MMA and UFC community pays tribute to Elias Theodorou after Canadian fighter passes away at age 34

By Ryan Harkness - September 12, 2022

The MMA world was shocked to learn on Sunday night that Canadian MMA fighter Elias Theodorou had died. He was just 34 years of age, and had been privately battling colon cancer.

Elias Theodorou

Theodorou, like many fight fans, became captivated by mixed martial arts after watching The Ultimate Fighter season 1 on Spike TV back in 2006. In 2011 he kicked off his professional MMA career on the Canadian circuit, fighting for Alberta’s Hard Knocks Fighting and Ontario’s Score Fighting Series. When Bellator rolled through Windsor, Ontario, Theodorou competed on the prelims.

In 2013 Elias won middleweight titles in ECC and NAAFS, earning a spot on The Ultimate Fighter Nations: Canada vs. Australia. He would go on to win the TUF middleweight tournament, beating teammate Sheldon Westcott in the finals via KO in the second round. Over his tenure in the UFC he went 8-3 with wins over Bruno Santos, Sam Alvey, Cezar Ferreira, and Eryk Anders.

Released by the promotion following a loss to Derek Brunson in 2019, Theodorou finished his career with a 3-0 run in the minors.

In his last years he continued to push for the legalization of medical marijuana in combat sports and made big legal strides for all MMA fighters. ‘The Spartan’ suffered from nerve damage following an accident that left his hand badly broken, and training only made the pain worse. Ironically, commissions have no problem with fighters showing up on opioid painkillers. But it took Theodorou four years of work to secure the first Canadian therapeutic use exemption in MMA for medical cannabis.

A year later, he’d repeat that feat in the United States for his final MMA fight, paving the way for fighters to have a safe and legitimate non-opioid alternative to deal with the pain that comes with training mixed martial arts.

Hear what Theodorou’s fellow UFC fighters and the MMA community had to say about his unexpected passing below. By all accounts, ‘The Spartan’ was a kind man and a much needed advocate for fighters. He will be missed.

Make sure to share any thoughts on Elias Theodorou or memories of his fights in the comments section below.

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM


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