Elias Theodorou (16-3) was not making any excuses for his performance in Ottawa when he lost a decision to Derek Brunson (19-7) in the co-main event. Even acknowledging his mistakes in that fight, the UFC decided to cut Theodorou from the roster. While admitting that his purposely-awkward style of fighting may need some revision, it looks like he will have to make those changes while seeking another place to fight.
Theodorou was on a three-fight win streak before losing to Brunson who seemed to disregard Theorou’s use of awkward tactics in the cage. Fans are not the only ones giving Theodorou some heat over the fight, while he posted a reaction immediately after the event it is clear he is still looking to correct what went wrong. He responded to one fan’s criticism on Twitter with, “Taking full responsibility. I sucked on Saturday. Totally understand I need to fix a lot.”
Nope. Not justifying at all. Taking full responsibility. I sucked on Saturday. Totally understand I need to fix alot. Was able to win fights with an unorthodox style when it confused opponents, but when an opponent didn't play my game, I was the one that looked confused. 😓 https://t.co/hncwBieEVd
— The Mane Event™ (@EliasTheodorou) May 6, 2019
That was in response to the running he did during the match against Brunson. Again, it has been a part of his game to be “unorthodox” and clearly, Brunson had seen enough from Theodorou to find an answer to what he has been doing. Theodorou’s game was able to confuse his opponents to pick up his last three wins by decision but he said when Brunson “didn’t play my game, I was the one that was confused.”
The life of a fighter is one that almost guarantees injury whether they win or lose. Finding a way to fight and take the least amount of damage may not be the most entertaining aspect of the match but clearly, Theodorou knows it’s time for a change. The UFC may not want to give him a chance to correct what went wrong in Ottawa, but the current landscape for the sport certainly has evolved enough that he should get the chance somewhere else and soon.
Wilson Reis and Eric Shelton were also cut according to the report from Combate but cutting Theodorou, who was ranked in the top 15 of his division is a curious move by the UFC. Especially when promotion’s like Bellator have publicly stated they would aggressively pursue free agents.
What do you think is Theodorou’s next move?