Eleven years later, Phil De Fries got his revenge.
De Fries (23-6, 1 NC) needed less than four minutes to steamroll over Todd Duffee (9-4, 1 NC) and secure his eighth consecutive defense of the KSW heavyweight title in the main event of KSW 79, which took place Saturday at the Home Credit Arena in Liberec, Czech Republic.
De Fries, 36, wasted no time going to work. He tied up Duffee from the opening bell and methodically worked to back control while blasting the American with ground-and-pound punches. By the 3:46 mark of the opening round, the referee had seen enough.
“It feels good. Respect for Todd, he’s a great fighter, but I’m the man now and that’s the way it’s going to stay,” De Fries said afterward. “I want two things: I want Alistair Overeem in the stadium show [on June 3] and I want my Rolex for five years of service.”
Watch video replay of the finish below.
Phil De Fries defends his heavyweight title and spoils Todd Duffee's return at #KSW79— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) February 25, 2023
(via @KSW_MMA) pic.twitter.com/tNgZ29HqH5
De Fries and Duffee, of course, have a history together. The pair previously met in 2012 at UFC 155, with Duffee scoring a first-round TKO that earned Knockout of the Night honors.
Since then, however, their careers have taken two very different trajectories. Duffee has struggled with inactivity and inconsistent results, while De Fries has transformed into a dominant heavyweight champion for KSW, having won 10 straight fights and defended his KSW title eight times. His run includes stoppages of UFC veterans Luis Henrique and Darko Stosic, as well as two wins over former KSW light heavyweight champion Tomasz Narkun.
De Fries has done it all while championing mental health and the role it played in his career turnaround. Now he wants to add Overeem to his résumé at KSW’s upcoming show at the PGE Narodowy stadium in Warsaw, Poland, which seats more than 58,000 fans.