Medical Cannabis Advocate, MMA Fighter Elias Theodorou Passes Away

Elias Theodorou, known for his successful mixed martial arts (MMA) career and advocacy for medical cannabis, died on Sept. 11 at the age of 34 after a long battle with liver cancer.

Born in Mississauga, Canada, Ontario, Theodore’s career began a year after college. high times It was an honor to interview him in January 2021. There, he explained, a battle-losing video posted on YouTube went viral.

“Depressed, I confided in my father. He said, ‘You love it.’ [Ultimate Fighting Championship] There’s a lot of UFC stuff going on, so why not hit the gym and make sure this never happens again?” he said. high times“And I did. Enlightening both. “

Theodorou’s career has taken him to great heights, becoming a UFC fighter and winner of The Ultimate Fighter Nations: Canada vs. Australia in the middleweight bracket in 2014. He was released from his UFC contract in 2019 but continued to fight at the Prospect Fighting Championship in December 2019, Ryze FC in March 2021 and Colorado in December 2021. , will win.

His coach and longtime friend, Lachlan Chen, has been a medical cannabis patient for over a decade. Seeing his coaches use medical cannabis exposed him to the benefits of cannabis and the negative effects of prescription drugs.

Personally, he began using medical cannabis to treat bilateral neuropathy (nerve injury) in his upper extremities. “The fights are painful, so my medication options were opioids and painkillers, or cannabis,” he said. It has many debilitating effects both as a patient and as an athlete, not to mention side effects like upset stomachs, bloating, etc. It’s a drug that helps you live on the field.”

In 2020, Theodorou became the first athlete to receive a therapeutic use exemption in North America for cannabis use. I was the first professional athlete and UFC fighter to apply for a therapeutic use waiver in the Doping Agency’s (USADA) test pool,” said Theodorow. “my [therapeutic-use exemption] The UFC was unacceptable, but USADA agreed with my condition and potential need for cannabis. Because USADA is funded by the US government. That is, they don’t believe it has medical properties…they only recommended pain relievers, opioids, and antidepressants.

His support for medical cannabis continued until his death. On Aug. 29, he shared his support for cannabis brands. match day“Game on! #PlantsOverPills @gameday.98 has officially started! We couldn’t be more excited to be part of a company and team that is ready to change the game in both cannabis and sports! #Dope #Sports” he wrote.

After he passed away, many remember Theodore’s career and his good-natured personality over the course of his career. “He has the best smile and is always laughing with the team during his training camps and his fight weeks.” He said high times“It may sound antithetical to being a martial artist, but I love what I do, so it’s easy for me to enjoy the process.”

He also served as the ‘ring boy’ of Invicta FC, the All-Pro Women’s MMA Championship to promote equality. “The addition of ringboys is just another way to level the playing field in another area of ​​the sport. I think we’re on the right side of history,” he told the BBC. March 2018“The response so far has been 70-80% positive. When people make fun of me for other things, I show them kindness.”

Many prominent supporters recently passed away, including Olivia Newton-John and Zahra Abbas in August.

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