2017 Olympia Predictions - Men's 212
MEN’S 212 MR. O PREDICTIONS
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1. James “Flex” Lewis
Flex Lewis is arguably the best pound-for-pound bodybuilder on the planet. Even in some of his weaker Olympia showings, he is nearly untouchable in callouts and comparisons. Lewis is yet another member of the Dallas McCarver camp and is going into this Olympia with a little added motivation, not that he needed it.
Lewis will walk home with another first-place trophy and continue his reign as the greatest 212-pound bodybuilder ever. The biggest battle he may face is Vegas is making weight, but I’d be willing to gamble everything saying that won’t hold him back.
2. Ahmad Ashkanani
Ashkanani came out of nowhere to win last year’s Tampa Bay Pro. From there, he finished runner-up to James “Flex” Lewis at the 2016 Olympia and served notice to the 212 division. He somehow managed to come in bigger at the 2017 Arnold Classic while maintaining conditioning on his way to a first-place spot. The 212 starboy of the Camel Crew is aiming to upset Flex Lewis and if anyone can do it, I say Ashkanani is the man to do it.
3. David Henry
The former 202 Mr. Olympia champion brought what I consider maybe one of the most beautiful physiques pound-for-pound ever to the 2017 Arnold Classic Ohio. Henry has perhaps the greatest hands-clasped most muscular shots in the history of the lighter-weight divisions. His legs are unfortunately a bit thin from the front and will hold him from a top-two spot. When it comes to overall size, he’s just a bit behind the two named before him. All in all, I would be surprised to see David Henry lower than third.
4. “The Boston Mass” Jose Raymond
For Raymond, this is a show that could decide his career’s fate. At the 2016 Olympia, he was not at his best and was narrowly edged out by Ashkanani for 2nd place. A disappointing 3rd place (for him) at the Arnold Classic denied him his vengeance from the 2016 Olympia. Jose has a physique that demands nearly disgusting conditioning if he is to beat the likes of Ashkanani, Henry, Lewis and company. I do expect the best Jose to hit the stage since 2015, but I just don’t see it being enough to beat the routinely ultra-conditioned top three.
5. Shaun “The Giant Killer” Clarida
Clarida teamed up with Matt Jansen and ever since his physique has taken off like a rocket. He first showed up in New York and took a controversial third-place behind Ronny Rockel and Milan Sadek. Clarida has a tiny waist, densely lumpy back, coarse and thick quadriceps and awesome biceps. He’s still got to pack on some muscle to his chest and deltoids, but he’s well on his way with momentum on his side.
6. Charles “The Tank” Dixon
The Tank is rolling in Vegas! I have no idea how Dixon makes the 212-pound weight limit. He is one of the widest and thickest competitors in the division and packs a ton of muscle on a very wide frame. He has perhaps the most densely muscled quadriceps in the division, the biggest and most capped shoulders and a double-wide back. Dixon just doesn’t have the most pleasing lines, but that really is the only thing holding him out of the top-five. If Raymond or Clarida or off, The Tank will roll right into the top-five.
7. Derek Lunsford
Here’s my darkhorse for the weekend. Lunsford turned pro and then immediately jumped into the 2017 IFBB Tampa Pro and no one really pushed him. He looked full and hard, but with room for improvement to the Olympia. If he dials in the condition and is able to stay full and big – watch out. Lunsford is a future key player for the 212 division in my mind. Look for him to separate himself from the rest of the competitors in the second callout and maybe even work himself into a re-judging with some from the first callout.
8. Ricardo Correia
Correia is one of the guys that makes weight the day of weigh-in’s because he is so big for the division. He’s pretty complete, just lacks a bit of back width and has a bit of a wider waist structurally compared to Lunsford, Clarida and Lewis. Correia definitely has the potential to be in the top five this weekend, but will have to be in better condition than his form in Vancouver to do so. That will not be an easy task.
9. Milan Sadek
Sadek has already expressed that he needs to do the open class to further progress his physique. Sadek has a great structure to build upon, but he is correct. He’ll never fully fill out his frame at 212.0 pounds. Sadek may look a bit stringy standing beside Dixon, Correia, Raymond and Ashkanani. Sadek still will have great quads, hamstrings and back that will land him inside the top 10.
10. Ronny Rockel
Rockel is a veteran of the IFBB and Olympia competition. Rockel actually has a top-six finish in the open class in Vegas on his resume. Unfortunately, Rockel has a reputation of being more conditioned from the front than the back. That simply will not do here. Lewis, Henry, Ashkanani and many others will simply out-condition him from behind. A top-ten finish at the Super Bowl of bodybuilding is pretty damn good for someone who was retired a few years ago.