The Father of Mixed Martial Arts – Dan Kolov

Dan Kolov - The Best Wrestler

During the past few years we have seen a bunch of movies about boxers and wrestlers (Cinderella Man, The Wrestler, Rocky Balboa, Against The Ropes, Warrior, Legendary, Miracle on 1st Street to name a few). We have seen Irish and Italian-American boxers, American and French wrestlers but little credit is given to the best wrestler – those of Eastern Europe. One of the first wrestlers who made headlines in the U.S. and around the world is Dan Kolov. I hope that Hollywood is taking notice and a movie about Dan Kolov will be in the making soon. Since I do not know many hairy-chested Hollywood stars (except George Clooney, Alec Baldwin, and Steve Carell who are past their time to play a young wrestler role) I volunteer myself.

Dan Kolov is a famous Bulgaria wrestler who has an interesting story. At age 17 he immigrated to the United States and shortly after that joined a circus. His wrestling career started in 1918 when he was 26 years old and for a period of 9 years he was undefeated and won all 1,500 matches that he fought. Dan became the first wrestler to capture heavyweight wrestling’s ‘Diamond Belt’ twice. He was beaten twice in his career. His most famous victories are: in New York vs. Latvian Rudy Dusek – 1919; in Tokyo vs. Jiki Higen -”The Strangler” – 1921; and in Paris vs. Henri Deglane −1933.

According to internet sources, on his return to Bulgaria as a Heavyweight World Champion, he was welcomed by thousands as a national hero. In his homeland Dan Kolov devoted himself to charity, arranging many more matches in Sofia and donating all the proceeds to charity. The first Bulgarian passenger airplanes were bought with Kolov’s financing.


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