The TUF Nations winner already has a future opponent in mind and that is former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Lyoto Machida.
“I’ve said it before: I kind of fancy myself the poor man’s Machida, and I’d love to take on the real one,” Theodorou said after the event. “It’s the case of, essentially, you train hard enough, you compete long enough and your idols eventually become your competition. He fought someone who wasn’t ranked two fights ago (Eryk Anders), and it makes sense to fight someone who’s at least ranked. He’s calling out (Michael) Bisping, who may or may not be retired. Bisping’s a mate of mine, and he called him out. And I only want to have a beer with Bisping, so I’m happy to take his spot.”
Machida is available for a fight, with his last Octagon appearance being a second round knockout win over former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Vitor Belfort at UFC 224.
Kicking off a UFC event may not appeal to most competitors, but Theodorou says that he is the “Mane Event,” no matter the card placement.
“Coming out to a great crowd gets you excited,” Theodorou said. “Obviously, being the first fight, I get to proclaim my moniker. Obviously, I’m ‘The Spartan,’ but I’m also ‘The Mane Event’ – trademark included – so it doesn’t matter whether I’m the top of the card or the bottom of the card.”
There has been no response from Machida as of yet, but he would be the first former UFC title holder that Theodorou has ever competed against in the promotion.