Former UFC fighter Elias Theodorou dies aged 34 after losing battle with cancer

Former UFC fighter Elias Theodorou has died at the age of 34 after losing his battle with liver cancer.

The Canadian mixed martial artist spent five years in the UFC after winning The Ultimate Fighter: Nations middleweight tournament in 2014. During his career he was an advocate for USADA to remove cannabis from their list of banned substances and became the first professional athlete in the USA to receive a medical cannabis exemption.

Having also been a ring card boy for all-female promotion Invicta, the Spartan's death comes after a battle with stage four liver cancer, although he had kept his diagnosis a secret.

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With his death confirmed by his representatives, TSN's Aaron Bronsteter reported, via news.com: “Sadly, a representative of Elias Theodorou has confirmed earlier reports that he has passed away at age 34.

“Theodorou was privately battling Stage 4 liver cancer and had only told a select group of people of his diagnosis.

“Securing the Therapeutic Use Exemption was a years-long quest that he dedicated his time and resources towards and his legacy for cannabis athletes will be felt for years to come.

"RIP Elias. A great athlete with a wonderful sense of humour and a smile that would light up a room.”

Tributes have flooded in for Theodorou from current and former UFC fighters, including number five ranked welterweight Belal Muhammad, who wrote: “Wow Rest In Peace.”

After five years in the UFC, Theodorou was cut in May 2019 after a unanimous decision loss to Derek Brunson. He was ranked 15th in the middleweight division at the time.

During his UFC run, the Canadian went 7-3 and returned to the regional scene for three more fights after his release, with his final fight coming in December last year.

Overall, his professional record consists of 19 wins and just three losses with all his losses coming via decision, meaning Theodorou was never finished during this 22-fight career.

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