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UFC fighter Elias “The Spartan” Theodorou has died from liver cancer. He was just 34 years old.
According to the CBC, the Mississauga, Ontario native’s death was confirmed by his publicist.
Theodorou first set foot in an MMA gym when he was 21 years old. Just a few years later he won The Ultimate Fighter back in 2014, which earned him a UFC deal.
During his time in the UFC, the 6-foot-1, 185 pound fighter had a 16-3-0 record.
Theodorou did more than hop in the octagon, he was also an actor, stuntman, pitchman, actor, and even a romance novel cover artist.
That last gig gave inspiration to his Twitter bio, “Your mom’s favourite book cover. Your son’s favourite fighter.”
The CBC reported that the late fighter never shared his cancer diagnosis publicly. According to TSN analyst and former fighter Robin Black — a friend of Theodorou’s — he chose to keep it a secret “because he couldn’t bear to make people sad.”
Theordreou is also remembered for his crusade to allow fighters to use medical marijuana. He had been prescribed medicinal cannabis to help with bilateral neuropathic pain that affected his hands, wrists, and elbows.
The MMA world sent their best to the late fighter after news of his death had broken.
One thing many of tributes mentioned about Elias Theodorou were his outgoing, easy-to-talk-to way.
“I’m a very big extrovert,” he was once quoted as saying. “A stranger is just a friend you haven’t met.”