Elias Theodorou: “I may look pretty, but I fight dirty”
Chances are you probably saw Elias Theodorou long before he was the winner of The Ultimate Fighter Nations: Canada vs. Australia.
If you ever happened to wander into that random book aisle at your local grocery store, sandwiched between the dairy and cookie sections, you’ll find several rows of illicit reading material with scantily clad men and women on the covers with some seriously cheesy titles just waiting to be picked up.
Now look a little closer and you’ll probably see Theodorou gracing at least one or two of those books that probably adorn the bookshelf of at least one aunt or cousin in your family. See before he was The Ultimate Fighter champion, Theodorou was a male model and actor living in Canada, who made ends meet by doing book covers and photo shoots to earn extra cash.
"It’s about 10 covers," Theodorou told FOX Sports about his modeling career for books. "A lot of older women are reading it and doing a little daydreaming. I could definitely be on the husbands of Canadian housewives."
It was a running joke while he was on the reality show that Theodorou would fight in a way so that his hair would never get messed up and the last thing he wanted to do was take a punch because his face was the source of great income for him. He was dubbed ‘the Canadian pretty boy’ but really he was just the best fighter in the house as it turned it out.
Fighting’s my passion and all jokes aside, I’m a ferocious fighter. I may look pretty, but I fight dirty
— Elias Theodorou
Theodorou doesn’t mind at all that his modeling career comes up so often. He’s proud of the work he’s done and he’ll continue doing it when timing allows him to fit in an acting gig or a photoshoot. The reality is he’s already had plenty of conflicts since signing with the UFC, and fighting wins out each and every time.
"I actually passed on being on the Canadian Bachelor, I had to live in Vancouver during the actual time of The Ultimate Fighter Finale so I could have been The Bachelor. I’ve been pretty blessed in the opportunities that I’ve had. I passed on the possible opportunity to be in Godzilla and even Robocop," Theodorou revealed.
"Fighting’s my passion and all jokes aside, I’m a ferocious fighter. I may look pretty, but I fight dirty."
Theodorou also understands that he can’t fight forever. As strange as it may sound considering he’s only entering his second UFC fight, Theodorou is always looking at the big picture and he knows being a top UFC middleweight only allows him so many years to compete.
When fighting is over, Theodorou will still look the way he looks and he’s not going apologize for being blessed with good genetics.
"Who knows how long and to be completely honest, this sport has a shelf life. Any athletics, there’s an expiration date, you just don’t know when it is," Theodorou said. "I’m hoping being 26 it’s not for another 10 years from now, but you want to have that insurance. That post fight life.
"Those are the things I’m kind of dabbling in to set up for the future and that’s a discussion I’ll have again when I’m in my thirties."
When Theodorou steps into the Octagon on Saturday to face Bruno Santos, no one is going to care if he’s got perfectly quaffed hair or a signature smile for the camera. He needs to go out and smash his opponent into the ground and win his fight because that’s the only thing that matters to a top UFC fighter.
"I understand as a society we want to just look at what’s on the exterior and judge a book by its cover. Ironically, I’ve been on 10 book covers," Theodorou said with a laugh. "At the end of the day I’m going to be in the same cage as every other pretty or ugly fighter and you have to answer for what you’ve done.
"With that said, I’ve just got to keep protecting the moneymaker and avoid taking punches as much as I can. October 4 I’m looking to do all the punching."