Elias Theodorou happy to be a trailblazer at Rise FC 6, plans to finish Matt Dwyer

Elias Theodorou
Elias Theodorou weighs in for his UFC 231 bout. (Credit: The Canadian Press)

Elias Theodorou (17-3) will make history on Saturday night in the main event of Rise FC 6.

The Canadian is set to return to action against former UFC fighter Matt Dwyer (11-7). It is a big fight for Canadian MMA, but the fight is more meaningful for Theodorou.

The former UFC middleweight contender will be the first fighter to be able to fight with a therapeutic use exemption for cannabis. For Theodorou, he said he’s glad he’s being the trailblazer as this is something he has been wanting to do for years.

“Progress is not overnight and it is constantly changing,” Theodorou said to MMA Empire.

“Other commissions are starting to understand how cannabis helps athletes recover and I’m excited to help lead the charge. It is about fighting the stigma of cannabis and proving the medical reasons why I use it and why it needs to be legal. I’m being the trailblazer.”

Although Theodorou, 32, is making history, many are surprised he’s fighting for another regional show. The Canadian was a top-10 UFC middleweight and was released after one loss to Derek Brunson. Many figured he would have options with Bellator and PFL, but the Canadian decided to fight local and picked up a big win at Prospect FC 12 in December 2019.

Against Dwyer, Theodorou is the co-promoter and is helping end the stigma around cannabis. However, he is open to the fact that after this fight, him signing with a big promotion is likely.

“I am focused on finishing what I started, and that is what this fight is. I will eventually fight in other regions, but I’m lucky to be in a position where I fight because I love it. I’m really excited to put on a hell of a show,” Theodorou explained.

“When my career is over, I will do what I wanted to do and that is to make history as being the first sanctioned cannabis athlete and knock cannabis off the restricted list for commissions. Come 2022, there might be a time when I sign with a major promotion, but I have been lucky to work on this goal and work on other projects. Once I get my hand raised and I get the momentum of another win, it will allow me to sign with a big promotion.”

In the fight, Theodorou knows he will be too much for Dwyer and expects to get his second straight finish.

The Mississauga, Ont. native also plans on proving to everyone he still is one of the best middleweights in the world.

“For me, this fight is about getting another finish. I know what I’m capable of and I have gone back to the basics,” Theodorou said.

“I have been lucky enough to train throughout this year and reinvent myself. I’m going to get a finish here against Matt Dwyer. I’m one of the best fighters in the world and I will prove that on March 13 against a tough fighter.”

If Theodorou gets his hand raised on March 13, the goal is to be active this year for whatever promotion that might be.

However, he also plans on continuing to prove to commissions that cannabis shouldn’t be on the restricted list.

“I will fight a very game fighter and be active going forward. This year will be growing as a fighter, as I am in my prime and take my career in whatever direction I want to go in,” Theodorou concluded.

Follow Theodorou on social media: FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM