UFC releases Toronto middleweight Elias Theodorou


Elias Theodorou, right, fights Eryk Anders during UFC 231 in Toronto. (Nathan Denette/CP)

Toronto middleweight Elias (The Spartan) Theodorou, a former "Ultimate Fighter" winner who fought 11 times in the UFC, has been dropped by the mixed martial arts organization.

The 30-year-old Theodorou lost a unanimous decision last time out to Derek Brunson on a televised card May 4 in Ottawa. He had won five of his six previous bouts and exits with an 8-3-0 UFC record.

A UFC spokesman confirmed the decision to drop Theodorou. No reason was given.

Theodorou (16-3-0) was ranked 14th among 185-pound contenders when he fought No. 8 Brunson.

Theodorou won "The Ultimate Fighter Nations" reality TV show in April 2014, on a season that pitted Canadian versus Australian fighters.

While he came late to the sport, he enjoyed success and, after the retirement of former champion Georges St-Pierre, was one of the highest-profile Canadians in the UFC.

Theodorou’s only UFC losses were to Brunson, Brad Tavares and Thiago Santos, who is fighting Jon (Bones) Jones for the light-heavyweight title in July at UFC 239. But his grinding style was short on entertainment value and his last eight fights went the distance.

He wore many hats outside of fighting, serving as a model, actor, producer and medical marijuana advocate. He also delighted in playing a ring boy in the all-female Invicta promotion.

Theodorou says he was breaking barriers — and a few hearts.

"Being ring boy-ready obviously keeps you a little bit lighter. Nothing like a little vanity to get you motivated," he said with a chuckle in an interview last December.

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