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Elias Theodorou Cause of Death: Canadian MMA Fighter dies at the age of just 34 due to liver cancer

Former UFC fighter Elias Theodorou, a Canadian, passed away at the age of 34. Let’s examine what transpired to him and the specifics of Elias Theodorou’s demise.

Elias Theodorou 

The “TUF Nations” champion and former UFC fighter Elias Theodorou has passed away. On Sunday, Theodorou succumbed to cancer. After numerous reports of Theodorou’s passing appeared online, sources who knew him formally confirmed the information to MMA Junkie.

Before his passing, Theodorou had kept his illness a secret. Theodorou was found to have liver cancer that was in stage 4 according to TSN reporter Aaron Bronsteter. The cause of death for Elias Theodorou was revealed to be stomach cancer.

Theodorou, from Ontario, competed 11 times in the UFC between 2014 and 2019. His rise to fame on a global scale began when he defeated Sheldon Westcott to win “TUF Nations.” Later, he defeated notable opponents like Trevor Smith, Sam Alvey, Eryk Anders, and Cezar Ferreira. The targets of his only three promotional defeats were Thiago Santos, Brad Tavares, and Derek Brunson, three consistent contenders.

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Cause of Death: Elias Theodorou

The news was confirmed by Theodorou representatives to TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter on Sunday evening.

Elias Theodorou, a gregarious and endearing man who achieved a lifelong dream by joining the UFC, passed away from stage 4 liver cancer on Sunday at the age of 34. Elias Theodorou died as a result of a protracted liver cancer illness.

TSN reporter Aaron Bronsteter noticed on social media that Theodorou had only told a small group of close friends about his diagnosis.

Elias Michael Theodorou: Who is he?

A Canadian mixed martial artist with Greek ancestry named Elias Michael Theodorou lived from May 31, 1988, to September 11, 2022.

He competed for the UFC in the middleweight division, where he was ranked 13th at the time of his departure, and won The Ultimate Fighter Nations: Canada vs. Australia while doing so. He received a cannabis therapeutic use exemption in January 2020, making him the first professional athlete in North America to receive one.

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Early years

Theodorou, an Ontario resident of Greek descent, attended Meadowvale Secondary School while growing up in Mississauga. He attended Humber College to earn his B.A. in Creative Advertising, but after just one year there, Theodorou made the decision to take up mixed martial arts training as a form of physical activity before deciding to pursue it as a career. 

On February 19, 2020, Theodorou received a sanctioned exemption for using medical cannabis in competition (TUE) from the British Columbia Athletic Commission, making him the first MMA fighter and professional athlete to do so in history.

Supreme Fighter

It was announced in December 2013 that Theodorou would compete for Canada at Middleweight in The Ultimate Fighter Nations: Canada vs. Australia. He defeated Tyler Manawaroa in the semifinals after defeating Zein Saliba in the quarterfinals. He left for Thailand’s Phuket Province after the semifinals to train at Tiger Muay Thai under the guidance of coach Patrick Côté.

Ultimate Fighting Championship

Theodorou defeated MFC veteran Sheldon Westcott in the second round of The Ultimate Fighter Nations Finale’s Middleweight division by technical knockout.

Theodorou and Bruno Santos fought at UFC Fight Night 54 on October 4, 2014. By a unanimous vote, he was chosen as the winner. The fight between Roger Narvaez and Theodorou took place at UFC 185 on March 14, 2015.

Narvaez appeared to be in control of the fight after the first round, but he broke his arm in the second round while attempting to block a kick from Theodorou. Shortly after, Theodorou used a flurry of blows to TKO end the fight.

At UFC Fight Night 80 on December 10, 2015, Thiago Santos and Theodorou fought. He lost the fight via a unanimous decision. On June 18, 2016, Theodorou competed against Sam Alvey at UFC Fight Night 89.

The battle was relatively uneventful and stayed on the feet for almost the entire time because neither fighter could muster much offensive. By a unanimous decision, he won the contest. At UFC Fight Night 105 on February 19, 2017, Theodorou squared off against Cezar Ferreira. A contentious, unanimous decision gave him the upper hand.

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Theodorou: Career Wins

Theodorou faced Brad Tavares at The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale on July 7, 2017. He lost the fight by unanimous decision. Theodorou and Dan Kelly engaged in combat on November 19, 2017, at UFC Fight Night 121. He received a resounding victory.

On May 27, 2018, Theodorou faced Trevor Smith at UFC Fight Night 130. He won the contest by a unanimous decision.

On September 22, 2018, Theodorou was slated to face Antônio Carlos Junior at UFC Fight Night 137. However, due to an injury, Junior withdrew on August 28.

The two were expected to face off as originally scheduled on December 8 at UFC 231. On September 13, 2018, it was revealed that Junior had once more been forced to withdraw from his fight with Theodorou because he needed surgery for the injury that had compelled him to delay their first meeting. Eryk Anders reportedly took Junior’s place on October 1st, 2018.

A hotly contested split decision in favor of Theodorou decided the fight. UFC Fight Night 151 featured a fight between Derek Brunson and Theodorou on May 4, 2019. He lost the fight by unanimous decision. On May 26, 2019, the UFC is said to have let go of Theodorou.

Theodorou: Career after the UFC

Theodorou faced Hernani Perpetuo at Prospect Fighting Championships 12 on December 6, 2019, in the first match following the UFC’s release. By TKO in the third round, he prevailed.

Theodorou and Matt Dwyer, both UFC veterans, squared off on March 13 at rising FC 6. Technical knockout in the third round gave him the victory. On December 18, 2021, Theodorou and Bryan Baker squared off at Colorado Combat Club 10. He received a unanimous decision victory. 

On September 11, 2022, Theodorou passed away.

Beyond his Professional Life

Theodorou competed in a race with his ex-girlfriend, Toronto-based shop manager Max Altamuro, on the third season of The Amazing Race Canada. They came in at number twelve and became the first team from their current hometown of Toronto to be disqualified. Additionally, he performed “ring boy” duties for the all-female MMA organization, Invicta Fighting Championships.

In the upcoming film Last Hit, Theodorou will play an MMA fighter who must retire but later switches to e-sports.

The British Columbia Athletic Commission granted Elias Theodorou a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) in January 2020, making him the first professional athlete in North America to be permitted to use cannabis while competing. Theodorou had been a zealous supporter of medical marijuana.

The Colorado Combative Sports Commission granted him a second such exemption in May 2021, making him the first professional athlete in the nation to be given a TUE.

Theodorou used cannabis to treat his bilateral neuropathy, a nerve condition brought on by an accident that left his hand broken in two places and fractured in four.

Achievements of Elias Theodorou 

Extreme Cage Combat

  • ECC Middleweight Championship (One Time)

North American Allied Fight Series

  • NAAFS Middleweight Championship (One time)

Ultimate Fighting Championship

  • The Ultimate Fighter Nations Middleweight Tournament Winner
Nischal Bahuguna
Nischal Bahuguna
Nischal is a martial arts practitioner and loves the technical aspect of martial arts. Here at The Sports Lite he technically reviews UFC fights. He is pursuing a career in marketing and enjoys exploring off-road trails, going on weekend hikes, and having new experiences.


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