2009 Mr. Olympia Predictions: Title Up For Grabs!

It's a wide-open competition this year at the 2009 Mr. Olympia. Four or five guys have a legitimate shot at winning. Here are my predictions including top 6.

It's a wide-open field competition this year at the 2009 Mr. Olympia. Four or five guys have a legitimate shot at winning the title. Let's find out who's competing and what I predict for the outcome.

The 2009 Mr. Olympia is only a few weeks away and it will again be held in Las Vegas, Nevada, at the Orleans Arena on Friday and Saturday, September 25 and 26. The judging will be on Friday night and the finals are on Saturday night. The Olympia Expo will again be held at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

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The Top Guys
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Right off, let's take a look at who will be competing this year for the biggest title in professional bodybuilding. To begin with, we'll recap last year's top-six finalists.

dot Dexter Jackson: dot

    Of course, we have last year's champion, Dexter "The Blade" Jackson. He is returning to defend his title. Dexter shocked the bodybuilding world last year when he upset the two-time reigning champion, Jay Cutler.

    Last year Dexter had the perfect combination of size, symmetry, proportion, and definition and was crowned the champion and he's looking to capture a second title.

    Joe McNeil will still be "running his numbers" as Dexter likes to put it, but otherwise Dexter will be serving as his own coach this year. He's a seasoned veteran, though, and prepping for the Olympia on his own shouldn't be too much of a problem for him.

Dexter Jackson At The 2008 Olympia. Dexter Jackson At The 2008 Olympia.
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Dexter Jackson At The 2008 Olympia.
View More Pics Of Dexter Jackson At The 2008 Olympia.

    This year's line-up is stacked and Dexter will really need to pull out all the stops this year if he wants to repeat as champion. He has too many quality competitors who are chasing him and they want that Olympia title as bad as he wanted it last year.

dot Jay Cutler: dot

    Jay Cutler came in too smooth on Friday night last year. He actually dropped 12 pounds by the finals on Sat Night. He spent about an hour in a sauna Saturday morning and afternoon. He looked much better, but he had already lost too much ground to Dexter the night before.

    Jay knew he messed up last year and is not planning on making the same mistake this year. He's serious about getting his title back too because Jay is rumored to be in the best shape of his life this far out from the Mr. Olympia. If Jay does regain the title, it'll be the first time in history a former Mr. Olympia has gotten the title back after being defeated.

    And just a little side note... Jay's sporting a brand new haircut this year too. Sort of like Mr. Incredible, Andy Hamman's spiky hairdo.

Jay Cutler At The 2008 Olympia. Jay Cutler At The 2008 Olympia.
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Jay Cutler At The 2008 Olympia.
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    I have three suggestions for Jay this year. One, he needs to spend some time in the sauna on Friday morning or afternoon before the judging. Excess water has been his nemesis the last two years and he's very capable of coming in dry like he has in many competitions in the past.

    My second suggestion is to revert to striking the double-biceps pose the way he did earlier in his career - like when he won the Iron Man in 2003. He stood taller and spread out more. He crunches up now and it makes him look much blockier.

    The third suggestion would make all your fans very happy and improve another one of your poses immensely. Jay, put your fists together when hitting the most muscular crab pose. Pop out those chest striations! Stopping halfway looks awkward and incomplete. Believe me, if you hit that pose all the way, the crowd will react and the judges will definitely notice.

dot Phil Heath: dot

    Phil Heath was third last year. I spoke to Phil a couple weeks back and he is going all out to win this year. He said his training is going well and his diet is on point.

    Judging from the photos of him and the other guest posers I saw from the Dexter Jackson Classic, he's telling the truth. Phil's back is improved and his conditioning was way ahead of all the other guys on stage - including Dexter and Jay!

    Phil's meteoric rise to bodybuilding stardom has been nothing less than incredible. He began competing in 2003. He won the Mr. USA in 2005 and turned pro. He came close to winning the Olympia on his first try last year in 2008.

Phil Heath At The 2008 Olympia. Phil Heath At The 2008 Olympia.
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Phil Heath At The 2008 Olympia.
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    Unlike some of the top pros, Phil still makes tremendous gains between each show he does. He's taken a full year off, so it'll be very interesting to see what he looks likes this time out.

dot Dennis Wolf: dot

    Dennis Wolf was the big disappointment last year even though he moved up one placing from 2007. People seemed to think since he was working with Chad Nichols, who was Ronnie Coleman's nutrition guru, that Dennis would be a shoo-in for the title. But the Big Bad Wolf over dieted with zero carbs last year and while he came in looking shredded, he lost his fullness from the year before.

    If he can come in 20 pounds heavier this year - like he intended to last year - Dennis will be pushing for one of the top positions again this year.

    He had surgery earlier this year to fix a visible hernia near his belly button. Reports say he's healed and fully recovered, training hard and he is adding plenty of carbs back in this year.

Dennis Wolf At The 2008 Olympia. Dennis Wolf At The 2008 Olympia.
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Dennis Wolf At The 2008 Olympia.
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    Besides being flattened out last year, I noticed Wolf was striking the most muscular pose differently than he did in 2007. In 2007 he owned one of the best most muscular shots ever presented on an Olympia stage.

    In 2008 he leaned forward a little more and bent over, which caused much of his upper body to become hidden. So Dennis, if you're reading this buddy, you need to straighten up like you did in 2007. You might get straight firsts in that pose during Round Two if you do.

Dennis Wolf At The 2007 Olympia. Dennis Wolf At The 2008 Olympia.
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Dennis Wolf At The 2007 Olympia
(Left) & At The 2008 Olympia (Right).

dot Toney Freeman: dot

    Toney Freeman - the X-Man - came in fifth last year with his best showing ever! He was full and dry. Toney got the loudest applause of any of the competitors at last year's Mr. Olympia. At the Arnold Classic earlier this year, however, he was flat - again.

    With Toney you never know which physique is going to show up. At his height, he really has to come in full to prevent that lanky look and, at 43 years of age, Toney might be succumbing to the age factor soon.

Toney Freeman At The 2008 Olympia. Toney Freeman At The 2008 Olympia.
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Toney Freeman At The 2008 Olympia.
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dot Melvin Anthony: dot

    Melvin Anthony rounded out the top six last year. For whatever reason, Melvin is one of those guys who is just overlooked. He's established himself as a top-six Olympia finalist for a couple years now, but his inability to really, really come in dry has held back his placement.

    He arguably has the best shape of today's pros, but he really has to come in a little bit sharper - especially in the hamstrings. At last year's Atlantic City show, which Melvin won, those hammies were popping out nicely. If he can duplicate or possibly improve on that, Melvin could be an unexpected dark horse.

    So that was last year's top six. These guys will be in the running again this year. We have two other guys that are thrown into the mix this year - Victor Martinez and Kai Greene.

Melvin Anthony At The 2008 Olympia. Melvin Anthony At The 2008 Olympia.
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Melvin Anthony At The 2008 Olympia.
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dot Kai Greene: dot

    Kai Greene will be making his Olympia debut. I saw him at the Arnold Classic and if he comes in looking like that, he'll be in the running to challenge Dexter. Kai's conditioning was simply amazing! His posing is off the hook and his hams and quads could be the best in the sport right now.

    Kai and his coach, Oscar Arden set up camp in Las Vegas a few weeks ago and they'll stay there through the competition. Reports are that Kai was well over 300 pounds only a few a weeks ago and he's added even more size!

    Like Dennis Wolf, Kai is staying under wraps until the show. Mike Pulcinella from the Raising the Bar video is filming a documentary on Kai and Oscar in the final weeks of prep for the Olympia. Pulcinella is the only contact with any media from now until after the show.

Kai Greene At The 2009 Arnold Classic. Kai Greene At The 2009 Arnold Classic.
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Kai Greene At The 2009 Arnold Classic.
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dot Victor Martinez: dot

    Victor Martinez is returning to the Olympia stage after a one-year hiatus due to his knee injury. He made his comeback at this year's Arnold Classic and came close to winning it again, but Kai Greene held him off.

    I thought Vic had the better shape at the Arnold Classic, but his legs were still a little smooth, most likely from a result of the injury. Since he had a few more months to train his quads, we'll have to see how those legs measure up at the Olympia. In this line-up, they will have to be 100% spot on.

Victor Martinez At The 2009 Arnold Classic. Victor Martinez At The 2009 Arnold Classic.
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Victor Martinez At The 2009 Arnold Classic.
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"What-If?" Scenarios
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As I stated at the beginning of this article, the 2009 Mr. Olympia is wide open this year. There could be many historical outcomes. Here are a few of the "what-ifs" that might occur:

dot If Kai Greene Wins: dot

    If Kai Greene does win, it would be the first time since Larry Scott won the first Mr. Olympia in 1965 that someone has won on their first try. There is a good chance this could happen. Many fans and experts are predicting a Kai Greene win. If he does win, he makes Olympia history.

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dot If Jay Cutler Wins: dot

    Jay would be the first person to regain the Mr. Olympia after losing the title if he wins this year. No other past champions have been able to do that including Ronnie Coleman, Samir Bannout and Frank Zane. Never count out a two-time Mr. Olympia and five-time runner-up like Jay Cutler from winning the title again.

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dot If Dexter Jackson Wins: dot

    Dexter would move up to multiple-title champion, which would elevate him above the one-time champion, Samir Bannout. Dexter would join Jay Cutler as a two-time, consecutive champion.

Dexter Jackson
Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
Can Dexter Jackson Make It Two In A Row?

dot If Phil Heath Wins: dot

    Hmmm... let's see. What would be history-making if Phil Heath wins? Well, he would join the ranks of Mr. Olympia's who have won the title on their second attempt. Sergio, Arnold, Haney and Dorian have done that also, but if Phil wins it would be the first time in Olympia history that a reigning Mr. Olympia was defeated two years in a row.

dot If Dennis Wolf Wins: dot

    If the Big Bad Wolf wins it would be the first-time a Russian-born German has won the Mr. Olympia title. I'm not sure how significant that would really be, but the title has gone to an American since Ronnie began his reign back in 1998 — the year after that British chap, Dorian Yates, retired in 1997.

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dot If Victor Martinez Wins: dot

    Victor would be the first Mr. Olympia to win the title after recovering from a severe knee injury since Franco Columbu won in 1981.

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Predictions - The Way I See It
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So there you have it. I've given you a few "What-if" situations and a quick look at last year's top six plus Kai and Victor. In my opinion, these will be the guys taking home the top spots again this year.

How do I see the chips falling in Vegas this year and when the dust settles who will win and who makes the top six? I thought you'd never ask.

If these guys all come in on target and hit their peaks... I predict Phil Heath will win the 2009 Mr. Olympia, but it will be a close battle with Kai Greene and Kai will come in a very, very close second. Phil had the best physique on the Olympia stage during the finals last year. Many people have said that and I think Phil has what it takes this year to win it all.

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Dexter Jackson will not repeat as Mr. Olympia and he will fall into third place. Even if he displays that diamond-cut conditioning, I don't see Dexter holding off both Kai and Phil. Kai will outsize him and Phil will beat him in shape and proportion too.

I see Jay, Victor and Dennis battling it out for 4th, 5th and 6th. Toney Freeman and Melvin will be battling it out for 7th and 8th place.

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Conclusion
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But if any of these guys are not at their absolute best, especially Toney and Melvin, they'll be battling for the top-ten positions along with Branch Warren, Silvio Samuel, and possibly even Moe El Moussawi.

So there you have it, bodybuilding fans. You might disagree, but that's how I see it going down this year. I'll be there in Vegas once again covering the event and getting you the inside scoop and writing up full reports on the judging and the finals of the 2009 Mr. Olympia.