tim Hague in Duffee's UFC debut. After his win over De Fries, Duffee is now 2-1 under the UFC banner.