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Photo by Paul Venomous © MMA SPORTS® . Interview by Elie for MMA SPORTS®

With a perfect professional MMA record and crowned The Ultimate Fighter... Elias Theodorou is slowly but surely climbing the UFC Middleweight division.

MMA SPORTS: Congratulations on your recent win against Roger Narvaez at UFC 185, what were your thoughts on the fight?
Elias: I felt great going into this fight. I spent the first half of my camp in Brazil training with Team Nogueira. That allowed me to bring the momentum back home for the final month of training. I was very ready, both mental and physically.

MMA SPORTS: Knockout in the second round, you must have been pleased with that result?
Elias: Very much so. The first round I spent warming up and trying to read my opponent. Once I figured him out, I went for the kill.

MMA SPORTS: Your introduction to the UFC was winning The Ultimate Fighter Nations: Canada vs. Australia middleweights, how did that feel?
Elias: I grew up and became a UFC fan watching the show. So to be a part of it, especially the chance to be the first Canadian to win was a once in a life time opportunity.

MMA SPORTS: You knocked out Sheldon Westcott in the Finale, describe the feeling of winning The Ultimate Fighter?
Elias: The feeling is indescribable. But if pushed, I would say a mixture of relief, followed by joy. A professional fight is a daunting task. When you first win, it's not a happy moment, but rather a weight off your shoulders when you win what you have been training so hard to do.

MMA SPORTS: What made you take the shot to go for The Ultimate Fighter show?
Elias: It was the next logical step in my MMA career. I was already under the UFC radar, but they wanted me to get a signature win over a veteran. Unfortunately, no former UFC fighter wanted to fight me because of the possibility of being a stepping stone for an up and comer like myself.

MMA SPORTS: What was it like living in The Ultimate Fighter house?
Elias: It was an amazing opportunity. Once in a life time, as I became the first Canadian TUF winner. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.

MMA SPORTS: Craziest thing that happened in the house?
Elias: The concept of TUF itself is crazy. 16 like minded knuckle heads locked up in a house together for 6 weeks. Fighting for a contract all while being filmed 24 hours a day.

MMA SPORTS: What's it like to walk down the street and have fans run towards you for an autograph?
Elias: I am still getting use to the idea of someone caring about me enough to get a signature or picture. It means the world to me in many ways. Their support and belief.

MMA SPORTS: You've fought in many different promotions, but what's it like to fight in the UFC?
Elias: The way I look at it and explain to all my training partner's that will eventually fight in the UFC... it's the same job, just a better office. That's how I keep it in perspective and fight without any new nerves or fear. Just another day, but I am so blessed to be where I am. Doing what I love.

MMA SPORTS: If you could choose your next fight, who would it be?
Elias: Doesn't matter who I fight next. I will do what I always do. Win.
As for location... I would love the opportunity to fight in my home town Toronto Ontario. It would be a true coming full circle moment for me. Would love to fight in front of my friends and family as a UFC fighter.

MMA SPORTS: Let's go back a little, how did you get started in MMA?
Elias: I got into MMA after my first year of university. I was enlightening my mind, so I thought to do so with my body as well with martial arts. So after starting, I realised they were one in the same.

MMA SPORTS: Do you remember your first MMA fight and what it felt like?
Elias: Magical. At the age of 23, only 3 years into my training, I surfed the Web putting my name into fight anyone in any MMA organization in Canada. Eventually getting my chance. My coach at the time was unable to go, so my brother, who knew even less MMA than me, joined me and we did the impossible... beat the home town hero and started my career undefeated.

MMA SPORTS: Your current MMA record stands undefeated at 11-0, do you feel any added pressure being unbeaten?
Elias: Yes and no. I lose every day in the gym. But when it comes to the fight, I don't know how to lose. I feel no pressure or nerves because I've done the homework and ready for my test. Then I do what I always do... win.

MMA SPORTS: Speaking of undefeated fighters, UFC Middleweight champion Chris Weidman, how do you feel you match up with him?
Elias: Although our records are close, I would be years away from a fight like that. Either with the current champ or any future one. I have only 6 years of training and at the age of 26 there is no rush to bite off more than I can chew. I want to gradually increase my competition, until I am completely ready to go for that title run!

MMA SPORTS: Chris Weidman has been dominating opponents for a long time, what would you like to say to him?
Elias: We've met before. Even had a few drinks together at a party... he's a great, nice and humble guy. He asks my manager how I am doing every once in a while. Maybe he knows I'm coming for him (laughs)!

MMA SPORTS: Are you nervous when you walk into the cage?
Elias: Nope. My mental fortitude is my strongest asset. I am not nervous because I practice and train myself to feel as close to sparring day as possible. I ignore the crowd and only focus on my opponent and my corner guiding me. Fear is never a factor (smiles).

MMA SPORTS: How would you explain your fighting style?
Elias: I am of the new MMA generation. Unlike the Giants that came before me, I started as a MMA athlete. No prior martial arts... I can transition into any style to win as I don't have a dominant or safe choice.

MMA SPORTS: What's that one MMA fight that stands out in your mind that you've had?
Elias: My first MMA fight and the ultimate Finale. The beginning of my career and UFC career.

MMA SPORTS: If you could fight any celebrity in an MMA fight, who would it be?
Elias: CM Punk. He's actually quite a nice guy... but once he plays MMA fighter a few times, I would love to welcome him to the real show.

MMA SPORTS: In the dressing room, while you are waiting for your fight, what are you thinking of and what are you feeling?
Elias: It’s the calm before the store. I am simply playing the waiting game and getting ready for my turn.

MMA SPORTS: What is the first thing that goes through your head, when you are standing across from your opponent and the cage door shuts?
Elias: Let's dance. And I'm going to lead.

MMA SPORTS: What is one rule you would like to see implemented in MMA?
Elias: I'm most excited for the enhanced drug testing in the UFC. Becoming a more fair and safe environment.

MMA SPORTS: What's one thing fans don't know about you?
Elias: I am a HUGE history junkie. I love learning, and history along with other subjects are my favorite to learn.

MMA SPORTS: What's the hardest thing about living the life of a fighter?
Elias: The hardest part of fighting is the day in and days out. Before my 15mins to shine, there are months of practice and training. Hours and hours put on the mats that no one sees. Some days are taxing. I don't want to be there... but I push myself and focus on the goal of getting my hand raised. When it's all over, I am so grateful for pushing on.

MMA SPORTS: What's the best thing about the living the life of a fighter?
Elias: I love the ability to see the world. I train as a martial nomad. Learning from everyone and everywhere along the way. Taking back that knowledge home with me for the next fight.


 

 
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