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UFC veteran Elias Theodorou passes away at 34

The former TUF winner had been diagnosed with colon cancer.

Elias Theodorou after a victory at UFC 231 in Toronto.
Elias Theodorou after a victory at UFC 231 in Toronto.
Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

UFC veteran, and former TUF winner, Elias Theodorou passed away yesterday due to cancer. He was 34-years-old.

News of his passing was first shared by BJPENN.com and followed by TSN's Aaron Bronstetor and MMA Fighting.

Theodorou had recently been diagnosed with colon cancer.

He was born in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada on May 31, 1988.

After an undefeated run on the Canadian MMA circuit Theodorou joined the cast of The Ultimate Fighter Nations: Canada vs. Australia in 2013.

He won that series’ middleweight bracket with a win over Sheldon Westcott on April 16, 2014.

Theodorou then went 7-3 against UFC competition, earning victories over Sam Alvey, Cezar Ferreira, Dan Kelly and Eryck Anders.

He was released from the UFC in 2019. Since then he won three more fights to advance his pro record to 19-3.

His last bout was a win over Bryan Baker at Colorado Combat Club 10 in December, 2021. Theodorou made history in that bout by being the first ever MMA fighter to compete with a therapeutic use exemption for cannabis.

He had actively campaigned for the inclusion of cannabis as a therapeutic medicine in sport during the years leading up to the fight.

In 2018 Theodorou also made history for being the first ‘Ring Boy’ to appear for all-female MMA promotion Invicta Fighting Championships. In 2015 he appeared as a cast member on third season of The Amazing Race Canada.

Update: An earlier version of this story stated that Theodorou had been diagnosed with liver cancer. A statement posted to Theodorou’s official Instagram page stated he had actually been diagnosed with colon cancer.