MMA fighting

Former UFC fighter Elias Theodorou dies of cancer at 34

Former UFC fighter Elias Theodorou has died of cancer.

He was 34 years old.

MMA Fighting confirmed the news with a representative for Theodorou, following an initial report from BJPenn.com. TSN reports that Theodorou was battling stage 4 liver cancer and his diagnosis was known to few.

Theodorou (19-3) was a veteran of 22 MMA fights, 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 medical 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.

After making his professional debut in 2011, Theodorou started his career 8-0 and went on to land a UFC contract by winning TUFF 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 nod over Bryan Baker at a Colorado Combat event last December in what would be his last fight.