Twenty-six-year-old heavyweight Todd Duffee (7-2) made short work of fellow UFC vet Neil “Goliath” Grove (11-6-1) in the Super Fight League 2 main event on April 7 in Chandigarh, India. It took the heavy-handed Duffee just 34-seconds to dispatch of the South African and improve his record to 7-2, with all seven wins coming by way of knockout.
ProMMAnow.com (www.prommanow.com) talked with Duffee about his knockout victory over Grove, fighting for Super Fight League, the fan response to mixed martial arts in India, what he feels is the future of MMA in India and more.
PRO MMA NOW: Hi Todd, thanks for talking with us at ProMMAnow.com following your first round knockout of Neil Grove at Super Fight League 2 this past weekend in India. First off, had you ever been to India before this, and what was the whole experience like — it’s a very different culture over there, isn’t it?
TODD DUFFEE: No I have never been to India. It was a very fast abbreviated experience because I am completely focused on the fight. I did get to enjoy the culture and experience things I would not have else where. As with anytime you travel it definitely gives you a different outlook on life.
PRO MMA NOW: How many days prior to the fight did you arrive in India, when did you leave and did you get an opportunity to do any site-seeing at all?
TODD DUFFEE: I left Salinas, Calif., on Monday at 8 a.m. I arrived to Chandigarh Wednesday at 6 p.m. The travel time was pretty intense. I got most of my sight seeing out of the way on the six hour drive up to Chandigarh from New Delhi. Once I got to the hotel I was busy with the usual pre-fight hype so I didn’t get to leave – I went out once and got to do about two hours of site seeing. We left the following day after the fight to head home.
PRO MMA NOW: What was the fan response over there like and how receptive do you feel their culture is to MMA?
TODD DUFFEE: The fan response was great. They were very polite and excited we were there. I think their culture will take to MMA a lot like the Japanese fans did in the earlier years. I think they have a much different perspective on fighting than the American culture.
PRO MMA NOW: What was your impression of Super Fight League as an organization and were you pleased with the operation and how everything was run?
TODD DUFFEE: Yeah the weigh-ins, staging, venue, etc. were all ran very professionally. I was really impressed how smooth things were run in the back for a promotion only doing their second show. The venue itself provided a great atmosphere and getting to fight outside was a surreal experience I was excited to have.
PRO MMA NOW: You put on a very impressive performance and became the first person to ever knock out the veteran Neil Grove. It’s interesting because all of your wins and all of Neil’s wins have both all been by knockout. I’m sure you had a feeling this fight was not going the distance, is that right?
TODD DUFFEE: I usually step into the cage expecting to beat up someone for three rounds. So the quick finish was a surprise. With heavyweights you are aware that the fight will probably get finished if they both come to fight.
PRO MMA NOW: That’s a nice marquee main event win for you, especially coming off two losses. How important and how much pressure was there for you to get back in the win column?
TODD DUFFEE: I think your upcoming fight is always the most important fight of your life when you are trying to make a living/career off of fighting. The pressure to win is always there if you are a competitor. I can remember being sick in bed for a full month earlier last year and missing/sorta longing for that pressure you feel before a fight. I think that is part of the experience that I enjoy. You definitely feel alive and with a purpose.
PRO MMA NOW: How many more fights do you have with Super Fight League and do you know who or when you might fight next — and is there anyone you would particularly like to fight next?
TODD DUFFEE: I have three more fights on my contract. I have no particular care who I fight next as long as they are a game opponent and come to fight.
PRO MMA NOW: What do you see as the future of Super Fight League, as well as MMA in general in India?
TODD DUFFEE: I believe it will take off. It is still a brand new sport. They are just finding out that wrestling is fake from a lot of the people I talked to. So once they evolve from that I think MMA will take off in a huge way.
PRO MMA NOW: Todd, thanks so much for the time. Is there anyone you would like to thank or give a shout out to?
TODD DUFFEE: My family – without them I would not be able to live my dreams. I have been given an opportunity that 99% of the world doesn’t get and my family is who I have to thank for that.