Update: Elias Theodorou (11-0 MMA) (3-0 UFC) has been impressive since he conducted our written interview with FiveroundMMA. Elias exploded into the UFC by wining TUF nations. At middleweight Elias is one of the young rising stars. We last saw Elias at UFC 185 when he faced Roger Navarez. Elias Theodorou won via TKO in the second on top of that Elias broke Roger Navarez arm with a leg kick.
Read our interview with Elias from his fight against Bruno Santos and discover for yourself a charismatic rising star. We are still waiting for his hair match up against Kenny Florian.
Published September 2014
UFC Fight Night 54 on October 4th, 2014 is taking place at the Halifax Metro Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. On the main card that will air on Fox Sports 1 we have the return of the undefeated “TUF Nations” winner Elias “The Spartan” Theodorou (9-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC). Elias is scheduled in a middleweight fight against Bruno Santos (14-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC). Bruno Santos is coming off a split-decision victory over UFC veteran Chris Camozzi at UFC 175.
Elias Theodorou is catching everyone’s attention fans and the UFC with Elias’s second-round TKO of Sheldon Westcott to win the TUF Nation. Elias is currently undefeated and will try to continue that streak against a very tough opponent in Bruno Santos. Elias at only 26 years old fights out of Toronto, Canada and trains at multiple gyms but calls Tapout Burlington his home. Other gym Elias trains at includes TriStar home to the very famous George St. Pierre. Elias was kind enough to take a few minutes on fight week to answer some questions about his upcoming fight against Bruno Santos.
Fiveroundmma: How did you get your nickname of Spartan?
Elias Theodorou: If the shoe fits…I’m Greek and so was my first coach, who said I had the Spartan spirit in training. Basically, I took a licking early on and fought through it…eventually being the Alpha soon enough.
Fiveroundmma: How has your TUF Nation experience prepared you to have a successful career in the UFC?
Elias Theodorou: My time in the house prepared me to compete under pressure, without my friends, family and own coaches. Instead needing to use what I had to win.
Fiveroundmma: Tell us about your experience working with UFC veterans like Patrick Cote?
Elias Theodorou: I’ve known Pat for a while. The show just reinforced my great regards of the Canadian Pioneer of mma. I’m very glad to call him a training partner and friend.
Fiveroundmma: Many TUF alumni change weight classes once the competition is over. You won TUF nation in the middleweight class is this where you plan on competing or are you open at dropping down to welterweight?
Elias Theodorou: I’m a big boy. 215+ lean. So no weight dropping anytime soon. Add the fact that my body is still growing and that I’ve only begun a proper strength and conditioning programming, I’m only getting bigger.
Fiveroundmma: You are fighting Bruno Santos October 4th in a middle weight fight, how excited are you returning to the octagon after winning TUF nation?
Elias Theodorou: So excited to show everyone what I’ve been working so hard on the last few months. I’m a martial artist, always growing and so happy to be fighting in front of my fellow canucks!
Fiveroundmma: There has been recent weight cut issues such as (Renan Barao) blacking out during his weight cut making him unable to fight TJ Dillashaw. How is your weight cut coming along? What is your normal weight you walk around at? How strict are you at maintaining a healthy life style so you’re always in fighting shape?
Elias Theodorou: I’m an athlete and a professional. I can’t speak for others, but my team and I are very strict with my life style during camp. We don’t want to piss off the boss’. Add the fact I’m cutting down 30lbs – there is a science to the drop. Luckily I have a great team with me.
Fiveroundmma: Bruno Santos is known to be a grinder, only 2 fights out of his 15 pro fights have not gone to decision. During his fight with Chris Camozzi we can hear the commentator point out that Santos is a heavy middleweight and can gas out. Will you look to use your cardio as an advantage and keep the pressure on Bruno Santos?
Elias Theodorou: He’s heavy, but always able to stay in the whole 15 minutes. He’s also quite good at sticking to his game plan. Grinding. I’m going to take him out of his element by using my eight deadly limbs, moving and getting off his “tracks.” He wants to grab me, but won’t be able to get a hold of what he can’t catch!
Fiveroundmma: After Bruno Santos faced Chris Camozzi there were many fans upset for the lack of action. Bruno Santos looked to clinched and take down Camozzi the entire fight. Are you prepared for that type of fight and if he begins to attempt takedowns or clinches will it get you off your game plan?
Elias Theodorou: Very prepared. That’s what the whole camps focus has been. I would argue I am much more effective in the clinch and on the cage. If you watch my grind on TUF you can see I have a much greater pace. I think Camozzi gave Santos the fight after winner the first round….he got frustrated and was complaining to the ref rather than fixing his position. I’m much more disciplined and will look to tell Santos “NO” throughout the fight.
Fiveroundmma: You received a lot of criticism during TUF nation for being a “cage humper” and you even acknowledged it after your victory over Sheldon Westcott. What can we expect October 4th against Bruno Santos that will silence some of your critics?
Elias Theodorou: Going to continue the momentum from my last fight. My stats speak for them self…I plan to have fun doing what I love to do and do what I always do…win.
Fiveroundmma: Is there anything in Bruno Santos fighting style that you are specifically concerned about as you prepare for him?
Elias Theodorou: Nothing really. He wants to grab me…I will tell him “NO” with my fists.
Fiveroundmma: In a recent interview you acknowledged Bruno’s fight experience. Do you think that will be a disadvantage for you since you have less fights under your belt?
Elias Theodorou: Add in my undefeated kick boxing record and the two TUF fights and I’m a head. Not to mention I don’t know how to loss, and there is no road map to beating me.
Fiveroundmma: Can we expect any type of shout out during your fight against Bruno Santos? There were twitter fans stating it was un-sportsman like but then I saw some fans actually thought it was an amazing tribute. Do you feel the shout out is disrespectful to your opponent?
Elias Theodorou: Not trying to disrespect anyone. I’m just being me and having fun with what I do and the journey along the way. My dads birthday is Oct 10th…you never know 🙂
Fiveroundmma: What is your ultimate goal in MMA? In the UFC? Seems like you have a bright future outside of MMA (modeling/acting) will that ever change your priority list in terms of career path?
Elias Theodorou: My focus is on my training and being the best fighter I can be. I know that I’m young and just starting, but I want to strive for greatness. The rest will be thereafter.
Fiveroundmma: We are partnered with RMA (Redemption Martial Arts) an organization who is pushing awareness and a fight against bullying. Have you ever had a situation where you encountered bullying and how did you deal with it? What can MMA provide to deal with bullying? Any encouraging words for kids who may read this and are dealing with bullying?
Elias Theodorou: I like many, was bullied at a younger age. Being well aware of the short comings of my bullies, knew they were teasing out of their own insecurities. I know it’s hard, but the less you acknowledge, the less it empowers the bully. I also think the teachers play a big role alongside parents to create a better more enlightened child. Crummy parents raise crummy kids.