It has been a long road for Todd Duffee, but he seems to finally be at the end of it.
The UFC veteran hasn’t competed in nearly two years after being diagnosed with a rare nerve disorder. Duffee now has it under control and has been medically cleared to return to the Octagon, UFC Tonight’s Ariel Helwani reports. He’s hoping to fight Anthony Hamilton in his first bout back since knocking out Phil De Fries in December 2012.
Duffee (8-2) was diagnosed with Parsonage-Turner syndrome last year. It’s a neurological issue that causes pain, weakness and/or numbness in the shoulders and arms. Initially, Duffee was unable to open his right hand and experienced widespread, excruciating pain.
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Doctors had no idea why he got it and it took Duffee six weeks just to regain the ability to do every day things. There is no real cure for Parsonage-Turner, so Duffee just really had to wait it out. Things got better and he returned to sparring at American Top Team in Florida in the spring.
Duffee is still just 28 years old, a relative baby in the heavyweight division. He came onto the UFC scene as a top prospect, knocking out Tim Hague in just seven seconds in his debut with the organization in 2009. The Indiana native remains an intriguing name to watch, because of his natural athleticism, power and standup technique.
After blitzing Hague, Duffee was knocked out in stunning fashion by journeyman Mike Russow after dominating for more than two rounds. Duffee was mysteriously cut soon after and painted by UFC president Dana White as a malcontent.
Duffee was knocked out by Alistair Overeem at Dynamite 2010 and beat Neil Grove before returning to the UFC with the knockout over De Fries. Now it’s possible he could come back before the end of the year.