Elias Theodorou, an MMA combatant, who campaigned successfully for the right to use medical marijuana as an athlete, has died. He was 34.
UFC fighter, Theodorou died of colon cancer on Sunday in Toronto.
Terpsichoreus Theodorou, from Mississauga, Ontario, was an athlete, actor, model, stuntman, dancer and TV pitchman. Terpsichoreus was also the cover model for Harlequin romance novels. He was also a cannabis advocate.
Fighter Robin Black, in a conversation with TSN, explained why Theodorou had not disclosed his cancer diagnosis publically. Black believes that Theodorou made the decision because he could not bear to make other people sad.
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“Canadian fighter Sarah Kaufman said on Facebook that Jones had a positive energy, always wore a winning smile, and spoke out about what he believed in,” which is like saying he never lost his cool.
At Humber College in 2009, Theodorou decided to start entering MMA competitions.
He made his professional debut in June 2011 and was 8-0-0 in 2013 when he joined the cast of “The Ultimate Fighter Nations: Canada vs. Australia,” an edition of the UFC’s reality TV show featuring teams of aspiring Canadian and Australian MMA fighters.
Theodorou and 15 other fighters spent six weeks filming for a movie about an hour outside of Montreal.
“It was an interesting and amazing experience,” Alex Theodorou said later.
Theodorou was able to earn his UFC contract in April 2014 when he defeated Sheldon Westcott via second-round TKO in the TUF Nations finale in Quebec City.
Theodorou’s career had a bit of a bump and some eventually led to being cut. After that, he went on to have an eight-fight winning streak in the UFC but his less popular style wasn’t appealing as it was not exciting enough.
Theodorou was a fighter with a big “gas tank.” He kept on the move, often lashing out with kicks or hanging on his opponent at the fence as needed.
His last fight was a win over Bryan Baker last December on a Colorado Combat Club card. His pro record is 19 wins and three losses, with six wins in the previous seven fights.
Thodorou fought for years to create a space for medical marijuana in sports. Eventually, he secured a therapeutic use exemption for the marijuana that he was prescribed to reduce his pain from bilateral neuropathic pain in his hands, wrists, and elbows.
Theodorou, who said the cannabis helped him “even the playing field and fight at a baseline level,” got the exemption in February 2020 from the B.C. Athletic Commission.
Jeff Novitzky, UFC senior vice-president of athlete health and performance, took to Twitter on March 9th with a series of tweets about Elias Theodorou’s death. He expresses condolences for the loss of one of the sport’s most vocal advocates and mentions that Elias had been fighting this battle for years.
To give credit where credit is due, Theodorou is a people person
“I’m a very big extrovert,” he once said with a grin. “A stranger is just a friend you haven’t met.”