Welcome Back: Buentello Returning to the UFC, Set to Face Todd Duffee

By E. Spencer Kyte (

Paul Buentello is returning to the UFC.

The former heavyweight contender who fell victim to the collapse of Affliction has inked a new deal that will see him fight at UFC 107, marking the first time in nearly four years that the Texas native will set foot inside the Octagon.

Too bad his opponent is Todd Duffee.

Turning down a fight is certainly not an option, especially when you’re getting the chance to return to the biggest stage of them all.

Unfortunately for Buentello, he’s being dropped into the lion’s den with one of the hungriest young predators the company has to offer.

While Duffee has just five professional fights under his belt, the young American Top Team product has been ultra-impressive to date, defeated UFC veteran Assuerio Silva in his own backyard and collecting the fastest knockout in UFC history in his debut win over Tim Hague.

Still reliant on raw strength and power, Duffee certainly has holes in his game that can be exploited; his ground skills have yet to be tested and he’s come to the sport without any previous training in martial arts or wrestling, so how advanced can you be in just three years of training?

But Buentello’s nickname isn’t “The Submission Master” and he doesn’t have a storied wrestling pedigree either; he’s known as “The Headhunter” and he likes to stand and bang.

Not really the most appetizing option when you’re facing a kid who just flattened his last opponent in less time than it takes to fix a cup of coffee.

Though Buentello has a massive edge in experience and has only lost twice in the last four years, taking wins from the likes of Gary Goodridge, Carter Williams and Tank Abbott is a lot different than standing opposite a man as physically impressive as Todd Duffee.

While fighting on the grandest stage of them all is certainly where most fighters want to be, Paul Buentello might be receiving one of the worst “Welcome Back” presents of all-time.

Suddenly, signing with Strikeforce doesn’t sound like such a bad idea after all.

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