Former UFC fighter and “The Ultimate Fighter Nations” champion Elias Theodorou passed away on Sunday at the age of 34. Although he had not made it known to the public, Theodorou had been battling stage 4 liver cancer. The report was confirmed to TSN by a Theodorou spokesperson.
By KO-ing Sheldon Westcott to win his season of “The Ultimate Fighter,” Theodorou made his mark on the global stage in 2014. The Canadian middleweight would go on to amass an 8-3 record inside the Octagon, never dropping consecutive bouts, and only losing to seasoned competitors Thiago Santos, Brad Tavares, and Derek Brunson.
Theodorou’s contract was terminated by the UFC following Brunson’s defeat in May 2019. Outside of the promotion, he would compete three more times, triumphing in each match. He won his final match against former WEC and Bellator fighter Bryan Baker in December 2021.
Theodorou was well renowned for a number of extracurricular pursuits. He carried ring cards in the manner of “ring girls,” who have been a mainstay of combat sports for almost 60 years, as a “ring boy” for Invicta FC.
Prior to his debut, Theodorou told the BBC that there was a “wider discourse” going on about ring card carriers, “grid females” in Formula 1, and “walk-on girls” in darts. “I believed that this was quite significant given that larger discussion. The entire purpose of this endeavor is to demonstrate that, in my opinion, expanding alternatives rather than decreasing them is the best way to promote equality.”
Theodorou was a vocal supporter of cannabis use for medical purposes, particularly for boxers. He was granted a Therapeutic Use Exemption for cannabis use in 2020, making him the first fighter to be a professional athlete in North America.
Theodorou was a cast member of The Amazing Race Canada 3 in 2015.