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.
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.
Sadly, a representative for Elias Theodorou confirmed earlier reports that he had passed away at the age of 34.
Theodorou privately battled Stage 4 liver cancer and only told a select group of people about his diagnosis.
– Aaron Bronsteter (@aaronbronsteter) September 12, 2022
Member of the @InvictaFights family sadly passed away from his battle with cancer. Our sincere condolences to his friends and family. Elias was a truly kind, humble and charismatic personality who will be greatly missed by all. #RingBoy pic.twitter.com/20nkgnLZgU
– Invicta FC (@InvictaFights) September 12, 2022
— head (@Recorder_Hitman) September 12, 2022
Terrible news to see, Canada has lost a great 🇨🇦
— #OnAmission4Gold (@KelvinGastelum) September 12, 2022
This is so sad, I met him at Xtreme Couture and he was such a nice guy I had no idea he had cancer 😞
— Javid Basharat (@JavidBasharat) September 12, 2022
Oh man, so sad to hear about Elias Theodorou. May He Rest In Peace.
– Tanner Boser (@BulldozerBoser) September 12, 2022
Jessica Moran (Theodorou representative)
Life is not fair.
– Jessica Moran (@JessMMMoran) September 12, 2022
Bryan Baker (Theodorou’s final MMA opponent)
Oh my Lord, just saw the terrible news that Elias Theodorou passed away at only 34 years old. He was a wonderful and kind person. Just devastating to hear this. Rest in peace.
– Kevin Iole (@KevinI) September 12, 2022
— TJ DeSantis (@TJDeSantis) September 12, 2022