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UFC’s Elias Theodorou on ring boys in MMA: ‘The more, the merrier‘

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Canadian standout Elias Theodorou isn’t content to just fight, he’s got some curious projects on deck.

UFC Fight Night: Werdum v Tybura Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

Elias Theodorou is a man that wears many hats. Well, of course that’s a figure of speech. Why wear a hat when your hair looks that good? His knack for always doing something different has led to a shampoo endorsement to keep that hair vibrant and shiny (rivaling that of one Zane Simon), as well as other endorsements and projects that perhaps are unorthodox for what we’re used to in MMA.

Before he faces Trevor Smith at UFC Fight Night: Liverpool in May, he’ll working as a ring boy for the upcoming Invicta FC 28 card this weekend. He’s also got some thoughts on expanding this into other forays, as well as body positivity and what his next challenges could be.

Victor Rodriguez: So, the whole ring boy situation is super interesting and I want to know how this whole thing started. Did you approach Montreal Fight League? Did they approach you? How did this whole thing come about?

Elias Theodorou: Yeah, it very fun and I’m having a blast the whole time so far, as obviously it’s still early into it. To where it’s origins came from, It was my idea. I had just launched my YouTube channel, The Mane Event, trademark included. And I thought a perfect segment to kind of premiere my YouTube channel was Ring Boy - also trademark included. And uh, no, it was blast. Obviously I was nervous because I was stepping out of my comfort zone in such a different way, but at the end of the day - like I said in the clip - I had fun and much like my fights, it’s after the fact that you get to truly appreciate what you were able to accomplish or just able to do.

VR: OK, well... ring boys are not 100% new. I mean, we’ve seen other organizations in Europe and Brazil try this out and the fan reaction has been kind of mixed. Do you think that’s something that might eventually catch on? Something we’ll be seeing more and more of?

ET: I think the difference between, I guess, (myself and) others before me is that I’m actually a professional fighter. Also, I think that just my personality and my lightheartedness, you know, being a professional fighter because I’ll be the first to admit that compared to the average individual, my job is a very humbling one. And the idea that the day you think you know everything is the day you get your ass kicked on national TV. So, just in the way that I try to present myself on social media, I think they’re the reason it’s been a positive thing so far. It’s started to catch on in different ways.

VR: Lemme ask you this: you know the big exception is that as you noted, you are a professional fighter. Do you see any other fighters doing this, and if so, who?

ET: Well, I could tell you other people that I would think could be great. Someone like Alan Jouban, but obviously, it’s up to them to want to do it, because, you know, I’m the one that jumped up to do it, but the more the merrier. I’m happy to join up with the many potential ring boy members both in the Octagon and out.

VR: What about maybe a coach or two, you don’t see Greg Jackson doing this?

ET: Yeah, anything’s possible. I’m actually in the works after my Invicta debut to actually create a calendar. The gameplan is to actually have positive body images heavyweights featured as well. So why not show how The Black Beast (Derrick Lewis) is a beautiful man, big and large in his own right in a calendar? And I think that’s a conversation and a way to get attention in a positive way to promote on my platform and many others.

VR: Or Junior Albini. He’s already got them shorts...

ET: We’ve got options!

VR: Were you already a fan of Invicta? You’re bringing the sensation that is The Ring Boy™ over to their cage, so were you previously a fan of their product and if so, what fighters do you follow or have you had your eye on as a fighter to watch over there?

ET: Well obviously, Invicta has been at the forefront in regards to women’s MMA for many years and obviously a lot of the ladies that have come out of there like, you know, Megan Anderson and Cyborg are at the forefront of that. They’re the biggest names, if you will. But there are many mixed martial artists that have crossed over into the UFC and have established themselves as champions, etc. There are many of the past and present that I’m a fan of.

VR: You’ve been on television, you’ve been a stuntman, a model, you’re 6-2 in the UFC, you were the breakout guy from your season of The Ultimate Fighter, so what’s next for you in your fighting career?

ET: Well, obviously: the first Canadian Ultimate Fighter winner. Since then I’ve had some positives and negatives regarding my career, always growing and learning. I think I’m at the point where I could face someone near or at the top ten or just about there. It makes sense, and some it has to do with who’s available. Someone in the 12th spot like a Krzysztof Jotko, or Paulo Costa makes sense. Or also someone like Thales Leites who has many fights under his belt, and has had a resurgence in regards to his own career and his own ability as a striker, and he’s an ace on the ground. I’ve had trouble giving people my back in the past, and I think he’s a great test that cannot only knock my block off, but definitely submit me if I give him an inch. He’ll definitely take a mile.

Be sure to catch The Mane Event as he works his magic in the Invicta cage this Saturday. This event will be headlined by a title fight between Mizuki Inoue and Virna Jandiroba for the vacant strawweight strap.