The MMA world remembers Elias Theodorou

Announced yesterday and later confirmed by sources close to Theodorou, UFC vet and TUF winner Elias ‘The Mane Event’ Theodorou passed away this weekend after a private battle with liver cancer.

A well-known and beloved figure in the sport, Theodorou blazed trails as an athlete, cannabis advocate and feminist. Upon the announcement of his death, his fellow fighters joined media personalities and fans in celebrating his 34 years of life.

Chief among the bereaved were his former co-workers under the UFC. Numerous ranked fighters offered personal stories, like the emotional video posted by welterweight staple Michael Chiesa and the personal stories by close friend and fellow Canadian fighter Aaron Jeffery. Tears forming, Chiesa recounted a time where, in need of a formal jacket before a presser, Theodorou literally gave him the shirt off his back without hesitation.

“He took his jacket off and gave it to me,” Chiesa said. “I never got the chance to give it back to him, but that’s just the type of guy he was.”

An affable competitor, his mourners include former and current champions like Aljamain Sterling and Demian Maia among other MMA staples and even former opponents like Thiago Santos. Many tributes quote his kind nature and agreeable attitude.

The first official “ring boy” for MMA promotion Invicta FC, their official twitter page along with Invicta FC President Shannon Knapp penned short tributes.

One of the most charismatic fighters the MMA world has ever seen, Theodorou made numerous friends in the media world. A frequent guest on Ariel Helwani’s broadcasts, the revered journalist was quick to offer his condolences among other figures.

UFC Senior Vice President of Athlete Health and Performance Jeff Novitsky offered both condolences and a call to action. Crediting Theodorou’s consistent advocacy for marijuana use for athletes. He called for WADA to remove the plant from their reserved substances list.

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