With the UFC announcement last week that UFC Fight Night 130 would take place in Liverpool for the first time, there was one middleweight who was more than excited to be on the fight card.
Yahoo Sport’s Jade Morris caught up with UFC Middleweight Elias ‘The Spartan’ Theodorou (14 wins 2 losses) for an exclusive chat as he prepares to take on Trevor Smith (15 wins 7 losses) on May 27 at the Echo Arena for the first Liverpool card.
He said: “Being first in anything is a huge opportunity, I know the Liverpool crowd will be a feisty one and a pumped one. I’m excited to be on a card that has just been put together. You have Liverpool welterweight Darren Till at the top of the card so more reason why everyone is going to be excited and I’m excited to kick some ass.”
The Toronto fighter added: “My goal is to be in the top 15, I want to get the win but in devastating fashion. I think Trevor Smith is a person I can finish. I’m looking to finish him in the second round I want to set a pace that he will not be able to handle and impose my will. He’s tough but I think I have the tools to break his will and impose mine.”
Theodorou says it’s his first time in Liverpool but that he’s aware of the Liverpool crowd and he’s ready to put on a show for the UK fans.
He said: “My fight is a couple of days before my 30th birthday so there will be a lot to celebrate. I’m really excited for the energy in Liverpool and most importantly to get the finish and add to the excitement”.
He also looks to make sporting history this Saturday by becoming MMA’s first ever male ring card holder as he makes his Invicta FC ring boy debut.
He added: “I’m really excited to make history as the first Invicta ring boy, that’s the reason why I ended up on the Liverpool card. It got such traction in the UK and Ireland because card holders have been removed from the darts and Formula One.
The 29-year-old admitted it started as a way to promote his brand and YouTube channel ‘The Mane Event’ but those aren’t the only reasons behind his decision.
He added: “I was a ring boy for a smaller organisation called MFL (Montreal Fight League) and I used that as proof of concept. I showed Shannon Knapp the Invicta President and she loved the idea and we both agreed I will do it with class and professionalism and that’s what I plan on bringing. I think part of this was obviously to make some noise and get some attention in a different way, I like to think out of the box.”
With equality in sports being a hot topic Theodorou opened up on the subject and he appears to have found the solution.
He said: “I think there’s an opportunity to have a larger conversation in the true pursuit of equality the answer is more not less. Going back to the removal of female ring card holders I think the answer is not removing them because you are taking a job and a platform from women by doing that I think the answer is just to add more opportunity and that’s what I’m trying to do and have fun with it. It’s not about me it’s about the powerful females that will be competing this Saturday for Invicta 28.”
Theodorou, who owns the trademark ‘ring boy’ also revealed his plans to promote positive body image.
He added: “I plan on actually making a calendar, how does ring boy of the cage sound? I also want to promote a body positive message in mixed martial arts big is beautiful and I could have a couple of heavyweights on there. Derrick Lewis can be Mr July”
UFC Liverpool card line-up so far:
Stephen Thompson vs. Darren Till (Yet to be announced)
Makwan Amirkhani vs Jason Knight
Eric Spicely vs. Darren Stewart
Tom Breese vs. Daniel Kelly
Elias Theodorou vs. Trevor Smith
Lina Lansberg vs. Gina Mazany