The two will meet at the finale of the latest season of The Ultimate Fighter, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
On the latest edition of BJ Penn Radio, Theodorou discussed this looming scrap with Tavares, and was quite complimentary of the Hawaiian’s skill and potential.
“HE’S A GAME OPPONENT AND I’M EXCITED TO FIGHT HIM,” HE SAID. “HE’S COMING OFF A LITTLE BIT OF A LAYOFF, HE HASN’T FOUGHT SINCE SEPTEMBER, BUT AT THE SAME TIME HE’S DOWN. THIS IS IN HIS DNA. YOU CAN LOOK AT HIS RECORD. ON PAPER, IT’S NOT NECESSARILY THE GREATEST RECORD, BUT [HE’S] THE FIRST PERSON TO WELCOME YOEL ROMERO INTO THE UFC, AND THEN ROBERT WHITTAKER INTO THE MIDDLEWEIGHT DIVISION, AND THEN TIM BOETSCH… I MEAN, TIM BOETSCH GONNA TIM BOETSCH. [BOETSCH] CAN BASICALLY BEAT THE SHIT OUT OF YOU FOR THREE ROUNDS, AND THEN UPPERCUT YOU TO DEATH IN THE THIRD. I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE ANYTHING AWAY FROM [TAVARES] FOR THOSE LOSSES. OBVIOUSLY HE HAS ALL THE POTENTIAL IN THE WORLD. OTHER THAN A COUPLE OF SIDETRACKS AND INJURIES, I THINK HE’S ONE OF THE BEST – HE HAS THE POTENTIAL TO BE ONE OF THE BEST IN THE WORLD.”
While Theodorou considers Tavares a dangerous test, however, he believes his own diverse skillset will carry him to victory in Vegas.
“THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN US IS THAT I’M GOING TO SHOW HIM THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CHESS AND CHECKERS. I’M PLAYING CHESS, AND HE’S DEFINITELY ALL CHECKERS.”
“I THINK THERE’S MORE TOOLS IN MY TOOLBOX,” HE SAID. “MY FRIEND HAD A CHUCKLE AT THIS. I LOOK AT MYSELF AS THE POOR MAN’S [LYOTO] MACHIDA. IN MANY WAYS I’M KIND OF COMING INTO MY STYLE. I DIDN’T DO KARATE WHEN I WAS FIVE LIKE MACHIDA, I KIND OF STARTED THIS IN MY FIRST YEAR OF UNIVERSITY. [IN] SEVEN YEARS, I ESSENTIALLY WENT FROM POND HOCKEY TO THE NHL – SORRY, I HAD TO USE A CANADIAN REFERENCE. I’M JUST GOING TO DO ME. I’VE SHOWN OBVIOUSLY THE AWKWARD STYLE, BUT THAT’S JUST ME BEING ME. THROUGH CHAOS, I FIND CONTROL.”
“THERE ARE MANY DIFFERENT AVENUES TO WIN A FIGHT,” HE ADDED. “I’VE ONLY HAD ONE BAD DAY AT WORK.”
Who do you think wins this Elias Theodorou vs. Brad Tavares fight?
This article first appeared onBJPenn.comon 5/4/2017.