The Winningest Athletes of All Time

Some say winning isn’t everything.  And that’s probably true; after all, there is that next big contract to consider.  But for these 35, winning wasn’t just everything, for much of their careers it was the only thing.
  1. Bill Russell:  2 college championships with the University of San Fran (which included a 55-game win streak at one point), an Olympic gold medal, and 11 NBA championships in 13 years.  Just insane.
  2. Michael Phelps:  28 Olympic medals including 23 golds make Phelps the most decorated Olympian of all time.
  3. Rocky Marciano:  Only heavyweight to retire undefeated at 49-0.  Not bad for a white guy from Brockton, MA.
  4. Tom Brady: 7 Super Bowls, 3 league MVPs, 17 division titles and a quarterback high 264 regular + postseason victories.
  5. Jack Nicklaus:  18 majors including 4 US Open wins, and 6 green jackets. with 73 PGA Tour wins overall.
  6. Tiger Woods: 15 majors, and tied for the most PGA tour wins of all time with 110.
  7. Yogi Berra: 10 World Series rings as a player and another 3 as a coach.
  8. Henri Richard:  Nicknamed “The Pocket-Rocket,” Richard won 11 Stanley Cups with the Montreal Canadiens in his 20-year NHL career.
  9. Joe DiMaggio:  9-time World Series champion and 1 Marylin Monroe.
  10. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar:  6-time NBA champion, 3-time college champ with UCLA (over which they went 88-2), and captain of a Power Memorial High School basketball team that won 71 straight games and 3 New York City Catholic championships.
  11. Roger Federer:  20 Grand Slams and 103 career titles.
  12. Pele:  Only soccer player to be a part of 3 World Cup-winning teams.  Pele also led his original club team, Santos, to 10 championships in the Campeonato Paulinista league.  And let us not forget his 1977 North American Soccer League championship with the New York Cosmos.
  13. Michael Jordan:  6 championships in 8 years, 2 gold medals, and 1 NCAA championship with the Tarheels.
  14. Serena Williams:  Winner of 23 major singles titles, most of any man or woman in the Open Era.
  15. Pete Sampras:  64 career titles including 14 Slams.
  16. Alexander Karelin:  Though most remembered here in America for his stunning defeat at the hands of Rulon Gardner, “Alexander The Great” went undefeated in international Greco-Roman wrestling competition for thirteen years, the last six of which he didn’t even give up a single point.
  17. Otto Graham:  Took the Cleveland Browns to the championship game in every one of the ten years he played, winning seven and going 105-17-4 over that span. He also won a championship playing professional hoops with the Rochester Royals.
  18. Martina Navratilova:  167 singles and 177 doubles career titles (both records for men or women) Her singles career includes 9 Wimbledons and 4 US Opens.
  19. Lance Armstrong:  He might be doper, but he’s the winningest doper there ever was.
  20. Mickey Mantle:  7 World Series rings in 12 years and a 1956 Triple Crown.
  21. Larissa Latynina:  The Soviet gymnast has held the all-time Olympic medal record for nearly a half century with 18, including nine golds.
  22. Carl Lewis:  9 Olympic golds and 8 world championship golds.  Side note: Lewis was drafted by both the NBA and NFL, though never played a game for either.
  23. Kelly Slater:  The most decorated surfer of all time has won a record 11 ASP World Championships, his titles spanning an incredible eighteen years from age 20 to 38.
  24. Edwin Moses:  Won an astounding 122 consecutive races (107 finals), 2 Olympic golds, and 2 World Championship golds.
  25. Robert Horry:  7-time NBA champion with 3 different teams.
  26. John Havlicek:  8-time NBA champion and a NCAA title.
  27. Cael Sanderson:  Wrested to an incredible record of 159-0 with 4 consecutive NCAA titles for Iowa St before capturing gold in Athens 2004.
  28. Bill Dickey:  8-time World Series Champ.
  29. Magic Johnson:  5-time NBA champion, 1 gold medal, and enough money to makes AIDS his bitch.
  30. Bart Starr:  5-time NFL champion (including the first 2 Super Bowls)
  31. Joe Montana:  4-time Super Bowl champion and an NCAA national title at Notre Dame.
  32. Lou Gehrig:  6-time World Series champion and the luckiest man on the face of the Earth.
  33. Kobe Bryant:  5-NBA championships (one more than Shaq) and 2 gold medals.
  34. Shaquille O’Neal4-time NBA champion, 6 crappy albums and 11 crappy movies (see: Kazaam)   And he beat up Golden Boy Oscar De La Hoya.
  35. Babe Ruth:  7 World Series trophies with both the Sox and Yankees.

Honorable Mentions: Floyd Mayweather, Diego Maradona, Derek Jeter, Mark Spitz, Terry Bradshaw, Paula Newby-Frasier, Bjorn Daehlie, John Brzenk, Nikolai Andrianov, Sam Jones, Sean White, Bjorn Borg, Heather McKay, Tom Heinsohn, Bob Cousy, Jimmy Conners, Ivan Lendi, Ben Hogan, Paavo Nurvi, Ole Einar Bjorndalen, Lidiya Skoblikova, Sam Snead, Walter Hagan, Lynn Swann, Andre Agassi, Bode Miller, Tony Hawk, Chris Evert, Larry Bird, Tim Duncan, Mariano Rivera, Rafael Nadal, Edoardo Mangiarotti, Steffi Graff.


  1. Jeremy Mcgrath should be at the top of this list. The man is the most winningest winner of all time. With 72 in door wins not to mention 12 supercross/Motocross
    – 7 Supercross Championships – 1993-1996; 1998; 1999; 2000
    – 2 125 Western Region Supercross Championships – 1991; 1992
    – 1 250 Outdoor National Championship – 1995
    – 2 FIM World Championships
    – 2008 – Silver Medal – Moto X Racing
    – 2006 – Bronze – Step Up
    – 2005 – Bronze – Step Up
    – 2005 – Silver – Supermoto
    – 2004 – Gold – Step Up
    * BMX HALL OF FAME – 2010 on top of all that add 89 AMA wins.250cc AMA Supercross wins: 72
    125cc Western Region SX wins: 13
    250cc AMA National Motocross wins: 15
    125cc AMA National Motocross wins: 2 and that’s all I can think of off 5he 5op of my head

      • KD… ride a dirt bike for half an hour as fast as you can, see if you can move any part of your body the next day. AND see how long it takes to recover. I’d imagine you probably don’t know how to ride fast, so it must take some sort of ability.

      • Some peeps think the bike does all the work. SMH not having knowledge of motox isnt the same as having knowledge and making a opinion. So again if you dont agree and cant come with some facts to support your uneduacated bias then just dont comment. But completely dismiss the sttength and skill it takes to ride is just a douche move to be real. Get on a bike and ride for 45 mins down basic trails and then lets see how you think of skilled and need to be some kind of athlete or not a lazy guy like im guessing you might be.

      • Also my guy old men play golf and some professionally and ill guarantee those older guys arent athletic. So your whole athletic ability is pointless regardless. And it isnt easy landing those jumps on the track and riding nonstop for that length of time. But again whats your point its by tirles not athleticism there my dude. So get your biased probably more of a racist opinion outta here. Wow some golfers are athletic but alot arent the ideal athletic type and thats exactly why your whole argument is trash

      • Lol, have you ever raced a dirtbike before? Not anyone can just jump on the thing and go. When a 230 pound machine is throwing you around, youll need some athletic ability.

      • I was gonna make the same comment, then realized level of ignorance in that statement. I may not ever been to a motocross event or even ridden a dirt bike, but respect the athleticism of endurance and preparation to do what they do. Like I explained to others like you (and formally myself), if a sporting event is monitized/televised, you better believe it’s a sport. Have you seen professional cornhole tournaments on ESPN? It’s a sport. Like baseball, volleyball, and motocross. Put Jeremy McGrath on this list @definitivedose.

      • Also… Mostorsports in general is proven as one of the most dangerous sports… Just because you don’t kid balls, throw balls, hit balls, catch balls, etc… No football, basketball, or any other athlete who enjoys playing with palls could get in a racecar of any kind… And win… Or even get anything but lapped most likely

    • MC is cool AF.
      But Ricky Carmichael takes the cake for wins from ALL these people.
      162 Professional Career Round wins.

    • Most individual sports titles of all time is Walter Ray Williams jr. He has 114 professional bowling titles. He is also still competing and recently won his 114th on October 24th 2020

        • It’s not up to us to determine if a competition is a true sport or not. The competition is a challenge between combatants where one is determined better than the championships whether it’s checkers or marathons are very hard to accomplish multiple rounds making you bring your A game everytime is no easy feat.

          • EXACTLY… Just like racing a car in circles isn’t? It is competitive and professional technically making it a sport. No matter if it is throwing balls, going in circles, hitting balls, etc… If people win awards from it, it is 100% a sport.

      • Problem with Ali was he went too long and became an embarrassment. Also fought during a hard time but he faced the top of the heap and deserves credit for that. Marciano went 49-0 but he faught during an easier time.

    • Where is Margaret Smith Court? From 1960 until 1975, Court won a record 24 major singles titles, best in history, regardless of gender. Court tacked on 21 major titles in mixed doubles and another 19 in doubles, pushing her total to a mind-boggling 64 major championships.

      • More to the point, where is Heather McKay. 16 British Squash Opens in a row, UNDEFEATED for 20 years.

    • Absolutely, he was the best ever. He was easily the Michael Jordan of Motorcross. One of the toughest sports ever. MMA,Motorcross, Football, Boxing etc. Oh yeah, Ice Hockey. In that order. Not counting Bull Riding.

  2. john brzenk the greatest arm wreslter that ever lived

    A1 Russian Open:

    2015 – R-2nd Place
    2014 – R-3rd Place[17]
    AAA Stand-Up National Titles:

    1984 – R200 lbs
    1985 – R185 lbs
    1986 – R220 lbs
    1990 – R220 lbs
    Arnold Classic Titles:

    2006 – R199+
    2007 – R199+
    AWI World Titles:

    1986 – Pro Super Heavyweight
    1987 – Pro Light Heavyweight
    1988 – Pro Light Heavyweight
    1995 – Pro Light Heavyweight
    2001 – Pro Super Heavyweight
    Carling O’Keefe International Titles:

    1989 – R 200 lbs, R 231+ lbs
    Forsa Tropical International Titles:

    1998 – R198 lbs, R243+ lbs, L198 lbs
    GNC Pro Performance Title:

    2002 – R198 lbs
    GOLDEN BEAR Titles: SUPERMATCH (Absolut Champion)

    Pro tournament

    R90+ kg: 1990, 1994, 1998
    R90 kg: 1990
    Harley Pull Titles:

    2000 – R220 lbs + Harley Winner
    2001 – R220 lbs
    2002 – R198 lbs, L198 lbs
    2009 – R225 lbs, L225 lbs + Harley Winner
    Main Event Titles:

    1998 – R220 lbs
    Mike Gould Classic Titles:

    2006 – R220 lbs, L220 lbs
    2010 – R220 lbs
    Mohegan Sun PAC World Titles:

    2005 – R198 lbs, L198 lbs
    2006 – R242 lbs, R243+ lbs
    2007 – R198 lbs, L198 lbs
    Over the Top World Title:

    1986 – Winner of Truckers Division in Heavyweight class
    Reno Reunion Titles:

    1999 – R200 lbs, R230 lbs, R231+ lbs, L200 lbs
    2000 – R198 lbs, R242 lbs, R243+ lbs, L198 lbs, L242 lbs
    2001 – R198 lbs, R242 lbs, R243+ lbs, L198 lbs
    2002 – R198 lbs, R242 lbs, R243+ lbs, L198 lbs, L242 lbs
    2003 – R233+ lbs
    2006 – R242 lbs, R243+ lbs
    2006 – R242 lbs, R243+ lbs
    ROTN Titles:

    2007 – R215 lbs, L215 lbs
    2008 – R242 lbs, L242 lbs
    2009 – R199+ lbs
    Sands International Wrist Wrestling/Armwrestling Titles:

    1988 – R190 lbs
    1989 – R190 lbs, R215 lbs
    Sherkston Beaches International Titles:

    1987 – R200 lbs, R201+ lbs
    SuperStar Showdown Titles:

    2004 – R199+ lbs
    2005 – R198 lbs
    Ultimate Armwrestling (Las Vegas) Titles:

    2004 – R242 lbs
    2005 – R198 lbs, L198 lbs
    2006 – R242 lbs, R243+ lbs
    Ultimate Armwrestling League Titles:

    2011 – R200 lbs (Current Champion)
    USAA National Pro-Am Titles:

    1996 – R200 lbs, R201+ lbs
    1997 – R198 lbs, R242 lbs, R243+ lbs, L198 lbs
    1998 – R242 lbs, R243+ lbs
    1999 – R198 lbs, R242 lbs, R243+ lbs, L198 lbs, L242 lbs
    2000 – R242 lbs, R243+ lbs, L242 lbs, L243+ lbs
    2001 – R242 lbs, R243+ lbs, L242 lbs, L243+ lbs
    2002 – R198 lbs, R242 lbs, R243+ lbs, L198 lbs, L242 lbs
    2003 – R242 lbs, R243+ lbs
    2004 – R242 lbs, R243+ lbs, L242 lbs
    2005 – R242 lbs
    2006 – R242 lbs, R243+ lbs
    2007 – R242 lbs, R243+ lbs
    2009 – R242 lbs, R243+ lbs, L242 lbs, L243+ lbs
    2010 – R242 lbs, R243+ lbs
    USAF Unified National Title:

    2005 – R220 lbs
    WAF World Championship Titles:

    1999 – L100 kg, Supermatch Winner
    WAL Titles

    2015 – R: Heavyweight Champion
    World Wristwrestling Championship (Petaluma) Titles:

    Heavyweight Division

    R: 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1996, 1998, 2001
    Light Heavyweight Division

    R: 1998, 2001
    L: 1998, 2001
    Middleweight Division

    R – 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1996, 1998, 2001
    L – 1996, 1998, 2001
    Lightweight Division

    R – 1984
    WPAA World Title:

    1985 – Middleweight
    Yukon Jack National/World Titles:

    Heavyweight Division

    R: 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993,
    Middleweight Division

    R: 1995, 1996.
    Zloty Tur/Nemiroff World Cup Titles:

    Open Cat.

    R: 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
    Cat. 95 kg

    R: 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
    L: 2007, 2009

  3. Disappointed not to see Heather McKay here. Greatest squash player of all time. Only lost two matches in her entire 16 year career. Won every single Squash Open she participated in. If that doesn’t count as winning-est I don’t know what does. She puts almost everyone else listed here to shame.

    • They didn’t put Jahangir Khan the greatest squash player and athlete of all time with 555 consecutive matches win streak with a record 10 British open titles and 6 world championships

    • She was actually undefeated for 20 years at the time of her retirement. As a side note Heather also proved to be a talent in other sports, including field hockey, where she was a member of the Australian Women’s Hockey Team in 1967 and 1971. In racquetball, she won the American Amateur Racquetball Championship once (1979), the American Professional Racquetball Championship three times (1980–81 and 1984), and the Canadian Racquetball Championship five times (1980 and 1982–85).She was inducted into the USA Racquetball Hall of Fame in 1997.

  4. where is john force – 15 world championships, 200+ event wins, none on your list come close

  5. also, Michael Shumacher 7 world championships, and probably better physical condition than over half on that list

    • Also, Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt and Jimmy Johnson. All have 7 championships with Jimmy getting 5 in a row

  6. Not even a single mention of Joe Calzaghe. 46-0 and defended his title for over a decade.

  7. Rafael Nadal only in honorable mention is a joke. Speaking of joke, where is Djokovic?

  8. Martin Fourcade, 13 times world champ biathlon, 5 gold Olympian.
    Teddy Riner 11 times judo world champ 2x gold Olympian.

  9. You forgot Wayne Gretsgy. HE holds more world records still today than any one in sports.He was the great one.

  10. yamashita was NEVER beaten in a judo contest.he was 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighed 280lb.

  11. What about the undertaker at 21-0 but seriously where is the great one Wayne gretzky

  12. We gonna just all ignore Shaq? 6 crappy albums, 11 crappy movies 😂😂😂

  13. the list is too usa orientated. how about tephelio stephenson , felix savon and laszlo papp all triple gold medalists. andre ward,joe calzagheand floyd mayweather–all unbeaten. how about rod laver–only player to do the grand slam twice,1961 and 1969,the only professional to do the grand slam. he couldn’t partake in the slams 1962-1968 so he could have done the grand slam in all the years in between.what about garfield sobers and don bradman in cricket,diego maradonna,lionel messiand christiano renaldo in soccer.eighteen of your list are baseball players,basketball players or american footballers. as far as basketball goes nobody under 6’3″ has got a chance as skilful as they might be. baseball and football are almost exclusively american and not global.

    • Bleeding basketball ain’t hard if you are 6″5. Wow,they can put a ball in a hoop 2 foot higher than them. Seriously, boring

    • Great point Malcolm! Teófilo Stevenson is a great call! What a champion! How about the whole ’76 boxing team? I know I am going back to the US, but what a team!

  14. And Eddy MERCKX? Cyclist won 525 of his 1.800 entries
    Tour de France
    General classification (1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1974)
    Points classification (1969, 1971, 1972)
    Mountains classification (1969, 1970)
    Combativity award (1969, 1970, 1974, 1975)
    Combination classification (1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1974)
    34 individual stages (1969–1975)

    Giro d’Italia
    General classification (1968, 1970, 1972, 1973, 1974)
    Points classification (1968, 1973)
    Mountains classification (1968)
    24 individual stages (1968–1974)

    Vuelta a España
    General classification (1973)
    Points classification (1973)
    Combination classification (1973)
    6 individual stages (1973)

    Stage races

    Paris–Nice (1969, 1970, 1971)
    Tour de Romandie (1968)
    Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré (1971)
    Volta a Catalunya (1968)
    Tour de Suisse (1974)

    One-day races and Classics
    Milan–San Remo (1966, 1967, 1969, 1971, 1972, 1975, 1976)
    Tour of Flanders (1969, 1975)
    Paris–Roubaix (1968, 1970, 1973)
    Liège–Bastogne–Liège (1969, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975)
    Giro di Lombardia (1971, 1972)

    Worlx Champion (1967, 1971,1974)
    National Road Race Championships (1970)

  15. Four-Time Olympic Race Walker Ron Laird won 65 US National Championships (and 4 Canadian Championships) during a long and incredibly successful career. No one else comes close.

  16. Toni Bou? Just won his 14th consecutive world trials title taking his total to 28.

  17. What about Robert Mushtare? Three 900 games in bowling – the only person to bowl more than one 900 game

    • I take it you mean series since a game high can only be 300. When it comes to bowling Walter Ray has far more titles and accolades.

  18. Try again, look at toni bou 26 world championships each with multiple rounds ( usually 12-16) if you count individual wins it has to be 200+ ,even though it’s a non speed discipline of bike racing it’s a wonder what these guys can get a bike to do without putting their feet down. Some of the obstacles you’ll go no way and he does it simply dumbfounding that it’s possible.

  19. ritche Maccaw should be on this list

    he played 148 games for the NZl All Blacks and lost only 15 games. And of those 15 losses. He lost to 4 teams.

  20. all great athletes im sure but the greatest of all time has to be David Foster
    22 World Championships 21 of those in consecutive years
    186 world titles
    over 1000 world, state and national titles

  21. Nicol David of Malaysia was the #1 women’s professional squash-player for NINE years straight, winning EIGHT world squash championship titles!

  22. I see the list is long as far as missed athletes, however, I am surprised no one mentioned Muhammad Ali. He transformed boxing. Iron Mike Tyson should have been mentioned here as well. Maybe someone said this, but I didn’t see where anyone did.

  23. John Force 16 time NHRA Funny Car Champion. That’s not counting the 151 victories. Several Funny Car wrecks.
    He is the GOAT of the NHRA.

  24. Brady @ #4…lol. With the overall numbers/stats you posted, he shouldn’t even be in the Top #10. So many of the others you listed have way more titles than him.

  25. Bill Russell
    – 13x NBA Championships (11x Rings as a player)
    – 12x NBA All-Star
    – 5x MVP
    – 2x NCAA Championships
    – Olympic gold medalist

    Nobody even comes close to Bill Russell…except for maybe Joe DiMaggio

  26. Wait! You listed Marciano (49-0) as your #3 but left Mayweather (50-0 and 15 World Titles) off of the top 35?

  27. If Secretariat were a human, instead of a horse, he would be holding all the running track records for the rest of time! No one else would ever come close! Every other great athlete on this list with all their great accomplishments would have to admit to one and all that he was the greatest athlete that ever lived!

  28. Where is Lewis Hamilton and Jimmie Johnson. Going in circles is just as much as a sport as hitting and throwing balls… If someone gets awards for something, it is a sport, unless it is something such as economics and agricultural things.

  29. What about Ronnie O’ Sullivan. 7 world snooker titles. 21 majors (with only 3 available per year). Holds just about every record in the game. The greatest player of all time, is still playing too.

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