Former UFC fighter and model from Mississauga dies at age 34


Published September 12, 2022 at 10:34 am

Mississauga professional MMA fighter Elias Theodorou, who made history in the sport and outside the sport graced the cover of six Harlequin romance novels, died this past weekend after a relatively brief battle with cancer.

Theodorou, who fought in 22 career MMA matches including 11 in the UFC from 2014 to 2019, was 34.

The Mississauga native and Meadowvale Secondary School graduate won The Ultimate Fighter: Nations Middleweight Tournament by defeating Sheldon Westcott in 2014 and was then victorious in his first 11 professional MMA bouts.

Theodorou made history when he became the first professional athlete in North America to compete with a Therapeutic Use Exemption for Medical Cannabis.

He competed both in Canada and the United States.

Representatives of the MMA fighter confirmed the news of his death to TSN on Sunday night (Sept. 11).

Theodorou was reportedly privately battling Stage 4 liver cancer and had only told a small group of people.

His last professional bout was a victory over American Bryan Baker last December in Colorado.

Outside of fighting, Theodorou competed on the third season of The Amazing Race Canada and was used as a model for the cover of six Harlequin romance novels.

In a 2014 interview with, the “Mississauga born-and-raised” athlete opened up about a number of subjects, including his passion for MMA and how he took a chance and just went for it while still a creative advertising student at Humber College.

“I was enlightening the mind and I thought the body should follow,” he told at the time. “I went to one (MMA) class and never left.”

Making it in the MMA world was a dream come true for Theodorou, nicknamed “The Spartan” due to his Greek background and because, according to his first coach, he had “that Spartan mentality in me.”

“I have devoted the last six years of my life to something and it has truly paid off. It’s a big risk not going straight to your typical 9-5 job after graduating, but big risk, big reward,” Theodorou said during the 2014 interview.

At that same time, the Mississauga fighter, whose handsome looks  added to his persona in the ring, was clear about how he wanted to be remembered at the end of his career.

“Other than the hair? Haha. That I love to do what I do and I enjoy the ride.”

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