Elias Theodorou, UFC fighter dies at age 34
Elias Theodorou, a professional mixed martial artist best known for his support of athletes who use cannabis, passed away on Monday from cancer, his family said. The fighter was also recognised for his lobbying on their behalf. He was 34.
Elias “The Spartan” Theodorou answered his last bell on September 11, 2022, according to a statement from his family.
After a valiant battle with colon cancer that spread, he died away peacefully at home with his loved ones at his side.
The “affable Toronto native” enjoyed a career and a life to be proud of, according to MMA promoter UFC on Monday.
In his 34 years, Elias Theodorou “made an impact, one that won’t be forgotten,” according to UFC.
With a 16-3 overall record and an 8-3 mark in the sport’s premier competition, Theodorou left UFC in 2019. In December, he defeated Bryan Baker in one of his last matches at Colorado Combat Club 10.
Elias Theodorou is renowned for his support of medical marijuana and is credited with obtaining Canada’s first cannabis exemption for professional athletes in 2020.
Colorado provided a similar exemption the next year. According to Theodorou, that was a first for an American pro athlete.
Elias Theodorou’s website remembered by sports attorney Erik Magraken, who claimed that cannabis triumphs directly influenced the UFC and the United States Anti-Doping Agency to take similar positions.
Elias Theodorou left behind “a magnificent legacy,” Magraken remarked on Monday.
Elias Theodorou was involved in the Toronto marijuana scene and served as the platform Leafythings’ “chief access officer,” which aids Canadians in locating delivery services and dispensaries.
He competed for other fighters as well. In order to offer boxers and retired athletes a voice in fight regulatory issues, Magraken claimed he urged the Association of Boxing Commissions to recognise a committee of fighters and athletes.
Theodorou began acting, stunt work, and modelling after earning a degree in creative advertising from Toronto’s Humber College. According to UFC, he also appeared on the covers of several romance books by Toronto-based Harlequin Books.
He was successful in his first eight MMA matches.
Elias Theodorou competed on “The Ultimate Fighter Nations: Canada vs. Australia” in 2014, when he advanced to the reality competition’s final round, where he faced fellow Canadian Sheldon Wescott.
He was defeated by Theodorou in Québec during a “UFC Fight Night” event in 4 minutes, 41 seconds.
Thiago Santos dealt him his first defeat in December 2015.
Elias Theodorou told UFC, “I’m incredibly pleased of the fight, and I’ve learnt from it. “It will never change my ambition to have that fighter’s journey, that wandering identity.”
His family described Theodorou as “eternally, crazily, and infectiously optimistic” on Monday.
“To’make a long story short,’ it’s impossible to express every aspect or all of his accomplishments in a simple post.”
Greek-born Theodorou was reared in Mississauga, Ontario, and went to Meadowvale Secondary School. He attended Humber College to obtain a B.A. in Creative Advertising, but after his first year there, Theodorou decided to enrol in MMA lessons as a form of exercise before deciding to make MMA his career.
By way of the British Columbia Athletic Commission, Theodorou became the first MMA fighter and professional athlete in history to be granted a sanctioned exemption for using medical cannabis in competition (TUE) on February 19, 2020.
Elias Theodorou would be a cast member on The Ultimate Fighter Nations: Canada vs. Australia, representing Canada at Middleweight. He defeated Tyler Manawaroa and Zein Saliba in the tournament’s quarterfinals.
At The Ultimate Fighter Nations Finale, Theodorou won the Middleweight division by technical knockout in the second round over MFC veteran Sheldon Westcott.
On October 4, 2014, Theodorou and Bruno Santos squared off at UFC Fight Night 54. He prevailed by unanimous judgement in the match.
On March 14, 2015, Roger Narvaez and Theodorou squared off at UFC 185. Following a first round in which Narvaez appeared to be in control, Narvaez attempted to block a kick from Theodorou in the second round and broke his arm. Shortly after, Theodorou was able to stop the fight via TKO with a barrage of blows.
On December 10, 2015, Thiago Santos and Theodorou squared off at UFC Fight Night 80. He was defeated in the fight by a consensus vote.
At UFC Fight Night 89 on June 18, 2016, he next faced Sam Alvey. Both fighters were unable to muster much offensive, thus the battle was relatively uneventful and stayed on the feet for almost the whole time. He prevailed in the match by unanimous decision.
On February 19, 2017, he fought Cezar Ferreira at UFC Fight Night 105. He prevailed via contentious unanimous decision.
On July 7, 2017, he competed against Brad Tavares at The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale. He was defeated in the fight by a consensus vote.
On November 19, 2017, Theodorou and Dan Kelly squared off at UFC Fight Night 121. He won via unanimous decision.
Elias Theodorou was scheduled to compete against Antônio Carlos Jnior at UFC Fight Night 137 on September 22, 2018. Jnior withdrew on August 28 owing to an injury, though. The fight was anticipated to be rescheduled for December 8 at UFC 231 with the same matchup.
On September 13, 2018, it was revealed that Jnior has once again been forced to pull out of his fight with Theodorou due to the need for surgery on the injury that had forced him to postpone their initial meeting.
Jnior was reportedly replaced by Eryk Anders on October 1st, 2018. The bout was decided by a fiercely contested split decision in favour of Theodorou.
Theodorou lost his bout against Derek Brunson at UFC Fight Night 151 on May 4, 2019, via unanimous decision.
Elias Theodorou was scheduled to compete against Antônio Carlos Jnior at UFC Fight Night 137 on September 22, 2018. Jnior withdrew on August 28 owing to an injury, though.
The fight was anticipated to be rescheduled for December 8 at UFC 231 with the same matchup. On September 13, 2018, it was revealed that Jnior has once again been forced to pull out of his fight with Theodorou due to the need for surgery on the injury that had forced him to postpone their initial meeting.
Jnior was reportedly replaced by Eryk Anders on October 1st, 2018. The bout was decided by a fiercely contested split decision in favour of Theodorou. On May 4, 2019, Derek Brunson and Theodorou squared off at UFC Fight Night 151. He suffered a unanimous defeat.