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Phil Heath and Kai Greene Rivalry Renewed?

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By Roger Lockridge

The two bodybuilding legends have created a lot of buzz on social media.

Bodybuilding has had a lot of great rivalries over the years. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sergio Oliva was among the first, the 1980’s were headlined by Lee Haney and Rich Gaspari, and many fans still look back fondly on the respectable challenges between Ronnie Coleman and Jay Cutler. Fans today still think about all of the onstage moments between Phil Heath and Kai Greene. They also hope that they get to see them battle onstage at least one more time.

Greene has been very vocal on social media about wanting to compete against Heath again. He has posted callouts of the seven-time Mr. Olympia on Twitter and Instagram several times over recent weeks. He also has shared images of himself in contest level shape. Heath on the other hand, had directly tweeted to him asking about grabbing a meal, but hasn’t engaged in the callouts to face off. 


A post shared by Kai Greene (@kaigreene)

A Quick Look Back

Greene turned pro in 2004, and Heath followed in 2005. They had faced each other on numerous occasions over the years since. Their first encounter on a big stage was at the 2008 Arnold Classic. Heath finished second and Greene came in third. The contest was won by Dexter Jackson. They would face off again at the 2009 Olympia. This time, Greene finished ahead of Heath, placing fourth and fifth respectively. Greene would defeat Heath again when he won the 2010 Arnold Classic. That was the last time that Greene would be higher than Heath in a contest. Heath would win the Olympia from Jay Cutler in 2011. He famously would hold back the challenge of Greene for the following three years. The 2014 contest was their final posedown, and the tension was so high that fans thought they may get into an actual fight. This was the last time that “Mr. Getting it Done” has been on the Olympia stage as a competitor.

The Chances of Them Competing Again

Putting the hype aside, what are the chances that both legends would step onstage together again? As a former Mr. Olympia, Heath has lifetime entry in any contest sanctioned by the IFBB Pro League. All he has to do is say the word, and he is in whatever lineup he picks. Greene has that same privilege with any contest except the Olympia. As a former Arnold Classic champion, Greene is eligible to enter that contest if he sees fit. He can also throw his name into the ring for other contests. So both men could compete again at the Arnold Classic if they so desired.

Competing together at the Mr. Olympia is another situation. Greene would either have to qualify for that contest, or he could accept a special invite if he was offered one. He was offered one in 2017, but he declined it. It’s reasonable to believe that if he agreed to sign a contract to compete, that he would be offered one, but no such invite has been formally given as of yet.

Fans have also been subjected to hype and teases from Greene before, with nothing of substance coming from it. So it’s very likely that a clear, hard, and official commitment would have to be made by the three-time Arnold Classic winner before any promotion was invested. The only thing we can do between now and the Olympia is stay tuned.

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