Poland’s KSW has a massive heavyweight title fight lined up for KSW 79 next month.
On Wednesday, promotion officials announced that longtime heavyweight champion Phil De Fries (22-6, 1NC) will face former UFC talent Todd Duffee (9-3, 1NC) in the main event of the February 25, 2023 event.
Duffee announced his signing with the company on Wednesday’s edition of The MMA Hour.
“Who else are you going to call to besides an American to come save the heavyweight division for KSW?” Duffee told host Ariel Helwani after revealing the news.
Duffee fought in fits and starts during his UFC career, competing twice in 2008-09 before leaving the company. He returned in 2012, fighting four times up to 2019, in part due to being diagnosed with Parsonage–Turner syndrome, a neurological disorder that can cause severe pain in the shoulders and arms.
Following a 2019 fight that ended in a No Contest due to an accidental eye poke against Jeff Hughes, Duffee underwent surgeries on his shoulder and knee. He would later retire — but will make his comeback in what is a rematch with De Fries.
The pair first met under the UFC banner in 2012, with Duffee winning by TKO. De Fries, who fought four times for the promotion, made he exit the following year. He eventually made his way to KSW, and currently sits on a 10-fight winning streak. With seven straight title defenses, he remains one of the most decorated heavyweights outside the UFC at the moment.
KSW 79 will take place at the Home Credit Arena in Liberec, Czech Republic on February 25, 2023.