Elias Theodorou, a former Ultimate Fighter champion, passed away at age 34 after a protracted fight with liver cancer.


Elias Theodorou, a former “The Ultimate Fighter Nations” champion and UFC competitor, passed away on Sunday at the age of 34. Although he had kept it a secret, Theodorou had been battling stage 4 liver cancer. The news was verified by a Theodorou spokesman to TSN.

When Theodorou won Sheldon Westcott’s season of “The Ultimate Fighter” in 2014, he made his mark on the global scale. The Canadian middleweight went on to amass an 8-3 record inside the Octagon, never losing back-to-back fights and only dropping contests to Thiago Santos, Brad Tavares, and Derek Brunson, three established contenders.

Theodorou’s contract was terminated by the UFC following Brunson’s defeat in May 2019. Outside of the promotion, he would compete three more times, triumphing in each match. He won his final match against former WEC and Bellator fighter Bryan Baker in December 2021.

Theodorou was well renowned for a number of extracurricular pursuits. He carried ring cards in the manner of “ring girls,” who have been a mainstay of combat sports for almost 60 years, as a “ring boy” for Invicta FC.

Prior to his debut, Theodorou told the BBC that there was a “wider discourse” going on about ring card carriers, “grid females” in Formula 1, and “walk-on girls” in darts. “I believed that this was quite significant given that larger discussion. The entire purpose of this endeavor is to demonstrate that, in my opinion, expanding alternatives rather than decreasing them is the best way to promote equality.”

Theodorou was a vocal supporter of cannabis use for medical purposes, particularly for boxers. He was granted a Therapeutic Use Exemption for cannabis use in 2020, making him the first fighter to be a professional athlete in North America.

Theodorou was a cast member of The Amazing Race Canada 3 in 2015.