Tom Theocharis: Tragedy Led to Laser-Focused Energy on MMA

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“The Greek Warrior” Tom Theocharis has been on the professional mixed martial arts scene since 2017 and had a long amateur career prior to that. However, the name might not be as familiar as it should be due to a factor that many regional Canadian fighters have: inactivity.

The lack of fights is very prevalent in Canada. It’s not because there are no promotions putting on fights, or because they don’t want to sign on the dotted line, but instead, others don’t want to fight them.

Theocharis had this happen a number of times over the course of the past year. Since 2017, he has amassed a 4-4 record. Eight fights in six years is not a lot for a professional MMA fighter.

After not fighting in 2020, the Adrenaline MMA product stepped into the cage in February 2021 and lost a decision at a B2 Fighting Series event in Kentucky. We didn’t see him back in action again the rest of the year.

“I lost the fight. I should have beat that guy, I’m way better than him. Whatever. Losses happen. I’m not making any excuses,” Theocharis told MMASucka.com. “If you make excuses after a loss, you don’t take any accountability for it, then you didn’t learn and you’re not gonna get better. OK, that’s one thing. I’m taking accountability, I lost, I’m gonna get better.”

Theocharis accepted a fight a couple of weeks after that. He was training for it when disasters struck – one after another.

“I broke my arm. I took a kick from Gord Cunningham, as we were both in training camp, he ended up fighting that Ivan [Hryschu] guy for BFL, we were both getting ready for fights. Basically, what happens, he kicks me, I break my arm and I’m out for three months.

“And then I was supposed to fight in South Africa in September and what happened was my girlfriend passed away so there was no chance I was able to get into that,” Theocharis said. “After trying to move forward from that, I took a fight in October, which was scheduled for December and I got right back into training camp and it made me feel much better, it made me feel like I’m doing something productive and getting my mind off things and then all of a sudden that fight doesn’t happen. It fizzled out because of a number of factors and so I just said I’m gonna stick to training camp. I actually went to Vegas in January, I get a fight booked for February, that guy flakes out, I’m like ‘Oh my God, what a joke.’ I’m like, ‘this sports a fucking joke.’ So finally I come back, I take a few days off of training and then this organization in Alaska reached out, it’s against a great opponent, it’s a great opportunity, it’s for a belt and I said yup, let’s do it.”

In August, Theorcharis went through the ultimate loss, the passing of the love of his life. Tragedy and heartbreak can lead you down a dark road. But for Theocharis, he took this in stride and in the end used it to focus on himself being a better person and hone in on his skills and what he loves most now: MMA.

“There are two ways I could have gone with the situation,” Tom Theocharis spoke about the passing of his girlfriend. “The way I look at it is I could have used that kind of situation as an excuse to go down the wrong path, like drinking, partying and doing that sort of stuff. But I used it to gain a whole new perspective on life and what it means for me to be here and what makes me happy. And what makes me happy is training in martial arts and competing. I’ve just focused all my energy on competing in martial arts, training and looking to become the best version of myself.

“I always used to look at others and say, ‘T.J. [Laramie], he’s in the UFC at 24 years old, I’m 28, what’s going on?’ But everyone has their own path in life and I will eventually get to the next level, but I need to work on myself. And that’s basically what I need to do is get better every single day and work on things that I need to work on and make sure that I stay laser-focused.”

With the new mentality, Theocharis will now step inside the cage on April 15 for the middleweight title at Alaska Combat Entertainment: The Thrilla in Wasilla.

The 28-year-old will step into his opponent Jesse Hull‘s backyard of Alaska, and his sights are laser-focused on the task at hand.

“What I used to do is, I would book a fight and I would even try to find another fight to book after that fight. Which is so stupid. I’ve got one goal in mind right now. Like I got offered fights for May and possibly June and I told the matchmaker, no you could message me on April 16 because right now I’ve got one goal in mind. To be honest with you, this guy’s standup and his MMA skills don’t seem to be up to par, but I don’t care, I’m taking this fight very seriously and I’m treating it as if I’m fighting a very skilled martial artist. And I don’t know much about him. I’m assuming he’s more of a grappler, but from what I’ve seen he’s not the most skilled out there, but again he’s a professional mixed martial artist so I need to treat this fight like a professional mixed martial arts fight. By doing that I have to train every single day like I’m going to fight someone.”

Despite not looking past his April 15 opponent in Hull, activity is something Theocharis wants in 2022. He doesn’t feel like he will be ready for that next step if he gets the number of fights he wants, but it will put him on the right trajectory.

“I would be very very happy with three consecutive wins in 2022 and that would set me up for an amazing 2023. If I get three consecutive wins; listen I’ve got a really exciting style, but I’ve got this guy to worry about. But again three consecutive wins would be nice, but to say ‘oh I’m ready for the UFC’ I’m not like I’ve got a lot of work to do. Of course, everyone wants to fight in the UFC, everyone wants to fight in Bellator, everyone wants to fight in PFL and these leagues, but I’m gonna be realistic here and say yeah, I’ve got a lot to work on and I can’t be getting too ahead of myself. I think it’s one fight at a time and let’s just get this win and move on.”

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Jeremy Brand is an experienced MMA writer and columnist. He is the founder of MMASucka.com, and has represented the company with media credentials at many mixed martial arts fights. Jeremy is also a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, training in BC, Canada.

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