After initially surprising most onlookers, Elias Theodorou's release from the UFC reignited a debate about whether the UFC was more entertainment or sports league. In truth, Theodorou's opinion has recently shifted on that matter too.
Theodorou's final UFC outing took place just last month, losing to Derek Brunson in a co-main event fight. The fight was decided via Unanimous Decision and failed to impress the live crowd, with Theodorou's admittedly awkward style seemingly turning some viewers off. As a result, not everyone sympathized with the Canadian's release even though he'd entered the Brunson bout after three consecutive wins.
Appearing on Ariel Helwani's MMA Show, 'The Spartan' tackled the matter in detail, admitting that his perspective has been been impacted by recent events. “That was something I internally had after the last fight. Whether you win or lose, you have to go back to the drawing board in some capacity. Obviously my last fight, it’s the case where I was in many ways looking to be the matador against the bull.
"Derek Brunson normally, for the last give or take ten fights has been running out of the gate like a bat out of hell. Obviously he adjusted and had that same internal conversation in our bout and it didn’t work," he said.
"I’ve tweeted it out and have talked about it since but I prided myself in being able to be unorthodox enough to basically outsmart people with my unconventional style. In doing so, confusing them or doing different things that they wouldn’t expect to work and I was able to be victorious in that aspect. Part of it also was I definitely looked at MMA and UFC as a sport and now obviously, there is definitely more entertainment possibly as the sphere.
"Especially with the specific company that I was working with beforehand. Moving forward, I’m really excited to reinvent myself, both as a martial artist and as an individual. I’ve had my identity in one direction for quite some time but I’m looking to change both in the cage and out."
Nonetheless, Theodorou's established style has certainly brought him success, going an impressive 8-3 inside the octagon after entering the promotion as an 8-0 prospect. As a result, Theodorou is an intriguing free agent that's already excited for the future. While surprised by his release though, Theodorou isn't ruling out an eventual octagon return and instead, leaves the promotion with positive thoughts on his mind.
“I would love to put myself in a position where I’m undeniable to any organization. I have nothing but positive memories and positive connections with the UFC from my experience."