The MMA community mourns the death of UFC veteran “The Spartan” Theodorou
The Ultimate Fighter: Nations winner and former UFC fighter Elias Theodorou has died of cancer at the age of 34. The news have been confirmed by a representative of Theodorou after BJPenn.com first reported about Theodorou’s death. TSN was able to provide further insight into the tragic event, stating that “The Spartan” was battling stage 4 liver cancer and only had told about his diagnosis to only a few selected people.
Theodorou (19-3 MMA, 8-3 UFC) began his MMA career with eight straight victories before entering and winning the middleweight tournament on The Ultimate Fighter: Nations. During his eleven UFC bouts, he defeated the likes of Sam Alvey, Eryk Anders, Dan Kelly and Cezar Ferreira. He parted ways with the UFC after a decision loss to Derek Brunson in May 2019 and then moved on to smaller organizations in his native Canada and the United States. Theodorou fought three times after leaving the UFC and won all of his bouts, the last win coming in December.
In addition to his MMA career, Theodorou was also a passionate advocate for the use of medical cannabis in martial arts. In 2020, he became the first fighter to be granted therapeutic use of medical cannabis by the British Columbia Athletic Commission. Theodorou was also known for being a “ring boy” at Invicta FC.
When the heartbreaking news broke about Theodorou, the MMA community paid tribute to “The Spartan”. UFC fighter Michael Chiesa shared a video where he told a beautiful story about Theodorou where the late fighter gave Chiesa his blazer before a press conference. Chiesa says that he never got the chance to return the blazer and paid homage to his friend.
– I’ve always said that the greatest gift that this sport has given me are friendships and memories, Michael Chiesa said.
Rest In Peace my friend. @EliasTheodorou pic.twitter.com/r51KnalsHL
— Michael Chiesa (@MikeMav22) September 12, 2022
UFC boss Dana White wrote “Rest in Peace” on social media while Invicta FC president Shannon Knapp called Theodorou “a beautiful soul” and paid tribute to the late 34-year-old with photos from when he served as “ring boy” at their event.
“You were such a beautiful soul,” Knapp wrote. “Always so kind and such a bright light in this world. This news is devastating. You will be greatly missed, but never forgotten. Fly high, Elias!”
Read more of the tributes to UFC veteran Elias Theodorou here below.
- Hasbulla begs UFC president Dana White for Conor McGregor fight: “Let me eat this chicken”
- UFC salaries: Seven fighters pocketed over $100k at UFC 278!
- Conor McGregor and UFC stars react to Mark Zuckerberg’s MMA skills!
The MMA community mourns death of UFC veteran Theodorou
Theodorou last fought in December against Bryan Baker, where he was very proud of becoming the first professional athlete of all-time to compete with a Therapeutic Use Exemption for Medical Cannabis in North America (first in Canada and then in the U.S.) pic.twitter.com/TQG9kAJrdm
— Aaron Bronsteter (@aaronbronsteter) September 12, 2022
Damn #RIP 🙏🙏🙏 https://t.co/xTTJY1Kjrg
— Miesha Tate (@MieshaTate) September 12, 2022
RIP Elias Theodorou. A great person and a HUGE voice for the more fair and equitable treatment of marijuana use in MMA and sport.
— Jeff Novitzky (@JeffNovitzkyUFC) September 12, 2022
Took a nap to wake up and find out Elias Theodorou has passed. Way to young. You will be missed my guy. #LONGLIVETHESPARTAN
— Chris Curtis The Action Man (@Actionman513) September 12, 2022
I’m shocked, rip. https://t.co/H8hSrIQXsQ
— Angela Hill (@AngieOverkill) September 12, 2022
Oh man, It’s so sad to hear about Elias Theodorou. May he Rest In Peace.
— Tanner Boser (@BulldozerBoser) September 12, 2022
This is a very difficult post to write. Elias was a big brother to me. My MMA big brother. He helped bring me up in the sport. Laid more beatings on me than probably anyone else ever will. pic.twitter.com/Sxaz5K6PDa
— Aaron Jeffery (@aajmma) September 12, 2022
Such sad news. May he Rest In Peace. https://t.co/bDBzIe8Q52
— Megan Olivi (@MeganOlivi) September 12, 2022
Horrible news to see, Canada lost a great one 🇨🇦
— #OnAmission4Gold (@KelvinGastelum) September 12, 2022
A member of the @InvictaFights family has sadly passed from his battle with cancer. Our sincere condolences to his friends and family. Elias was truly a kind, humble and charismatic personality who will be missed greatly by all. #RingBoy pic.twitter.com/20nkgnLZgU
— Invicta FC (@InvictaFights) September 12, 2022
— PEARL GONZALEZ (@PearlGonzalez) September 12, 2022
Unfortunately, the news about Elias Theodorou passing away is true. He was 34. From what I was told, he did have cancer but did not make it public.
Elias was a pioneer of Canadian MMA. It's incredibly sad. RIP Elias, thank you for all the memories.
— Adam Martin (@MMAdamMartin) September 12, 2022
I sat in a hot tub with Elias Theodorou in Moncton, NB, Canada back in 2018. He was fun to talk to… a thoughtful and nice guy. So sad to hear this news. 😔
— Brendan Fitzgerald (@BrendanFitzTV) September 12, 2022
— Sodiq Yusuff (@Super_Sodiq) September 12, 2022
This is so damn sad. Never heard a bad thing said about him and blown away he just fought less than a year ago. RIP🙏🏾 https://t.co/UEqpdG6WEQ
— Arjan Singh Bhullar (@TheOneASB) September 12, 2022
Wow. Loss for words on hearing the news on one of the nicest guys I’ve met in this sport. #RIP Elias. This is saddening
— Aljamain Sterling (@funkmasterMMA) September 12, 2022
I can't believe! terrible news! RIP my friend Elias Theodorou 🙏🏾😞 it’s was a pleasure to share the octagon with you my brother
— Thiago “Marreta” Santos (@TMarretaMMA) September 12, 2022