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Can Andrew Jacked Win The 2022 Mr. Olympia?
When Chinedu Andrew Obiekea (better known as Andrew Jacked) won his pro debut at the 2022 Texas Pro, it sent shockwaves throughout the bodybuilding world. He had just turned professional at the 2022 Arnold Amateur contest in March, and he is now qualified to compete in the Mr. Olympia this December in Las Vegas, Nevada. He went from amateur to Olympia contender in less than one calendar year.
There have been many new stars that have come along that made experts pose the question “can he win the Olympia?” However, this was a different case. Jacked not only won the show, he was the overwhelming pick by the judges because of how he was so much bigger than second place finisher Martin Fitzwater, and he outconditioned and outsized longtime Olympia competitor Steve Kuclo. At 6’2” and 290 pounds, he had symmetry that pleased the old-school fanbase as well as size that made those that like the mass monsters marvel. All of a sudden, this question has become a very serious topic of discussion. Andrew Jacked may win the 2022 Mr. Olympia.
The only problem with Jacked’s potential is a fact that has stood for almost 60 years. Outside of Larry Scott who won the first Mr. Olympia in 1965, no one has won the Mr. Olympia title in his first opportunity. If the man from Nigeria wishes to dethrone Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay this December, he will have to make improvements, and as the professional he is, he understood the assignment and is working actively to do just that.
He and coach George Farah have already laid out a strategy that includes Jacked stepping onstage again at the 2022 Arnold Classic UK contest, which will be held on the weekend of September 23th through 25th in Birmingham, England. He will face another rising superstar that hopes to have a home country advantage – 2021 Olympia competitor James Hollingshead.
Between now and then, he will continue to follow Farah’s instruction, work with both Flex Lewis in the gym and Flex Wheeler on his posing, and apply tips that he had received from head judge Steve Weinberger. He’s posted training clips on Instagram and shared that he wants to improve his lower back thickness, referencing former Arnold Classic Champion William Bonac as someone he wishes to emulate.
The Arnold Classic UK stage will have an international spotlight on it as well as stiff competition in its own right, but that lineup still won’t be as battle tested as those he will face in the Olympia. Whether he wins in Birmingham or not, he will still move on to Las Vegas, and that is where his real test lies.
Aside from Elssbiay who is the two-time defending champion, Jacked will stand shoulder to shoulder with 2019 Mr. Olympia winner Brandon Curry, two-time People’s Champion Hadi Choopan, second generation superstar Hunter Labrada, and 2021 Arnold Classic winner Nick Walker. Can he improve his conditioning to overcome the likes of Curry, and Choopan while show quality size that can overcome Walker and Labrada? That is what will have to happen if he wishes to vault last year’s second, third, fourth, and fifth place finishers.
Then, there’s the champion himself. Elssbiay is known as BIG Ramy for a reason. He may not be as tall as the rising star, but he brings almost 300 pounds of shredded muscle to the stage, and as the wolf on top of the hill, he wants to stay there. He has his own legendary team backing him up as well. Chad Nicholls has trained both Ronnie Coleman and Elssbiay while Dennis James can push Elssbiay in the gym like no other. They’ve been here before, and they know that the best thing they can do is help the champion focus on himself. If Elssbiay worries about his opponents, he may miss a step in the process, which can cost him.
As for Jacked, he must do the same thing. Take his process one day at a time and not be concerned about the men he hopes to beat in either of his next two contests. Between now and December 17th when the winner of the Mr. Olympia is announced, all we can do is wait and speculate about what could happen, but one thing is clear. Andrew Jacked is going all in for his Mr. Olympia debut, and the conversation about him isn’t based on hyperbole. He has a chance to make bodybuilding history.
*© Images courtesy of Instagram