Pankration was one of the Heavy Athletics in the classical world of ancient Greece and later throughout the Mediterranean through the spread of Roman culture.
Pankration is a combat sport descended from the Pammachon or hoplite martial arts. Pankration means "All Powers" and represented a combination of the other heavy athletics Boxing and Wrestling. All powers fighting had few rules and even transgression of the rules did not disqualify the fighter. Rather he was struck with a stick on the spot. There are various depictions of referees punishing dirty fighting. Greek wrestling in those days was similar to Brazilian Jiujitsu and other submission wrestling arts like Catch Wrestling with a big focus on submissions and choking and the ever present ground and pound.
These heavy athletics contests went on for about 1000 years with many cities specializing in different fighting styles.
Then as today a combat sport sat along side the martial art