Todd Duffee was regarded as one of the UFC’s top heavyweight prospects, but the 24 year-old will now have to make a name for himself elsewhere after being handed his walking papers by the promotion.

The news was first reported by MMAJunkie, though no reason was given for his departure but the sudden and unexpected nature of the news suggests that something may have gone on behind the scenes.

Duffee made an immediate impact in his UFC debut a little over a year ago, knocking out Tim Hague in a record 7 seconds. Injuries kept him out of action until May of 2010 where he took on Mike Russow and looked to be cruising to a convincing victory before suffering a shock KO loss with just minutes of the fight remaining.

There were still high hopes for the 6ft 3″, 260lb heavyweight though, and after the fight there was no suggestion that he would be leaving the promotion anytime soon.  In fact he had been penciled in for a fight at UFC 123, but a knee injury kept him out of action.

No doubt the real reason behind his dismissal will emerge before long.  In the mean time the sports other major promotions will be preparing to engage in a bidding war in order to sign one of MMA’s brightest young prospects.