Elias Theodorou, a former UFC athlete, passed away from cancer. He was just 34 years old.
An official for Theodorou confirmed the news after an original report from BJPenn.com. According to TSN, Theodorou was fighting stage 4 liver cancer. Only a select few people were aware of his prognosis.
Sadly, a representative of Elias Theodorou has confirmed earlier reports that he has passed away at age 34.
Theodorou was privately battling Stage 4 liver cancer and had only told a select group of people of his diagnosis.
— Aaron Bronsteter (@aaronbronsteter) September 12, 2022
Theodorou (19-3) has competed in 22 MMA matches, going 8-3 in the UFC. He defeated Eryk Anders, Dan Kelly, Cezar Ferreira, and Sam Alvey during his season of TUF – which he won:
Theodorou was most known for supporting the use of medical weed in combat sports, in addition to his career as an athlete. The British Columbia Athletic Commission granted him a therapeutic use exemption for medicinal use to the Canadian veteran in 2020, making him the first to do so.
When Theodorou worked as a “ring boy” for an Invicta FC event in 2018, he also garnered media attention.
Theodorou made his professional debut in 2011 and started out his career 8-0. He went on to win TUF in 2014 to get a deal with the UFC. After losing to Derek Brunson in a unanimous decision in 2019, he cut ties with the promotion.
Returning to the local circuit, Theodorou went 3-0 and won his last bout against Bryan Baker by unanimous decision in a Colorado Combat event in December.
Many martial artists are upset to hear about his passing. Michael Chiessa shared a story about Theodorou.
“So I’ve always said the greatest gifts that this sport has ever given me are friendships and memories and I was just about to write this tweet out and to post something about Elias and talk about, you know, how our paths had crossed. And I’d instantly found a friend. The moment I met him and. And I was as I was writing this out, I was tweeting this on my phone.”
“I was literally typing this. I said, you know, it is such a light hearted guy, and he’s the type of guy to give you the shirt off his back. And that’s when it finally hit me, because I remembered I have this Elias and I went to exercise a few times and I got asked on short notice to go do a press conference”
“I didn’t have anything with a collar. And I was telling him this and he was wearing this with a t shirt and he and he took his jacket off and he gave it to me. I never got a chance to give it back to him, but that’s the type of guy he was.”
“And while I’m sad, like a lot of people, it touched a lot of lives. But I have to remember, I’m very blessed that I had the friendship I had with him and the countless great memories that that I that I have with him. So, you know, rest in peace lives.”
Thoughts and prayers go out to Theodorou’s friends and family.