Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Elias (the Spartan) Theodorou Looks to Put First UFC Loss Behind Him

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Elias (the Spartan) Theodorou Looks to Put First UFC Loss Behind Him

Article excerpt

Theodorou looks to put first loss behind him

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TORONTO - It can be billed as a battle of good hair and a winning smile.

But for both Toronto middleweight Elias (The Spartan) Theodorou and American (Smile'n) Sam Alvey, Saturday's UFC fight in Ottawa is more a chance to put a loss behind them than flaunt their looks.

Theodorou (11-1-0) suffered his first defeat in December, beaten by tough Brazilian Thiago Santos via unanimous decision after three straight wins in the Octagon. Alvey (25-7-0 with one no contest) saw his three-fight win streak -- all first-round knockouts -- snapped in August when he was stopped by Derek Brunson in the first round.

Alvey, 30, was then forced to drop out of a planned February fight against Daniel Sarafian after suffering a broken jaw in training.

Theodorou and Alvey will meet in the featured bout on the segment of the card streamed on Fight Pass. Rory MacDonald, a B.C., native who now fights out of Montreal, faces Stephen (Wonderboy) Thompson in a clash of top welterweight contenders in the main event of the televised show at The Arena at TD Place.

The 28-year-old Theodorou is a colourful character who uses his creative advertising degree from Humber College to good use in self-promotion. He likes to boast he has the best hair in MMA and sports an eclectic resume that includes stuntwork, an appearance on "The Amazing Race Canada" and stints as a romance novel cover boy.

"I'm a very big extrovert," he told The Canadian Press in 2014. "A stranger is just a friend you haven't met."

The UFC has high hopes that the gregarious Theodorou can help carry the company flag in Canada.

But the Santos loss reinforced there is more work to do in the cage despite a seemingly endless gas tank. A late-comer to the sport after his first year in college, he has acknowledged being behind in the fundamentals.

"I'm always playing catchup," he says. …

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