Former UFC fighter Canadian Cypriot Elias Theodorou dies from cancer at 34

Elias Theodorou Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
Former UFC fighter Elias Theodorou has died from cancer.

He was 34 years old.Theodorou was born and raised in Mississauga, Ontario, of Cypriot descent, and attended Meadowvale Secondary School. He went to Humber College to earn a B.A Degree in Creative Advertising, but after Theodorou’s first year in college, he chose to take MMA classes as a workout before opting to pursue MMA as a career.[6]

On February 19, 2020, Theodorou was the first MMA fighter and professional athlete in history to receive a sanctioned exemption for medical cannabis (TUE) in sport by a governing body via the British Columbia Athletic Commission

MMA Fighting confirmed the news with a representative for Theodorou, following an initial report from TSN reports that Theodorou was battling colon cancer and that his diagnosis was known to few.

Theodorou (19-3) was a veteran of 22 MMA bouts, including an 8-3 run in the UFC. He won The Ultimate Fighter: Nations middleweight tournament and holds notable victories over Eryk Anders, Dan Kelly, Cezar Ferreira, and Sam Alvey.

Along with his fighting career, Theodorou was best known for being an advocate for the use of medicinal marijuana in combat sports. In 2020, the Canadian veteran became the first fighter to receive a therapeutic use exemption for medical cannabis, which was granted by the British Columbia Athletic Commission.

Theodorou also made headlines when he served as a “ring boy” for an Invicta FC event in 2018.

‘Such a bright light in this world’: MMA world mourns death of Elias Theodorou

After making his pro debut in 2011, Theodorou began his career 8-0 and went on to earn a UFC contract by winning TUF in 2014. He parted ways with the promotion in 2019, following a unanimous decision loss to Derek Brunson. Back on the regional scene, Theodorou went 3-0 and scored a unanimous decision nod over Bryan Baker at a Colorado Combat event this past December in what would be his final fight.