Elias Theodorou’s final UFC fight took place in a bout against Derek Brunson at UFC Ottawa. Brunson was the victor, and Theodorou was swiftly given the axe after the loss. The release of Theodorou has been a talking point around the MMA community, specifically adding fuel to the “sport vs. entertainment” debate. After all, the sporting aspect says that a fighter who is 8-3 in the promotion with three victories in his last four fights is safe. But the entertainment side says that Theodorou’s unorthodox style finally caught up to him after what might have been the most crowd-repelling performance of his career. As someone who was the last person to share the Octagon with Theodorou, Brunson offered his take on the release in a recent interview, and he believes the cause for the termination was neither sports nor entertainment related:
“He’s a smart guy. He went out with his game plan and he fought the normal way that he always fought and he thought I was going to present the same attributes or come out the same way I did in my previous fights just really aggressive,” Brunson told MMA Fighting about the fight. “He didn’t deviate from that game plan and I said to myself ‘you can’t keep doing the same dumb stuff over and over again’.
“It wasn’t the way that he fought,”’ Brunson speculated on the cause of Theodorou’s release. “You can’t cut a guy who’s 8-3 or whatever his record is in the UFC. He was 16-2 before he fought me and he only had two losses in the UFC and he won “The Ultimate Fighter” also. The guy he’s a good competitor.
“I think it was other stuff. I know it wasn’t just that fight. Guys have boring fights and do boring stuff all the time but it had to be some underlying issue with the UFC I’m guessing.”
Do you agree with Derek Brunson? Was Elias Theodorou’s release unrelated to his last fight against Derek Brunson at UFC Ottawa or his fighting style?