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Former MMA Fighter Elias Theodorou Dies Age 34 from Liver Cancer

Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

MMA fighter Elias Theodorou died Sunday of liver cancer.

He was 34.

Aaron Bronsteter of TSN Sports confirmed Theodorou’s death, reporting his cancer diagnosis was recognized to only “a select group.”

Theodorou fought in UFC from 2014 to 2019, compiling an 8-3 record with the promotion and winning the Ultimate Fighter: Nations middleweight tournament.

After his departure from UFC, Theodorou fought three more times, along with his most recent being truly a make an impression on Bryan Baker in December. He finished his MMA career with a 19-3 record overall.

Beyond his in-ring career, Theodorou was also a staunch advocate for medical cannabis. He became the initial professional athlete in THE UNITED STATES to get a therapeutic use exemption for medical cannabis from the state athletic commission in 2020.

“They continued telling me to take more prescription medications, when my doctor and I knew that cannabis was right for me personally,” Theodorou told CBS News. “These were telling me to take antidepressants and opioids, all while ironically or sadly having a campaign concerning the opioid crisis.”

While marijuana is legal in lots of states for medical or recreational purposes, it remains illegal on a federal level. That means it is problematic for athletes to acquire medical exemptions in competitions governed by america Anti-Doping Agency, that is a federally run program.

Theodorou said he hoped to inspire change that could help athletes eventually have the ability to use cannabis for medical purposes.

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