UFC stunned by shock death of Elias Theodorou at 34, how did he die, reaction, cancer


The MMA world is in mourning after it was revealed former UFC star Elias Theodorou had died aged 34 after losing his battle with liver cancer.

Theodorou had been privately battling stage four liver cancer but had kept his diagnosis secret, fighting as recently as December 18 2021 a three-round decision against Bryan Baker in the Colorado Combat Club 10 event.

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Previously Theodorou had been a five-year fighter in the UFC, entering the promotion after winning The Ultimate Fighter: Nations middleweight tournament in 2014.

He had a record of 8-3 in the UFC (19-3 in his professional MMA career) before he was cut by the promotion following a unanimous decision loss to Derek Brunson in 2019.

Theodorou was also the male ring card boy for Invicta, the all-female MMA promotion.

At the time it was a baffling call as Theodorou had fought as a co-headliner in the Brunson fight and was ranked 15 in the middleweight division.

Theodorou was also known as the first professional athlete in the US to secure a medical cannabis exemption.

He was an advocate for cannabis to be removed from the USADA banned list.

The MMA world was left stunned as news spread he had passed away.

TSN’s MMA reporter Aaron Bronsteter posted: “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.

“Securing the Therapeutic Use Exemption was a years-long quest that he dedicated his time and resources towards and his legacy for cannabis athletes will be felt for years to come.

“RIP Elias. A great athlete with a wonderful sense of humour and a smile that would light up a room.”

UFC welterweight Belal Muhammad tweeted: “Wow Rest In Peace.”

CBC’s Sanjay Maru wrote: “I’m shocked and gutted. Elias was one of the few high-profile names in MMA who gave me the time of day to chat with him. RIP, Spartan.”

Sports betting reporter Adam Martin posted: “Tonight’s terrible news is just another reminder of how short and fragile life is, and how you never really know what people are going through in their personal lives. Remember that tomorrow is never guaranteed. Always live your life to the fullest, just like Elias Theodorou did.”

MMA Journalists Association president Josh Gross added: “Very sad to see reports about Elias Theodorou losing his life to cancer. Awful news.”

New York Post’s Scott Fontana commented: “Awful news about Elias Theodorou. Gone way too soon.”

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