Former UFC fighter Elias Theodorou dead at 34; MMA community mourns – MMA Junkie

Former UFC fighter Elias Theodorou dead at 34;  MMA community mourns - MMA Junkie

Former UFC fighter and “TUF Nations” winner Elias Theodorou died

Theodorou died on Sunday after a battle with cancer. Sources who knew Theodorou confirmed the news to MMA Junkie after various reports of his death surfaced online. Theodorou did not publicly reveal his illness before his death. According to TSN journalist Aaron Bronsteter, Theodorou was diagnosed with Stage 4 liver cancer.

From 2014-2019, Ontario’s Theodorou competed 11 times in the UFC. His career in the international spotlight began when he won “TUF Nations” with knockout of Sheldon Westcott. He went on to beat names like Cezar Ferreira, Sam Alvey, Eryk Anders, and Trevor Smith. His only three promotional losses came against perennial contenders Thiago Santos, Brad Tavares, and Derek Brunson.

After the loss to Brunson in May 2019, Theodorou was released by the UFC. Despite Theodorou’s unsuccessful UFC record (8-3), promotion president Dana White said the decision to part ways was based on the unlikelihood of Theodorou becoming a top-five fighter.

Theodorou took his release in stride and promised to reinvent oneself to increase their completion rate. He went 3-0 after his departure, with his most recent win coming in December over Bryan Baker.

In the later years of his career, Theodorou became a vocal advocate for destigmatization and allowance of medical cannabis. In January 2020, he became the first professional athlete to receive a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) for it.

Theodorou also served as a “ring boy” for Invicta FC and was featured on “The Amazing Race Canada, Season 3” in 2015.

Aaron Bronstetter

Elias Theodorou


Adam Hunter

Fight Network

Dana White

Kelvin Gastellum

Javid Basharat

Tanner Boser

Jessica Moran (Theodorou representative)

Chris Curtis

Bryan Baker (Theodorou’s final MMA opponent)

Kevin Rat

TJ DeSantis

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