Shortly after Theodorou’s death became public, fighters and fans paid homage to the Canadian veteran and The Ultimate Fighter: Nations winner, who died of cancer Sunday. He was 34 years old.
Invicta FC President Shannon Knapp called Theodorou “a beautiful soul” and “a bright light in this world” in a Twitter post, accompanied by images of the always unconventional Theodorou serving as the all-women promotion’s first-ever “ring boy.”
ONE heavyweight champion Arjan Bhullar, another standout fighter from Canada, wrote, “This is so damn sad. Never heard a bad thing said about him and blown away he just fought less than a year ago,” while UFC welterweight Michael Chiesa uploaded a video sharing a story in which Theodorou literally gave him the clothes off of his back.
UFC President Dana White took to Instagram to pay homage to Theodorou, who went 8-3 during his run with the promotion from 2014-2019.
See the MMA community’s social media reactions to the tragic news below.
This is a very difficult post to write. Elias was a big brother to me. My MMA big brother. He helped bring me up in the sport. Laid more beatings on me than probably anyone else ever will. pic.twitter.com/Sxaz5K6PDa— Aaron Jeffery (@aajmma) September 12, 2022
You were such a beautiful soul. Always so kind and such a bright light in this world. This news is devastating. You will be greatly missed, but never forgotten. Fly high, Elias! #RingBoy pic.twitter.com/tHP9jv41JU— Shannon Knapp (@shanknapp) September 12, 2022
A member of the @InvictaFights family has sadly passed from his battle with cancer. Our sincere condolences to his friends and family. Elias was truly a kind, humble and charismatic personality who will be missed greatly by all. #RingBoy pic.twitter.com/20nkgnLZgU— Invicta FC (@InvictaFights) September 12, 2022
Wow. Loss for words on hearing the news on one of the nicest guys I’ve met in this sport. #RIP Elias. This is saddening— Aljamain Sterling (@funkmasterMMA) September 12, 2022
Horrible news to see, Canada lost a great one— #OnAmission4Gold (@KelvinGastelum) September 12, 2022
This is so damn sad. Never heard a bad thing said about him and blown away he just fought less than a year ago. RIP https://t.co/UEqpdG6WEQ— Arjan Singh Bhullar (@TheOneASB) September 12, 2022
I can't believe! terrible news! RIP my friend Elias Theodorou it’s was a pleasure to share the octagon with you my brother— Thiago “Marreta” Santos (@TMarretaMMA) September 12, 2022
I sat in a hot tub with Elias Theodorou in Moncton, NB, Canada back in 2018. He was fun to talk to… a thoughtful and nice guy. So sad to hear this news.— Brendan Fitzgerald (@BrendanFitzTV) September 12, 2022
RIP Elias Theodorou. A great person and a HUGE voice for the more fair and equitable treatment of marijuana use in MMA and sport.— Jeff Novitzky (@JeffNovitzkyUFC) September 12, 2022
Took a nap to wake up and find out Elias Theodorou has passed. Way to young. You will be missed my guy. #LONGLIVETHESPARTAN— Chris Curtis The Action Man (@Actionman513) September 12, 2022
Such sad news. May he Rest In Peace. https://t.co/bDBzIe8Q52— Megan Olivi (@MeganOlivi) September 12, 2022
Oh man, It’s so sad to hear about Elias Theodorou. May he Rest In Peace.— Tanner Boser (@BulldozerBoser) September 12, 2022
And he didn’t make it known to the public at all. Can only assume he didn’t want pity. Damn. What a badass.— Tanner Boser (@BulldozerBoser) September 12, 2022
Always a great guy. Polite, respectful and a great sense of humor. RIP. Was shocked when I saw this. Sincere condolences to his loved ones. https://t.co/zVdzkIsfdC— michael (@bisping) September 12, 2022
Condolences to Elias family and friends. Rest easy my friend https://t.co/JhB2O3igFK— Gray Maynard (@GrayMaynard) September 12, 2022
Just awful news. Gone way too soon. Rest in peace Elias https://t.co/8CywJrNZRG— John Gooden (@JohnGoodenUK) September 12, 2022
It was always a pleasure to be with @EliasTheodorou, the man had such a positive view on life. His smile was infectious, every time I saw him he had me smiling and laughing. May you Rest In Peace my brother!— Aiemann Zahabi (@Aiemannzahabi) September 12, 2022
Prayers and condolences go out to the family and friends of @EliasTheodorou so often people fight and we don’t see it, just as often we don’t even know. RIP Elias, classy to the end I am so sorry that we, the MMA community did not no about your toughest fight ever pic.twitter.com/nSbzd6tZRp— Big John McCarthy (@JohnMcCarthyMMA) September 12, 2022
Very sad to hear about Elias Theodorou . RIP— Demian Maia (@demianmaia) September 12, 2022
A positive energy if ever there was one, a man who almost always flashed a winning smile, a man who spoke out about what he believed in.— Sarah Kaufman (@mmasarah) September 12, 2022
You will be missed Elias. (Don’t worry guys, he approved this photo )#themaneevent #themaneevent™ #rip #eliastheodorou #fuckcancer pic.twitter.com/GBAIJkBVDg
This is so sad. He was a good guy. RIP Elias https://t.co/5oRkCclUpl— Alpha Cat Zingano (@CatZingano) September 12, 2022
@EliasTheodorou always walked tall. He was a natural performer & belonged on stage. A karaoke stage, a fight stage, a ring boy stage, an advocate stage…— Zachary Makovsky (@ZachFunSize) September 12, 2022
He was always kind and fun and making everywhere he was, a little brighter. You’ll be missed, brother. Grateful I knew you ❤️ pic.twitter.com/rsXvE28tTV
Was a pleasure sharing the octagon with you . Elias Theodorou was 8-2 in the UFC & left the UFC due to standing up for what he believed in . He was 19-3 as a martial artist and from all accounts was a great person . RIP my brother, a true Canadian pioneer ! pic.twitter.com/SOC7nOxJJ1— Derek Brunson (@DerekBrunson) September 12, 2022