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12th Sep 2022

UFC fighter Elias Theodorou has died aged 34

Tobi Akingbade

Rest in peace

UFC star Elias Theodorou has died at the age of 34 following a battle with liver cancer.

The Canadian athlete decided not to make his illness public, but reports had suggested that he was battling stage four liver cancer.

Theodorou stopped fighting for Dana White back in 2019, choosing to fight in regional events instead.

His last fight was back in December against American Bryan Baker.

The MMA fighter fought for the sport’s largest promotion on 11 times throughout his career, winning eight times and losing just three.

The confirmation of his death came yesterday, and tributes immediately began pouring in from around the world of mixed martial arts for the middleweight, who was ranked at 13 before his contract was ended in 2019.

UFC kingpin White joined others in paying homage to Theodorou, writing “RIP Elias Theodorou” on a tributing Instagram post.

Shannon Knapp, president of the Invicta Fighting Championships also posted a heartbreaking message, writing: “You were such a beautiful soul. 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!”

Belal Muhammad added: “Wow Rest In Peace.” ONE heavyweight champion Arjan Bhullar wrote, “This is so damn sad. Never heard a bad thing said about him and blown away he just fought less than a year ago.”

Theodorou’s career in MMA started in 2011 and he quickly started to emerge as the favourite newbie and his talent saw him quickly get the attention of the UFC with an eight-time winning streak.

His first defeat came on his third UFC appearance against Thiago Santos in 2015.

However, he hit back with two straight victories before another setback came against Brad Tavares in the final of Ultimate Fighter.

He fought as recently as last December, defeating Bryan Baker by unanimous decision at Colorado Combat Club 10.

Theodorou won The Ultimate Fighter: Nations middleweight tournament early in his career and boasts victories over the likes of Bruno Santos, Roger Narvaez and Cezar Ferreira.

Outside of the ring was also a strong advocate for the use of medical cannabis in combat sports.

In 2020, he became the first professional athlete to receive therapeutic use exemption for the drug, granted by the British Columbia Athletic Commission.

Gone too soon.

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