Todd Duffee’s first fight back in more than four years definitely didn’t end the way he wanted.
An inadvertent eye poke from Jeff Hughes left Duffee seeing double, which forced the referee to stop the contest at 4:03 into the opening round. Because the foul was considered accidental, the fight was declared a no contest.
Before the unfortunate ending, Duffee and Hughes were both gunning for the knockout in an action packed contest.
Known for lightning quick starts, Duffee came out firing as expected looking to overwhelm Hughes before he even had a chance to establish his stance on the feet. While the fighters were trading bombs, Duffee started looking for takedowns to keep Hughes guessing but he couldn’t quite keep the Ohio native on the ground.
With less than two minutes remaining in the opening round, Duffee unleashed a massive uppercut that wobbled Hughes and put him in serious trouble. Duffee flurried with punches looking to get the finish but the barrage of punches left him open for the counter shots as Hughes starting slinging heavy leather to defend himself.
As he returned fire, Hughes clipped Duffee with a couple of stiff shots as momentum began shifting in his favor but a few seconds later disaster struck that led to the end of the fight.
With the fighters pressed against the cage, Hughes put his hand up to shove off Duffee’s head in an attempt to break them apart but his thumb accidentally ended up in his eye, which caused a pause in the action. The doctor came into check on Duffee but once he said he was experiencing double vision, the fight had to be stopped.
The end came at 4:03 in the first round.
It was a tough ending for Duffee, who endured serious injuries and illness over the past four years to finally work his way back to the UFC. Now he’ll return home with a no contest on his record while Hughes is still searching for his first win inside of the Octagon after falling short in his debut earlier this year.