Elias Theodorou continued his success with a close split-decision victory over the dangerous Eryk Anders at UFC 231.
Elias Theodorou comes into UFC 231 winning four of his last five, including his current two-fight win streak. After a controversial decision loss to Lyoto Machida, Eryk Anders rebounded with a head kick knockout, then fell to the surging Thiago Santos.
Eryk Anders went right at his opponent, quickly closing the distance after the opening bell. Elias Theodorou countered with a couple of knees from the Muay Thai clinch. Anders was winging bombs but Theodorou was diligent with his movement, keeping a wide distance between the two fighters. Theodorou went in for a clinch and got countered by an Anders knee to the gut.
It was Anders who closed the distance next, missing with a haymaker that Theodorou slipped and secured a clinch off of. The Canadian tried to drag Anders down while hanging onto his back to no avail. Theodorou continued to skirt around the outside after they separated, with both fighters struggling to land something of significance. Near the end of the round, Anders landed a body punch that ricocheted Theodorou off the fence, and Theodorou used the momentum to scurry away before Anders could follow up.
Anders attacked Theodorou early in the second round, landing a clean hook, but a body kick kept Theodorou at a safe distance. Anders was running into an issue in the fight where he needed to close the distance for offensive opportunities, but Theodorou was effectively avoiding the majority of Anders’ close-range shots. Theodorou was able to trip Anders by sweeping his leg after catching a kick, but nothing came of it.
Anders finally landed the power shot he was looking for with about 90 seconds left in the round, rocking Theodorou with a straight punch. Theodorou was hobbling around and looking to clinch while Anders was aiming to put him away. Anders put him down with about 15 seconds left in the round, but did not have enough time to finish the still-elusive Theodorou.
Theodorou got back on his horse for the final round, staying at a safe distance from Anders’ power. Theodorou was able to land a head kick in the process, but Anders shook it off. It was Anders, though, who began to slow down in the round. Theodorou truly started to open up with about a minute remaining in the fight, landing combinations on Anders with ease. In true Theodorou fashion, it’s unclear who got the better of this fight.
Theodorou took a split decision and vocalized his support for medical cannabis for usage by athletes when interviewed by Joe Rogan.
Elias Theodorou def. Eryk Anders by Split Decision (29-28 x2, 28-29)