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2023 Arnold Classic Saturday Night Recap

Roger “Rock” Lockridge

What a night in bodybuilding! The 2023 Arnold Classic is in the books, and three champions were crowned to top off the evening. Two managed to repeat as champion while one became a new champion. Here’s a look back at the evening’s festivities.


Samson Dauda Wins Arnold Classic

In the main event of the evening, Samson Dauda won his first major title by taking the Arnold Classic. Dauda managed to consistently bring a contending physique on both nights of the contest. He only seemed to get better throughout the finals, which may be why he won the title and massive $300,000 check that went with it.

The runner-up was Nick Walker, who also took home the Most Muscular Award. Third place went to Andrew Jacked, whose incredible split at the end of his routine helped him win the Best Poser award. Both of those honors came with $10,000 bonus checks. Two-time Mr. Olympia Big Ramy and Olympia 212 winner Shaun Clarida rounded out the top five.

  1. Samson Dauda
  2. Nick Walker
  3. Andrew Jacked
  4. Mamdouh Elssbiay
  5. Shaun Clarida


Chapados Repeats as Bikini International Winner

Canada now has two Arnold winners for 2023. One day after Kassandra Gillis took the Wellness title, Lauralie Chapados successfully defended her Bikini International title against second-place finisher and 2022 Olympia winner Maureen Blanquisco. Jennifer Dorie rounded out the top three in that lineup. Chapados will now go on to the Olympia, where she hopes to dethrone Blanquisco and take that championship as well.

  1. Lauralie Chapados
  2. Maureen Blanquisco
  3. Jennifer Dorie
  4. Ashley Kaltwasser
  5. Romina Basualdo


Erin Banks Did it Again

Take it to the Banks! The defending Men’s Physique winner, Erin Banks, came into this event as Olympia champ as well as last year’s Arnold winner. He now has his second win in Columbus thanks to a dominating performance. From both the front and back, he was untouchable and dominant. Diogo Montenegro came in second, and the bronze medalist was Emanual Hunter.

  1. Erin Banks
  2. Diogo Montenegro
  3. Emanual Hunter
  4. Vitor Chaves
  5. Carlos DeOliveria


Harold “King Kong” Kelley Makes It Six

Harold “King Kong” Kelley once again takes the win in the wheelchair division. Coming off his fresh win from the Olympia this past December, this makes Kelley’s sixth Arnold title. The five time Olympia champion has now won six out of the seven the division has been in existence. Canadian Tory Jones took second with Bradley Betts rounding up the top three..

  1. Harold Kelley
  2. Tory Jones
  3. Bradley Betts 
  4. Woody Belfort 
  5. James Berger 


Other Notes

Throughout the evening, other events took place that captivated the crowd. A touching tribute video in honor of the late Jim Lorimer played, and Arnold Schwarzenegger spoke about his longtime friend and business partner in his speech at the beginning of the evening.

The 2023 Arnold Classic Lifetime Achievement Award went to four-time Arnold winner Flex Wheeler. Wheeler spoke to the crowd about his journey, health issues he’s overcome, and how he hopes to inspire others going forward.

Last but not least, former Arnold Classic champions were recognized onstage in a ceremony that honored the 35th anniversary of one of bodybuilding’s biggest shows that went back to 1989.

Make sure you check out the other features on Muscle Insider for more great Arnold Classic coverage and special interviews.

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