Bodybuilding fans are on the crux of what may be remembered as one of the most competitive Mr. Olympia contests of all time. There are six legitimate contenders who could finish in any order and you could make an argument for either of them. Add to that number if a few others come into Las Vegas the way they should and it may be an unprecedented contest.
Take your pick from defending champion Dexter Jackson, his predecessor Jay Cutler, Phil Heath, Victor Martinez, Kai Greene and Dennis Wolf. Just for shits and giggles, let’s add Branch Warren, Toney Freeman and Silvio Samuel. And let’s not forget the fact that Ronnie Coleman is still undecided if he is going to make a comeback or not.
From a strategic standpoint, the ‘bigger is better’ mantra looks to be en vogue with the recent guest posing appearances by Heath, Cutler, Jackson and Coleman. While Cutler and Coleman have always possessed the ‘freaky’ physique, Heath and Jackson’s look was of the more aesthetic kind. Both appear to have added a good amount of weight and depending on their diet, may come into the Orleans Arena looking much different than they have in the past.
Greene, who won the 2009 Arnold Classic, is not as big as some of his fellow competitors but is wide in the right places to give him the appearance of being much larger. Martinez may be the favorite going in if he has made the slight improvements needed since March, when he finished as the runner-up in Ohio. Recovering from his injury has taken him a little longer than expected.
Warren may be a huge fan favorite and deserved his third place award at the Arnold, but he may have to be content with a good placing in the two most prestigious contests in the world. Freeman is in the same boat, and Samuel may have competed too many times in the calendar year to stay in top condition in September.
That leaves Wolf, who was lucky to finish as high as he did last year. Fourth place is nothing to be ashamed of but he even admitted that his timing was way off and he made mistakes in his diet preparation at the end. He then had to sit out the Arnold due to hernia surgery and has stated that he is fully recovered and ready to go.
Because he has the size and height advantage of the majority of the line-up, Wolf needs to work with what he has and not try to bulk up too much. If he can get a little more symmetrical and get his arms to catch up to his massive delts, he has to be considered a top dog going in.