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History of Dan Kolov (details)

History of Dan Kolov (details)
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Dan Kolov was a Bulgarian wrestler and a fighter. He was the first European freestyle wrestling champion from Bulgaria. He won the European gold in 1936 in the championship in Paris. This is the 2nd distinction for Bulgaria after the world title of Nikola Petrov (classic style wrestling) from 1900.

Doncho Kolev Danev was born on the 27th of December, 1892 in the village of Sennik, Sevlievo municipality. He is barely 7 years old when his father passes away. This tragic event forces him to become a shepherd in order to survive. He leaves Bulgaria in 1905 and goes to Hungary, where he works as a gardener in Budapest. In 1909 he meets with another Bulgarian wrestler, Nikola Petrov, who convinces him to immigrate to the United States.

Dan Kolov leaves Hungary and moves to the US at the age of 17. He works various jobs until he finds work as a railroad construction worker. He quickly impresses people with his extraordinary physical power and becomes famous for his ability to twist metal rails around his neck. He even fights a bear, while hunting. Legend has it that he fights the beast for an hour with his bare hands until he gets a chance to kill the animal with his rifle later. Apparently, witnesses who saw the marks of Kolov's hands on the neck of the bear. He is subsequently hired as a wrestler with "Victoria Circus". At the beginning of the last century, wrestling is represented in freestyle wrestling bout in which punches and kicks were allowed. It was a dangerous sport with extremely serious and severe injuries. Catch as Catch Can (CACC) or Catch Wrestling can be considered the father of today's MMA.

Before being discovered and trained to be a professional wrestler by Zbyszko Cyganiewicz, Kolov was self-taught. Kolov was the first wrestler who captured professional heavyweight wrestling's 'Diamond Belt' twice (citation needed). His most famous victories are: in New York vs. Latvian Rudy Dusek - 1919 in Tokyo vs. Jiki Higen -"The Strangler" - 1921 in Paris vs. Henri Deglane -1933. . He was also three times Heavyweight Champion of Europe (1934, 1937, 1937).
In 1937, Kolov defeated the current Heavyweight Champion of Europe, American Al Pereira, only for Pereira to win the title back, and for Kolov to reclaim it, before losing it in turn to Joe Savoldi.

He starts his career as a wrestler by taking part in the organised wrestling matches between the workers. He later won the tournament in the circus "Victoria" in the year of 1914 when the director of the circus invites people from the public to compete and check their physical power with the star Jeff Lawrence - "The Cyclope". Dan (Doncho) accepts the challenge and he succeeds in overpowering 233 pound wrestler. He won against many famous MMA players from that time such as - Jeff Lawrence, Stanislaus Zbyszko, Jack Shirey also called "The Lightning Man", Rudy Dusec, Jo Stecker, Ed "Strangler" Lewis, Jim Browning and many more. He was invited in Japan where he claimed victory against Djiki Hegen "The Strangler" — idol in Japan's wrestling, who never lost to anyone before as a professional. After this win the public tried to kill Dan. Similar incident also happened before the match, when through the window of his hotel room, flew a dagger that Dan "Doncho" successfully avoided. In the big MMA tournament in Paris, Dan Kolov wins all of his matches against all of his opponents including the final with Henri Deglan.

Dan Kolov dies in Bulgaria on 26 March 1940 from tuberculous. He is buried, with a specific request, facing the 'Balkan'- "Balkan against Balkan", as „Balkan“ in Bulgarian means „mountain“ - „Mountain against Mountain“.

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