Elias Theodorou, a charismatic mixed martial artist who successfully campaigned for medical marijuana rights as an athlete, has died. He is 34 years old.
His publicist, Jess Moran, confirmed the former UFC fighter passed away Sunday in Toronto from liver cancer.
Theodorou, from Mississauga, Ontario, is an athlete, actor, model, stuntman, dancer, television pitcher, romantic Harlequin cover model and cannabis advocate .
TSN battle analyst Robin Black, a friend and veteran, said Theodorou has not shared his cancer diagnosis publicly. Black claims that Theodorou made that choice “because he couldn’t stand making people sad.”
“He’s a really, really, really special guy,” Black said.
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“A positive energy if ever, a man who almost always smiles triumphantly, a man who speaks out what he believes in,” Canadian boxer Sarah Kaufman said on social media.
Theodorou enrolled in MMA in 2009 after his first year at Humber College, where he studied creative advertising.
He made his professional debut in June 2011 and was 8-0-0 in 2013 when he joined the cast of The Ultimate Fighter Nations: Canada vs. Australiaa version of the UFC’s reality TV show featuring teams of aspiring Canadian and Australian MMA fighters.
Theodorou and 15 other boxers spent six weeks filming in a jungle lodge about an hour from Montreal.
“It was a fun and wonderful experience,” Theodorou said afterward.
Theodorou won his UFC contract in April 2014 when he stopped fellow Canadian Sheldon Westcott by TKO in the second round of the TUF Nations final in Quebec City.
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He went on to win eight of 11 fights as a middleweight in the UFC but was eliminated following a loss to Derek Brunson in Ottawa in May 2019. While Theodorou has a winning record, his style honed. It lacks the quality to promote search. Nine of his 11 UFC fights have come to a decision.
Theodorou is a warrior with a large tank of gas. He was always on the move, often attacking with kicks or hanging opponents at the fence when necessary.
His last game was a win over Bryan Baker last December on the Colorado Combat Club card. His professional record is 19 wins and three losses, with six wins in his last seven matches.
Theodorou campaigned for years for the use of medical marijuana in sports, eventually securing a therapeutic exemption for the cannabis he had been prescribed for bilateral neuropathic pain in his hands and neck. hand and elbow.
Theodorou, who says cannabis allows him to “even go to the playground and fight at a basic level,” was granted an exemption by the BC Sports Commission in February 2020.
“RIP Elias Theodorou. A great person and a BIG voice for fairer and more equal treatment of marijuana use in MMA and sports,” said Jeff Novitzky, UFC senior vice president of health and achievement athlete wrote on Twitter.
Calling Theodorou someone didn’t do him justice.
“I am a very extroverted person,” he once said with a grin. “A stranger is just a friend you haven’t met yet.”
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