Ever since the legendary Ken Shamrock made the jump from MMA to WWE (known as WWF at the time), there has been a link between the combat sport and sports entertainment. Throughout the years, many pro-wrestlers made the jump to MMA such as Brock Lesnar and CM Punk. On the other hand, many MMA fighters have made the jump to pro-wrestling after Shamrock, recently seen with Shayna Bazsler and Ronda Rousey.
Now the latest MMA fighter to transition to pro-wrestling is Elias Theodorou. Not only that, but “The Spartan” recently made his in-ring debut, which he was more than happy to talk about.
Elias Theodorou made his debut on July 18, 2015, at the Superkick’d King of The 6ix, as reported by Bleacher Report. Going by the wrestling moniker of “Greece Lightning,” Theodorou took on Chris Chambers in the main event. Not only that, Theodorou was booked to win his first match as shown below.
Apparently, Elias Theodorou wanted to try professional wrestling because he wanted “to have fun” with it, as reported by Wrestling Inc. He verified that in a statement in which he included the importance of safety as well, since he isn’t done with his MMA career.
“Pro-wrestling is something every 14-year-old boy wants to do when they grow up. I thought I’d have some fun, and that’s what the night was about. I’m a professional athlete and really didn’t want to get hurt. The last thing I want to do is have to tell anyone at the UFC, ‘Yeah, I’d love to fight, but I broke my ankle doing pro-wrestling.’ So, obviously, safety was first. But I got to unveil my alter ego and take a crack at it.”
If Elias Theodorou isn’t jumping into a career wearing tights full time, why did he risk his UFC career just to “live a childhood dream?” Apparently, there is a method to his madness in which he believes pro-wrestling can teach him what a lot of MMA fighters seem to lack in their own careers: convincing fans to watch them perform.
“It’s not just how good you are—it’s how many people want to come and see you. It doesn’t matter if they love you or hate you. Just so long as they want to watch you. Pro-wrestlers are great at finding a storyline. And that’s something a lot of UFC fighters lack. People are spending their hard-earned money on what you’re trying to sell.”
That seems to be a legitimate reason to learn pro-wrestling given the fact they are first and foremost entertainers. Maybe Elias Theodorou’s stint in the ring will have wonders for the promotion of his UFC career. It might be possible “The Spartan” (a.k.a. “Greece Lightning”) will become the “Conor McGregor” (as in personality and ability to promote) of his division.
[Image via Elias Theodorou’s Official Facebook Page]