Is Todd Duffee the Real Deal?

Brandon HinchmanCorrespondent IMay 18, 2010

After an eight-month layoff, undefeated UFC heavyweight Todd Duffee will once again enter the Octagon.

By defeating Tim Hague in seven seconds, Duffee is recognized as having the fastest knockout record in the UFC. Duffee has a record of 6-0-0, and only one of Duffee's competitors has made it to the second round, only to be subsequently TKO'd a minute in.

However, because Duffee attained this feat in his UFC debut, there is a lot of talk surrounding whether or not the KO was a fluke. But if Duffee is the real deal, he could easily be a contender for the heavyweight belt in a year's time. He is undefeated, but oftentimes brutes are only brutes until they hit the UFC.

Shane Carwin is a comparable brute that has proved himself time and again, his most notable victories being over Gabriel Gonzaga and Frank Mir. Whereas Carwin often used his wrestling more at the beginning of his MMA career, Duffee has been a striker and can deliver a big beatdown.

A lot of people mistakenly think that the sudden KO of Hague in Duffee's UFC debut means little and possibly something bad. However, there should be nothing but credit given to Duffee.

Still, though, critics are right in saying that it's too early to determine whether or not Duffee deserves to be considered one of the top five heavyweights in the UFC.

At UFC 114, he will face Mike Russow, who is a nearly equally successful heavyweight. However, Russow specializes in submissions, so Duffee will likely be tested in the clinch.

If Duffee wins, where will he stand on the heavyweight ladder? With Roy Nelson facing Junior Dos Santos, perhaps Dana White and Joe Silva are becoming more experimental in their heavyweight selections.

At least on paper, Duffee appears to be at least as capable as Carwin, and we all remember what happened to Mir.

There's no doubt that Duffee is a great addition to the ranks of the UFC, and if he wins his upcoming match he will hopefully soon get a shot at Cheick Kongo or Gabriel Gonzaga, although a loss at the hands of Duffee would really put both of these fighters at risk of being kicked out of the UFC.

Another knockout victory on his résumé would certainly put Duffee higher in the ranks of the UFC. If he does decisively beat Russow, let's hope he gets back in the Octagon a lot sooner than eight months from now.

Who knows, could we one day see an undefeated Carwin fight an undefeated Duffee? One thing is for sure: With Duffee in the mix, the heavyweight division is currently the most interesting one in the UFC.

Without a doubt, Duffee shows a lot of promise, but for now, that's all he shows.