Todd Duffee and the Dilemma of Bringing Prospects Along Slowly

Photo by Tracy Lee.

Michael David Smith talks to Todd Duffee who'll be fighting Mike Russow at UFC 114. MDS has some very interesting thoughts about the career progression of Duffee who's only 24:

Russow could be the first opponent to really test Duffee on the ground, and that makes this an interesting fight. But I firmly expect Duffee to win the fight, and win it in a way that has fans clamoring to see him again, see him again soon, and see him against even tougher opposition.

And therein lies the UFC's challenge in promoting Duffee: Promoters like to bring along talented prospects at the right pace, and not rush them into fights they're not ready for. That's why it's good for the UFC that Duffee is saying he thinks he's got a long way to go. It's a lot easier to have patience in bringing a prospect along if the prospect himself is willing to be patient.

But when a guy looks as impressive as Duffee does, fans want to see how he'll fare against the highest-quality opposition. I know I do, and I have a feeling we're all going to see Duffee in a lot of big fights against a lot of high-quality heavyweights, for several years to come.

Fans have been very impatient at the slow development track the UFC has given another hot young prospect, Jon Jones. While I've been impressed with Duffee thus far, I'm not quite ready to annoint him as a contender just yet.

I do admire Duffee's attitude. Any fighter his age who's able to say that he's among the "most overrated overhyped" fighters in the UFC has his head on straight. I'm also intrigued by his decision to leave American Top Team for Xtreme Couture. 

Time will tell whether or not Todd Duffee is the next Junior Dos Santos or whether he's the next Sokoudjou.

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