I must break you.
~ Ivan Drago to Rocky - his own infamous catchphrase.

If he dies, he dies.
~ Ivan Drago, after knocking Apollo Creed unconscious.

Gustav Lars "Ivan" Drago is the main antagonist in the 1985 film Rocky IV. He will return in Creed II as the main antagonist, as he trains his son (Vitor Drago, played by Florian Big Nasty Muteanu) to kill Adonis Creed.

He was portrayed by Dolph Lundgren.


Drago is a boxing champion from Sweden (posing as Russia, or the Soviet Union at the time) and also a captain in the Russian military, who is known to have superhuman strength and is shown having steroids injected into him during one of Rocky's montages. His wife named Ludmilla Drago acts as his spokeswoman during interviews and press conferences, which Drago's manager, Nicolai Koloff, also uses to run down America and boast of Russian superiority in propagandistic fashion. Early in the movie, when he steps into the ring for an exhibition match against Apollo Creed (who has come out of retirement for the bout), he easily kills Creed without remorse in the ring in the second round. In revenge for his friend Creed's death and to defend the honor of America, Rocky challenges Drago to face him in the ring in Moscow, Russia on Christmas Day, where Rocky ends up winning because of his intense training in the snow.


Throughout the film, Ivan presents himself as the strong and silent type. Allowing others to speak for him and only speaking when directly spoken to. While Drago was originally introduced as the pride of the Soviet Union and praised as a hero, Drago does not seem to care much for his country. When his manager began to talk down to Drago for letting an American be cheered for in their country, Drago lifts him in the air by the throat and throws him away, revealing he only fights for himself and nothing else. Driven by his desire to be the best at all costs, this single-minded manner in which he pursues this goal deprives him of his humanity. Many viewers and critics have suggested that Drago was meant to symbolize America's perception of Russia: immense, powerful, and emotionless. This is made evident by his cold-blooded pulverization of Creed in an exhibition match as well as by his callous reaction towards news of his opponent's death.



  • The character and his catchphrases have gone on to inspire multiple mentions in popular culture (such as the comic parody film Disaster Movie), as well as the name of Michigan heavy metal band If He Dies He Dies.
  • In an episode of Family Guy, Brian Griffin has a montage which is a parody of Rocky's montage to the song "Heart's on Fire" and when Brian gets to the top of the mountain he yells "DRAGO" the same way Rocky does in the movie.
  • He is actually Swedish and his wife is actually Danish. There is a chance that he and his wife were committing fraud as "Russians" and using fake names as they have been shown to be rather untrustworthy.
  • He is 6'5 and 243 lbs.
  • He will return in Creed 2 (sequel to Creed).