In an interview given to AboveandBeyondMMA.com, UFC heavyweight Todd Duffee dexcribed life outside of the UFC and used a few choice words to dexscribe how much worse he felt after he was released:
“It was a nightmare every day. It was sickening. It was very depressing. It was a giant … oh, I need to find new terminology to describe this. It was a giant mind-f—. I don’t know how else to put it. You see guys that you’re better than fighting in the UFC, you see guys you’re friends and training partners are saying you’re better than fighting in the UFC. I felt really stupid. I genuinely just felt like an idiot. Everybody was telling me I had all this talent but I was never going to be back in the UFC, it’s over. Obviously, I couldn’t let it go. I still believed I had a shot. I still knew how good I am. I’m extensively training with seven of the top 10 guys right now. I have a pretty good idea of where I stand. And I don’t think I’d continue to be willing to make the sacrifices if I didn’t believe I have what it takes to be one of the best. If not the best. It was terrible, dude. It hurt my career. You want to talk about a bad attitude? I definitely developed a bad attitude during that time period. For about nine months, a year, I was hard to be around. I felt bad for the guys at Grudge. I wasn’t positive. I was just grinding through my workouts. There was one point where I would drive to AKA, check my bank account and I would just walk in the gym with tears in my eyes. DC [Daniel Cormier] would come up to me, “Are you alright, dude?” This was because I felt like such an idiot. I should’ve been out getting my college education, going to work. All my friends are finishing up their doctorates — they’re doing all this great stuff that I should be doing. Instead, I’m out here being dumb. Has it paid off now? Yes. I could’ve approached it a lot differently and maybe I’d still be in the same spot. You don’t know. I could’ve gotten here sooner, for all we know. I guess the best way to describe it was that I felt really stupid.”
Duffee was released from the UFC after his first professional loss at UFC 114 to Mike Russow after an unforgettable comeback by way of knockout in the third. At the time, UFC president Dana White cited problems with Duffee’s attitude as the cause for the release.
Outside the UFC, Duffee fought fellow UFC heavyweight Alistair Overeem who gave Duffee his second career loss in just 19-seconds. Duffee returned to the UFC at UFC 155 as a replacement for Matt Mitrione and faced Phil De Fries. Duffee won the fight via TKO in the first.
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