The greatest martial arts and hand-to-hand combat champion in History 
The best fighter of all time is my resume of the superb work of Jérôme Sanchez: Le meilleur combattant de tous les temps

After years of research, Jérôme Sanchez came to the conclusion that wrestler Milo of Croton aka Milon de Crotone, son of Diotimos, is the best fighter of all time.

Milone Olympioniko Eptakis

Estimated height and weight of the champion
Milo of Croton was famous for his dominance in Olympic wrestling, his voracious appetite, and his incredible feats of strength.  Described by historians as being taller, without being a giant, and a lot bigger than the average man.  Like many modern strength athletes, Milo of Croton was under an hyper-protein diet since he was a gargantuan meat eater.
Jérôme Sanchez estimated his size by calculating the average size of:
– the best sumo wrestler (Torikishi Raiden): 197 cm (6’51/2“), 169 kg (372 lbs)
– the best “World’s Strongest Man” competitors (Bill Kazmaier, Jon Pall Sigmarsson, Magnus Ver Magnusson, Marius Pudzianowski): 188cm (6’2″), 137 kg (301 lbs)
– the best Olympic lifter (Vassily Alexeev): 186 cm (6’1″), 160 kg (352 lbs)
– and the best Olympic wrestler (Aleksander Karelin): 191 cm (6’3″), 130 kg (286 lbs)

Which gave us the approximate size of Milo of Croton
191 cm (6’3″), 149 kg (328 lbs)
Milo of Croton had a 28 years reign.  Jérôme Sanchez calculated that Milo gained 1 kg (2.2 lbs) per year over his career (the typical weight gain per years for numerous heavyweight boxers), so he weighted 130 kg (286 lbs) at the beginning of his reign and 160 kg (352 lbs) nearing the end. 
Age and career of the champion
Milo of Croton dominated his sport during 7 Olympiads (28 years) and undefeated from the age of 15 to 43 years old (540-512 BC) and “never put a knee on the ground”.
Record of Milo of Croton
Winner of 6 Olympiads
– 1-time in boys’ wrestling category, 60th Olympiad, 540 BCE
(didn’t participated to the 61th Olympiads, 536 BCE because of age’s categories)
– 5-times in adult wrestling category from 62nd to 66th Olympiads, 532 to 516 BCE
Winner of 7 pythiques
Winner of 9 Nemean Games
And winner of 10 Isthmian Games.
His only defeat…
At the 29th years of his career, Milo lost for the first and only time at the 67th Olympiad in 512 BCE.  The 44 years old Milo didn’t lost because he was overpowered but submitted from exhaustion.  His younger opponent, Timasithéos of Croton, avoided him and finally weared him out. 
Even in defeat, Milo of Croton “never put a knee on the ground”.
Alternative ending:
One of Milo’s statues epigram mentionned that he was 7 times Olympiads winner instead of 6.  Referring to a story that Milo was so dominant that when he appeared at the 67th Olympiads, 512 BCE.  Everybody, including Timasithéos of Crotone, refused to wrestle him and Milo was (unofficially) declared the winner of his seventh Olympiads by forfeit?!?
The second best fighter in history, Gaddar Kel Aliço, was undefeated for more than 26 years: from 1861 to 1887 until he was defeated, at age 42, by Koca Youssouf Ismaelo.


  1. Thanks for providing the result of my research in your website. I wanted to make people know that champions are not all from the 20th century. A lot of them existed before. Milon of Croton and before him Hipposthenes of Sparta were the best (6 times olympic winners). In the near past, Gaddar Kel Aliço had the longest reign in the highest level competition of the centuries between 14th and 19th.

  2. Lol? You are aware that people back then were tiny compared to "modern man" right?

    An average man today 5`10 , 200 pounds would be huge compared to them
    There is no way he was 130 + kg

  3. I think the average man height and weight today is more like 5'8" (172 cm) and around 170 lbs. But you have a point, since the weight of Milo is estimated by the era standards. Nonetheless Milo was praised as a superhuman strongman and wrestler blessed with gigantic size and strength. So the estimation of 6'3" and over 300 pounds are possible. But they remains hypothetical estimation. No absolute truth here. Since we weren't there to measure Milo of Croton.

    And by now, the real question is: Milo of Croton, myth or reality?

  4. Milo only competed in the wrestling, if he was the best fighter even of HIS time he would have also competed in and won the pankration events also! If ur pickin the best fighter of even just the ancient olympic era u have to choose the best pankration fighters

  5. Interesting point of view, but in term of sheer dominance and winning streak Milo is the most dominant fighter who ever existed. Losing only his last match (from exhaustion) at 44 years old, thus ending a 29 years fighting career.

  6. Wat is YOUR definition of fighter? Cuz mine is sumone who would win a real fight, not a wrestling match! Milo never proved himself in the pankration so he cant be the best fighter, the best wrestler yes without a doubt.. But not fighter.

  7. I agree he was proberbly the greatest wrestler but i disagree that he was the greatest fighter but we all have r opinions. I would say the greateat fighter would at least had to compete in all-in fighting and not just wrestling. The greatest fighters r yet to come

  8. hy i think it doesnt make sense to put someone down with such a Reputation if hes a wrestler than hes a fighter you can see who wins nowadays mma but i have more Problems with his eating habbits 20 Pounds of meat 20 Pounds of bread and 7 litres wine well he must have been a giant but maybe you could take half and then you are in the range of famous Indian wrestlers like bux gama ec. what means eat like a bull and you get big as a bull i think without reserch he must have been about 6.2 foot and about 300 Pounds just with him Training and eating that way bye

  9. Average people of the pas were smaller and lighter than the average people of today. That's true ! But, the big men of the past were as tall and as big as the modern. With good food, good training, no hard waork while being child, good medecine (things that very few people could have in the past, even before the 19th century), champions of the past were as strong as champions of today. I'm not talking about steroids and growth hormones.

  10. In my book, I explain that it is important not to make the confusion between "average men" and "big men" i.e. champions.

    It is possible to know the size of the champions who won 3 times olympic games or pythian games because an iconic statute (with their face, with their real size) was erected. The author Pausanias visited Olympia and noted all the informations.

    Sometimes, it is possible to estimate the size of someone with the length of his feet. Someone well proportionned has a size equal to six times his foot.

    The first winner of boxing at Olympia measure the stadion with 600 of his feet. With this information, we can deduce his own size : 1m92.

    And so on.

  11. In this case, you are excluding all pure wrestlers and all pure boxers.
    Why not ?

    Then you can have a look on pankratiasts :

    And fighters who won in pankration and also in boxing or wrestling :

    Dorieus de Rhodes dominated his time during 15 years in pankration (Fedor Emelianenko only 7 years).

    Theogenes de Thasos dominated his time during 15 years also : 13 in boxing and 2 in pankration.

    In modern era, only one fighter succeeded in winning a major title in (kick)boxing and in modern pankration (MMA) : Mirko Filipovic : won the Pride Grand Prix and later the K1 Grand Prix.

    A last name to conclude : Kleitomachos (Cleitomachos) fils d’Hermocratès de Thèbes. In 216 before JC, he won in wrestling, boxing and pankration the Isthmian Games. This is the only time in all History !

    Now, you can make your own choice !

  12. I beleive that you are underestimating the importance of Olympic Games for the Greek. It was holy ! Their calendar was based on the olympic games. Historical events (wars …) I give you an example : John win the run in the 10th olympic games. All the historical events occuring after will be said : "… occured the 1st year of the olympiad of John … occured the 2nd year of the olympiad of John …" . This was very serious, more than sport in our modern time. It is still possible to have exageration, of course, but different text, statue, and rare measures make historian able to approach the thruth.

  13. According to my researchs, Milo of Croton was same as Alexander Karelin, becoming fat with time (may be 10-15 last years of his incredible long reign). Imagine just if today Karelin hasn't have to weight less than 130kg. He could easily reach 140kg and becoming a little bit older, 150kg or 160kg like Bill Kazmeier.

  14. I admit that eating 20 pounds of meat, 20 pounds of bread, and drinking 7 liters of wine A DAY is most likely impossible for a single human being.

    However I do know that 300-pound lifelong alcoholic French actor Gerard Depardieu can drink up to 14 bottles of wine a day. And that the lean and mean pro bodybuilder Serge Nubret used to eat between 5 to 7 pounds of horse meat in his single meal of the day. The 20 pounds of bread make no sense at all.

  15. By the way, it's an honor to have Je – the author of 'Le meilleur combattant de tous les temps' – offering us his enlighten comments and the fruit of his research on the history of Combat Sports.

    Merci beaucoup!

  16. Thanks !

    About what Milon (Milo) was able to eat. It might be an exageration or a misunderstanding. Change on ly one word in your sentence : "one day" instead of "a day".

    Someone on internet provide an estimation in terms of kcal. "20 pounds of meat, 20 pounds of bread, and drinking 7 liters of wine" represented 57,000 calories which is 6 or 7 times what a sumo eat a day (8,000 – 10,000 calories). Can't you imagine what a sumo could possibily eat one single day what he is used to eat a week ?

    It could be just a challenge to proove his ability.

    Or, simply an exageration. I admit.

  17. i read somewhere that milo was also once time a soldier in greek army and he rush to 6 soldiers i dont remeber from what land,to fight them..

  18. That's true. After his career as a wrestler, he participated in the war between Crotone and Sybaris (in 510 before JC) and his army won. He collected a lot of treasure and make jealous amongst the population of Crotone because the sect of Pythagoricians (he was belonging to) took most of the treasure for itself.

  19. A lot of this are myths and pure bullshit! 40 pounds of food and 7 liters of wine a day?! An extreme case of exageration, indeed.

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