1,800 years ago, a mixed martial arts champion retired from the ring and decided to give back to his country, successfully using his celebrity to recruit for the army.
Lucius Septimius Flavianus Flavillianus was a champion wrestetler and pankration fighter from Roman-era Turkey. Pankration is similar to today's mixed martial arts, only with even less rules.
After a successful fighting career he became a recruiter for the Roman army. He leveraged his celebrity and was so good at his job that he was made a cult hero.
The inscription that tells his story was found at the base of a statue in Turkey.