Todd Duffee hasn’t fought since a loss to former champion Frank Mir back in 2015. He sat out initially due to contract issues with the UFC, and was also sidelined due to other health issues and injuries. Now that he’s about to return to the UFC this weekend, the now 33-year-old heavyweight seems fed up about how reporters are talking about his layoffs.
He called out the MMA media, and pointed out a lot of truths in this business, with many outlets refusing to talk enough about fighter pay. To Duffee, instead of asking fighters to explain their issues, the media should also speak about these things and use their own platforms properly.
“I sat out for two years for a contract. It’s been well documented. You can’t fight on 10 (thousand to show) and 10 (thousand to win) and make a living,” Duffee told MMA Junkie. “I’m tired of talking about it. You know the truth. I’m tired of you guys trying to make me fall on the sword when you guys need to step up your game.
“You guys are making me come out and talk about this when I shouldn’t have to. You guys should be able to,” he said. “Joe Rogan’s on his podcast making fun of it... I’m tired of every interview – you know exactly why I sat out for two years. It’s not a secret. What are we doing this for? We’re not doing this for any other reason — Yes, our egos. Yes, pride fighting was a thing. But now, this is about money. It’s always been about money. Why are we pretending?
“Of course, I want to win. Of course, I want to fight, I love fighting. This is a great way to make a living. It’s exciting, it’s fun, it gives you opportunities you can only dream of. You’re living a life on volume 10 when everyone else is on volume six.”
Now that he’s returning under new management, Duffee states that he’s gotten a better deal and has a good working relationship with matchmaker Mick Maynard. He clashed with the old UFC brass, but now notes that he’s definitely happier with his current situation.
Duffee states that at his core, he loves competing and it’s why he does it. At the same time though, this is still prize fighting. With the amount of sacrifice it takes to compete at the highest level, he believes that fighters in general all deserve a fair slice of the pie.
“I’m tired of talking about it. I’m tired of being the bad guy. You guys, as the media, need to go out and speak the truth. The average guy fights how many times, you think? Almost two. Not even two,” he said. “Alright. What’s to discuss? If you’re fighting for 10 and 10, and you’re fighting 1.9 times, you’re making how much money? How are you getting by?
“This is the toughest sport in the world. Race car driving, mountain biking, none of those, nothing touches this sport. It’s more than a full time job, it’s a 24/7 job.
“I don’t want to get myself in trouble here. It’s very evident, they have a business model. It’s been well documented. It doesn’t match up with the business model there is in other major sports.”
Duffee continued to criticize the MMA media for not doing their part. As he pointed out, far too many outlets don’t want to lose access and their UFC credentials, so they tip toe around the sport’s real issues.
“Cut the BS guys, do your job. It’s the whole media blanket. Stop the crap. You guys are still on the same sugarcoating, pretending,” he told MMA Junkie. “You guys are constantly watching your words, worried about losing your credentials. Do your job.
“If you’re taking this personal, it’s probably you,” he said with a laugh.
“...Gaethje would tell you the truth about these stuff too. He’s done a good job, (but) it’s you guys,” he said of the media. “I’m tired of answering these silly questions, these softball, smirk type of questions. You know the answer. You can help us fix a lot of this, but you’re like ‘oh but I’ve got to keep my credentials, and I’m making more money than you.’ That’s crazy. That’s f—king insane.”
For his part, Duffee states he just has to be more active and win more fights to make the situation better for himself. He also admits he wouldn’t mind getting the same treatment as Greg Hardy though.
“At the end of the day, my solution is I have to win fights. I have to compete,” he said. “So that’s my job. I have to prove my worth. I thought I had done a good job by being one of the most exciting heavyweights, and Mick (Maynard) agreed.
“I just have to win. Hopefully I can go out there and get some of those Greg Hardy fights. I can get that six figure paycheck, and hopefully they can sign guys that are sub par for me to fight too.
“That shit burns my ass,” he said of Hardy. “I want to take his paycheck. He’s getting six figures to fight guys that have been flunked out of the UFC on 0-3 records. Why is nobody talking about that? Why aren’t you guys telling the truth?
“I think he flat out deserves 100 and 100. That’s great. He does. But everyone does.”
Duffee returns this weekend after a four year layoff. He fights Jeff Hughes as part of the UFC: Gaethje vs Cerrone main card.