Heavyweight fighter Todd Duffee has been handed an unexpected return to the UFC to face Phil De Fries at UFC 155 on December 29th.

De Fries had originally been expected to face Matt Mitrione at the show, but after he was moved up to the headline spot to take on Roy Nelson the UFC called upon Duffee to serve as his replacement.

Duffee was at one point considered a potential up and coming star in the UFC’s heavyweight ranks, but his hype train was slightly derailed when he unexpectedly lost by KO to Mike Russow back in the summer of 2010, and to make matters worse he was released from his contract several months after Dana White accused him of having a bad attitude.

In December of that year Duffee suddenly found himself thrown into the biggest fight of his career, a title fight against Alistair Overeem in the DREAM promotion over in Japan.

It was a major opportunity, but one that didn’t produce a fairy tale ending for him, with Overeem knocking him out in just 19 seconds.

It would be April of this year before Duffee would fight again, getting back to winning ways with a victory over Bellator’s Neil Grove in just 34 seconds at Super Fight League 2.

At this stage the jury is still out on the 26 year-old’s long-term prospects, but he’s worth giving a second chance and it’ll be interesting to see how he does against De Fries who’s currently 2-1 inside the Octagon.