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UFC 231 results: Elias Theodorou earns split decision over Eryk Anders

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Elias Theodorou played the matador in his UFC 231 middleweight bout with Eryk Anders on Saturday night. Anders, for his part, obliged and played the bull.

They played their roles so well, in fact, that the bout at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto that the scorecards went to a razor-thin split decision. The Canadian Theodorou got the better end of two out of three 29-28 cards for his third consecutive victory.

Theodorou was masterful in the opening round, using constant movement and circling to keep Anders chasing him, then landing front kicks and combos of punches and kicks whenever Anders tried to close the distance. Particularly memorable was a spinning back fist by Theodorou followed by an inside leg kick.

In the second, though Anders, the former University of Alabama football player, brought the heat, successfully closing the distance and landing with his heavy hands. He rocked Theodorou on several occasions, dropped him once, and seemed a flurry away from a finish. But Theodorou managed to maintain his wits and get to the end end of the round.

Both fighters slowed in the third round. Anders still managed to land some shots. Theodorou regained his footwork and landed combos. Theodorou’s volume appeared to be the difference as he finally got the nod.

“If I don’t know what I’m going to do, how do you know?” Theodorou said. “It’s a give and take .... he hit hard, but at no point was I rocked. I kept moving.”

Theodorou, the former TUF: Nations winner, improved to 16-2 after his fifth win in his past six bouts. Anders (11-3) has dropped three of his past four, with two of the losses via split decision.