Elias Theodorou is living the gimmick. The ‘Mane Event’ has got deals with Pert Plus and now even Mattel, just a couple of ways he’s making money outside the cage to eventually gain leverage inside of it. He’s part of a new era of fighters that have changed with the sport, forecast its path, and prepared for it. None of us however, were prepared for the news that a fight between Tyron Woodley and Nate Diaz would be in the works. It was met drastically different reactions that include both extremes, but Theodorou is completely fine with it. Not only that, but explains why it makes business-sense.
“What do rankings mean? We potentially have [Tyron] Woodley fighting Nate Diaz. I have a TV show and a movie in the works. Once my face in on a movie, they’ll put me wherever I demand. I have more bigger plans than this. People are thinking too [narrow-minded] — Gone are the days of, ‘I’ll fight anyone, anywhere, blah blah blah.’ […] Sport Entertainment. Plain and simple. That’s what it is and all the power to them. I hope Woodley and Nate make as much money possible. Again, it’s for what it is. I’m not even criticizing the UFC for doing it. They have a $100 million a year in interest that they have to pay for $4 billion – $4.2 billion entity that they bought and they got to do what they got to do.”
The Best hair in combat sports!
— UFC Canada (@UFC_CA) November 15, 2017
“If you go back to why [Vince] McMahon didn’t buy [the UFC] — because there were rumors of that at some point — because they can’t control the outcome. So, they can’t control the outcome but they can put it in a direction. Whether I see, you know, if Nate Diaz wants to pull it off and somehow Conor [McGregor] now fights for the third championship belt and doesn’t defend any of them. Point being, I love being a mixed martial artist. I love being in the UFC and I love creating the path that I want. I get to fight around the world, travel around the world with people that I care more than anything [about].” — Elias Theodorou speaking to Submission Radio.
Ah yes, the times they are a’changing, taking only those who change with it and leaving behind those fighters that can’t adapt. We’re in the era of double title fights, social media fight negotiations, and UFC bringing in big brands like CM Punk to increase buy rates. Spectacles like Nate Diaz fighting Tyron Woodley fall into the ‘just crazy enough to work’ category for sure. Will some people complain? Certainly. Will it sell? Definitely, and Elias Theodorou knows that. Watch Theodorou fight Dan Kelly this weekend at UFC Sydney.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 11/16/2017.