MMA News Roundup: Former UFC fighter dies at age 34 from cancer, veterans discuss if Khamzat Chimaev cheated against Kevin Holland, Joe Rogan gets praised for asking the “hard questions”
Welcome to today’s edition of Sportskeeda’s daily MMA News Roundup, where we present the biggest UFC updates and other stories from the world of mixed martial arts.
In the latest issue, we talk about the unfortunate passing of a former UFC fighter from cancer, Joe Rogan getting praised for asking the hard questions, and more.
#3. Ex-UFC fighter Elias Theodorou passes away, MMA community mourns
The world of mixed martial arts lost a good one on Sunday when Elias Theodorou passed away after losing a battle with cancer.
The news was confirmed by TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter on Twitter after various reports of his death surfaced online. He also revealed that Theodorou was “privately battling Stage 4 liver cancer.”
Theodorou’s diagnosis was not public knowledge up until now.
One of the best to come out of Canada since Georges St-Pierre, Theodorou competed in UFC 11 times between 2014 and 2019. His career in the promotion kickstarted when he defeated Sheldon Westcott to become the TUF Nations winner. He fought the likes of Thiago Santos, Derek Brunson, and Sam Alvey during his tenure.
Theodorou was released from the UFC after a 2019 loss to Brunson, but took it in stride and went 3-0 after his departure. His most recent victory came over Bryan Baker last December. He also served as a “ring boy” for Invicta FC.
In 2020, he became the first fighter ever to get an exemption for therapeutic use of medical cannabis granted by the British Columbia Athletic Commission.
Tributes poured in from all corners of the MMA community, as Theodorou was not only a good fighter, but a great human being.
Read more tweets here.
#2 “That’s not cheating, that’s being a poor sport” – Josh Thomson on Khamzat Chimaev
After a canceled press conference followed by a huge weight miss that caused the reshuffling of the UFC 279 card, Khamzat Chimaev triggered even more controversy during the fight itself.
In the very first moments of the fight, as Kevin Holland approached Chimaev for a glove touch, ‘Borz’ took advantage and took him down immediately. Fans have called Chimaev out for the move on social media, with some even branding it as cheating.
Discussing the matter on the Weighing In podcast, Josh Thomson pointed out that it’s technically not cheating, but poor sportsmanship nevertheless.
Co-host John McCarthy chipped in with the idea that while it’s commonplace for fighters to return their opponent’s cordial gestures, one would not be in the wrong to attack from the get go:
“I tell the guys this all the time, you wanna go out there, you wanna touch gloves, you wanna hug, and all that stuff. Hey, that’s okay, go ahead, it’s on you, but don’t be upset when he goes and he either takes your legs out or he lands a shot on you while you’re trying to give a hug.”
Hear the two discuss the matter from the 15:15 mark below:
#1. Daniel Cormier praises Joe Rogan for pushing Khamzat Chimaev
Joe Rogan has long been trolled for shoving the mic in fighters’ faces right after they’re done with the fight. However, for once, his perseverance is being praised instead of mocked.
The veteran UFC commentator kept pushing Khamzat Chimaev to reveal more details about his weight miss after ‘Borz’ submitted Kevin Holland at UFC 279. Even after Chimaev refused to divulge more details, Rogan pursued, pointing out that he’d have to make weight if he plans on becoming a UFC champion in the future.
Watch the post-fight octagon interview below:
Daniel Cormier commended Rogan for asking the “hard questions” and getting more out of Chimaev than he was initially willing to disclose:
“I wanna know a little bit more about the weight cut issue. In the octagon, he said that the official pulled the plug on him night before. He was closer than 7.5 pounds. I love that Joe Rogan asked him the hard questions. He tried to avoid it, ‘I don’t wanna talk about this sh*t.’ Joe goes, ‘No, you have to talk about it’… I love that Joe held his foot to the fire a little bit and then he gave us some answers.”
Watch Daniel Cormier’s comments from the 4:55 mark below:
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