The MMA world is mourning the loss of one of its stars.
Elias Theodorou, a Canadian mixed martial artist, who also competed for the UFC throughout his career, died on Sept. 11 at the age of 34 after a private battle with liver cancer. Theodorou's rep confirmed the tragic news to a TSN broadcaster, who shared the statement on social media.
"Sadly, a representative of Elias Theodorou has confirmed earlier reports that he has passed away at age 34," Aaron Bronsteter of The Sports Network in Canada tweeted. "Theodorou was privately battling Stage 4 liver cancer and had only told a select group of people of his diagnosis."
Theodorou began his MMA career in 2011, earning an impressive 11 consecutive victories before competing in the UFC. Overall, he fought in 22 MMA matches in his career, with his most recent win over being a victory over Bryan Baker last December.
In the later years of his career, Theodorou became a vocal advocate of allowing fighters to use medical cannabis in-sport.
He made history when he became the first professional athlete to compete with a Therapeutic Use Exemption [TUE] for Medical Cannabis in North America, which he did in both Canada and the United States.
After news broke of his passing, MMA star Michael Chiesa honored the 34-year-old's memory by sharing a video to social media. Explaining that Theodorou was the type of friend to "give you the shirt off his back," Chiesa held up a blazer the late UFC star gave to him when he needed a jacket for a press conference.
"He took his jacket and gave it to me and I never got a chance to give it back to him," Chiesa shared in a clip posted to Twitter Sept. 12. "But that's the type of guy he was and while I'm sad...I have to remember I'm very blessed that I had the friendship I had with him and countless great memories I have with him."