Elias Theodorou Biography

Canadian mixed martial artist Elias Michael Theodorou (May 31, 1988 – September 11, 2022) passed away. He won The Ultimate Fighter Nations: Canada vs. Australia while competing for the UFC in the Middleweight category, where he was ranked 13th at the time of his departure. In January 200, he became the first professional athlete in North America to be granted a cannabis therapeutic use exemption.


Greek-born Theodorou was reared in Mississauga, Ontario, and went to Meadowvale Secondary School. He attended Humber College to obtain a B.A. in Creative Advertising, but after his first year there, Theodorou decided to enrol in MMA lessons as a form of exercise before deciding to make MMA his career. The British Columbia Athletic Commission granted Theodorou the first sanctioned exemption for medicinal cannabis (TUE) in sport on February 19, 2020, making him the first MMA fighter and professional athlete in history.

Mixed martial arts career 

The Ultimate Fighter 

Theodorou would be a cast member on The Ultimate Fighter Nations: Canada vs. Australia, representing Canada at Middleweight, it was revealed in December 2013. He overcame Tyler Manawaroa in the semifinals after defeating Zein Saliba in the quarterfinals. He traveled to Phuket Province, Thailand after the semifinals to train at Tiger Muay Thai with coach Patrick Côté.

Ultimate Fighting Championship 

Theodorou won the Middleweight division at The Ultimate Fighter Nations Finale by technical knockout in the second round over MFC veteran Sheldon Westcott.

Theodorou faced Bruno Santos on October 4, 2014 at UFC Fight Night 54. He prevailed by unanimous judgment in the match.

On March 14, 2015, Roger Narvaez and Theodorou squared off at UFC 185. Following a first round in which Narvaez appeared to be in control, Narvaez attempted to block a kick from Theodorou in the second round and broke his arm. Shortly after, Theodorou was able to stop the fight via TKO with a barrage of blows.

On December 10, 2015, Thiago Santos and Theodorou squared off at UFC Fight Night 80.

He was defeated in the fight by a consensus vote.

At UFC Fight Night 89 on June 18, 2016, Theodorou took on Sam Alvey.

Both fighters were unable to muster much offensive, thus the battle was relatively uneventful and stayed on the feet for almost the whole time. He prevailed by unanimous judgment in the match.

On February 19, 2017, Theodorou fought Cezar Ferreira at UFC Fight Night 105.

He prevailed via contentious unanimous decision.

At The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale on July 7, 2017, Theodorou fought Brad Tavares. He was defeated in the fight by a consensus vote.

On November 19, 2017, Theodorou and Dan Kelly squared off at UFC Fight Night 121.

He obtained a unanimous victory.

At UFC Fight Night 130 on May 27, 2018, Theodorou fought Trevor Smith. He prevailed by unanimous judgment in the match.

Theodorou was scheduled to compete against Antônio Carlos Jnior at UFC Fight Night 137 on September 22, 2018.

Jnior withdrew on August 28 owing to an injury, though.

The fight was anticipated to be rescheduled for December 8 at UFC 231 with the same matchup.

On September 13, 2018, it was revealed that Jnior has once again been forced to pull out of his fight with Theodorou due to the need for surgery on the injury that had forced him to postpone their initial meeting. Jnior was reportedly replaced by Eryk Anders on October 1st, 2018. The bout was decided by a fiercely contested split decision in favor of Theodorou.

On May 4, 2019, Derek Brunson and Theodorou squared off at UFC Fight Night 151.

He was defeated in the fight by a consensus vote.

Theodorou was reportedly let go by the UFC on May 26, 2019.

Post-UFC career 

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

On March 13, 2021, Theodorou and Matt Dwyer, both UFC veterans, squared up at Rise FC 6. Technical knockout in the third round gave him the victory.

On December 18, 2021, at Colorado Combat Club 10, Theodorou faced Bryan Baker.

He prevailed by unanimous decision in the fight.


At the age of 34, Theodorou passed away from liver cancer on September 11, 2022.


  1. He made his professional MMA debut on June 17, 2011 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada at the Hard Knocks Fighting Championship event “HKFC: School of Hard Knocks 12,” where he defeated Tanner Tolman via technical knockout.
  2. He competed in his first Bellator MMA match against Rich Lictawa on April 6, 2012, at “Bellator 64” in Windsor, Ontario.
  3. In “The Listener” Season 4 Episode 7 “Caged In,” which aired on CTV on July 17, 2013, he portrayed Scotty Furmanek.
  4. He became the first MMA fighter from Canada to win “The Ultimate Fighter” on April 16, 2014, when he defeated Sheldon Westcott by technical knockout in the middleweight tournament final of “The Ultimate Fighter Nations: Canada vs Australia.”
  5. In his UFC debut on October 4, 2014, he defeated Bruno Santos by majority decision at “UFC Fight Night 54” in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
  6. He participated in “The Amazing Race Canada 3,” which aired on CTV from July 8 to September 23, 2015, with his ex-girlfriend Max Altamuro. They were the initial team to be disqualified from the competition.
  7. His first MMA defeat came on December 10, 2015, when he suffered a unanimous decision loss to Thiago Santos at “UFC Fight Night 80” in Las Vegas.
  8. In the 2017 comedy “Clusterf*ck,” he plays Ashley.
  9. He created history on March 24, 2018, in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, during “Invicta FC 28” as the organization’s first-ever ring boy.
  10. He lost to Derek Brunson at “UFC Fight Night 151” in Ottawa, Ontario, on May 4, 2019, by unanimous decision. It was his final UFC match. He was interviewed by Christina-Laia Vlahos for “Star Foodies! Greece Edition” Season 1 episode 19 about his MMA career, training regimen, and eating habits.
  11. He received a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) for medical cannabis from the British Columbia Athletic Commission in January 2020, making him the first MMA athlete to do so.
  12. He became the first professional athlete in the United States to acquire a TUE for medical cannabis in May 2021. His professional MMA record now stands at 19 wins and 3 defeats after he defeated Bryan Baker by unanimous decision at “Colorado Combat Club 10” in Greeley, Colorado, USA, on December 18, 2021. It was his final MMA match.
  13. He died on September 11, 2022, after fighting Stage 4 liver cancer in private. He was 34.