01 Jan Elias Theodorou compares Julija Stoliarenko vs. Lisa Verzosa war to Henderson-Shogun 1
As Invicta FC’s resident “Ring Boy,” Elias Theodorou has witnessed first-hand some of the promotion’s best fights.
But he’d never seen anything like the bloody five-round battle between Julija Stoliarenko and Lisa Verzosa.
The two women met this past March in the main event of Invicta FC: Phoenix Series 3 to crown a new bantamweight champion. After 25 minutes, both fighters and the canvas were painted red. Stoliarenko and Verzosa opened up each other up early in the fight and never stopped attacking each other until the final bell. In the end, it was Stoliarenko who walked out as the new champion via split decision.
With ring card carrying duties for the night, Theodorou was seated cageside and he was in absolute awe of the contest in front of him. He went as far as to compare the Stoliarenko-Verzosa fight to the first meeting between Dan Henderson and Mauricio Rua, a bout that was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame two years ago.
“It’s crazy,” Theodorou said on Monday’s episode of The A-Side live chat. “Being a ring card holder, I get the best seat in the house, right? And to be that close, like literally front row, I had blood pretty much coming in the vicinity because of how much blood there was that night. It was crazy. It’s one of the most intense fights.
“I put it up there with Shogun and Dan Henderson in regards to the back and forth that they kind of did. They were just literally standing elbowing each other in the face, in the head, repeatedly, and neither of them buckled. It was crazy.”
Julija Stoliarenko and Lisa Verzosa at Invicta FC: Phoenix Series 3 on March 6, 2020
Dave Mandel, Invicta FC
As the evening was comprised primarily of one-round bantamweight tournament fights outside of the main event, a strawweight fight, and the tournament final, Theodorou had a relatively light night and that gave him plenty of time to fully take in the thrilling main event and observe the open scoring that Invicta was using for the first time.
Theodorou is 17-3 in his own pro career having come off of a third-round finish over Hernani Perpetuo last December in his first fight since parting ways with the UFC. As excited as he is about his own prospects, he takes particular pride in his association with MMA’s most prominent all-female promotion, where he has served as a Ring Boy since 2018.
“I’ve done so many events with Invicta, I know all these fighters,” Theodorou said. “I know all the female fighters that are competing there and some of them I cheer and some of them I’ve gotten to see through the highest of highs and the lowest of lows that they’ve all had.
“Throw in the additional component of the tournament that was kind of part of it and the fact that it was the first time they were doing doing open scoring as well, so there were a lot of moving parts. It was a crazy night. Again, best seats in the house and I couldn’t be more thankful of being part of the Invicta team.”