De Fries ran through Duffee on Saturday at KSW 79 in Liberec, Czech Republic. The heavyweight champ dominated from start to finish until he used vicious ground-and-pound to force referee Michael Bell to stop it 3 minutes and 46 seconds into the first round.
The outcome was disappointing for Duffee (9-4), who was fighting for the first time since retiring three-and-a-half years ago. On the flip side, it was sweet revenge for De Fries (23-6), who lost by first-round TKO to Duffee more than 10 years ago at UFC 155.
“It feels good, you know,” De Fries said afterward. “I’ve got a lot of respect for Todd. He’s a great fighter, but I’m the man now, and that’s the way it’s gonna stay.”
WOW!! Domination!!! 🤯
— KSW (@KSW_MMA) February 25, 2023
From the moment the opening bell rang, De Fries left zero doubt about making his eighth consecutive KSW heavyweight title defense. When Duffee threw an early haymaker that whiffed, he closed the distance right into a takedown by De Fries, who proceeded to be relentless with his attacks and transitions. Duffee did what he could to stagger back to his feet, but De Fries never let up with his attack while draped on Duffee’s back. Once he dragged Duffee back to the mat, De Fries worked for a neck crank and rear-naked choke that, at one point, appeared tight. Duffee hung on, though, but De Fries ultimately back mounted him and flattened him out on his stomach. With Duffee unable to get free, De Fries dropped right hands over and over until the referee had no choice but to stop it.
Afterward, De Fries turned his attention toward a June 3 stadium show in Warsaw, Poland, where he made it clear that he would like to fight Alistair Overeem.
“That’s the day,” De Fries said. “Me, Overeem, 56,000 people, good times.”