2009 Arnold Classic - The Crowning Of A New Champion.

The 21st anniversary of the Arnold Classic Bodybuilding Championships has come and gone, and by no means was this just another bodybuilding show. Learn More.


The Crowning of New Champion

The 21st anniversary of the Arnold Classic Bodybuilding Championships has come and gone, and by no means was this just another bodybuilding show. This is the biggest bodybuilding event on the planet, second only in prestige to the Mr. Olympia. Prior to the contest we all speculated as to who would win the show, would Kai Greene get his weight down in time? Would Victor Martinez recover fully from his leg injury? Would Branch Warren's triceps tear affect his physique?

Low and behold, the luck of the Irish must have been bestowed upon these lads because all three were, from the moment the prejudging began, the front runners for top honours. History was made at this years Arnold Classic on March 7th not only by Kai Greene's domination of the show, coming in at 5'7 weighing in the region of 260lbs RIPPED, but also by Texan muscle freak Branch Warren winning his 3rd Most Muscular Award - and he has still to win the contest! And a battle scarred Victor Martinez making a comeback after a severe injury, the last time he took this stage, he left the victor this time, he is runner up.

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In my preview I predicted the placing of each and every competitor, based on their recent performance and of course their capabilities as a bodybuilder.


13th Place: Marcus Haley

    The 13th place finisher was Marcus Haley; my prediction for him was 12th, so no real surprise there. However, he was off with his conditioning and looked to be struggling with his leg injury. Two outings at the Arnold and two 12th place finishes, had been at his best, he may have pulled into the top 10.

Marcus Haley. Marcus Haley.
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Marcus Haley At The 2009 IFBB Arnold Classic.
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12th Place: Ahmad Haidar

    12th place was Abzilla, Ahmad Haidar, my prediction was for him to finish 11th so we were fairly close. Hadar possesses one of the more aesthetic physiques on the IFBB scene, but is lacking in the size department when it comes to doing battle against the big boys of the Arnold and Olympia. This keeps him out of the posedown in these big shows.

Ahmad Haidar. Ahmad Haidar.
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Ahmad Haidar At The 2009 IFBB Arnold Classic.
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11th Place: Gustavo Badell

    11th place was Gustavo Badell. His physique was nowhere near that of when he took 3rd in the Olympia, and has not been in his last few outings. Where does he go from here, I don't know, my prediction was for him to finish 10th

Gustavo Badell. Gustavo Badell.
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Gustavo Badell At The 2009 IFBB Arnold Classic.
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10th Place: Ronny Rockel

    10th place went to Ronny Rockel. A very disappointing performance from the German, his conditioning was nowhere near what it was at the Ironman just a few weeks prior. He was holding more water than an Aquafina delivery truck and his result was truly justified. In my preview, I predicted Rockel finishing 6th

Ronny Rockel. Ronny Rockel.
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Ronny Rockel At The 2009 IFBB Arnold Classic.
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9th Place: Johnnie Jackson

    9th place was Johnnie Jackson; very much improved from the Ironman where he miss timed the whole conditioning. Looks like he nailed this one on the head. My prediction for Jackson 9th

Johnnie Jackson. Johnnie Jackson.
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Johnnie Jackson At The 2009 IFBB Arnold Classic.
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8th Place: Sergey Shelestov

    8th place Sergey Shelestov, I predicted he would finish dead last in 13th place. Maybe he read my preview and said "F@&k that fella of the Bullman's I'll show him" because he came in as big as ever and probably the best condition I have ever seen him in. He finished in 8th place; however I could have placed him as high as 6th.

Sergey Shelestov. Sergey Shelestov.
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Sergey Shelestov At The 2009 IFBB Arnold Classic.
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7th Place: Dennis James

    7th went to The Menace, Dennis James, not quiet as sharp and complete as he was when he battled it out against Toney Freeman last year in pre Olympia shows where he played runner up on several occasions. My prediction 7th right on the money.

Dennis James. Dennis James.
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Dennis James At The 2009 IFBB Arnold Classic.
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6th Place: Moe El Moussawi

    6th place was Moe El Moussawi, he is bigger than last year, but doesn't seem to have that crisp finish he once had. He looked out of place in the top 6. My prediction for him was 8th

Moe El Moussawi. Moe El Moussawi.
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Moe El Moussawi At The 2009 IFBB Arnold Classic.
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5th Place: Silvio Samuel

    5th went to El Matador Silvio Samuel, probably the best conditioned athlete on the stage. He gives up a lot in the way of size, but his symmetry and conditioning are second to none. I predicted a 4th place finish for him.

Silvio Samuel. Silvio Samuel.
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Silvio Samuel At The 2009 IFBB Arnold Classic.
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4th Place: Toney Freeman

    4th place was The X-Man Toney Freeman, he came in sliced & diced, equalling his conditioning at last years Olympia, but was a little flat, which could have gone against him in the final placing. My prediction for him was 5th

Toney Freeman. Toney Freeman.
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Toney Freeman At The 2009 IFBB Arnold Classic.
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3rd Place: Branch Warren

    3rd was Branch Warren, he also won the Most Muscular Award for the 3rd time. Branch was much improved, his back although still weak in comparison to the rest of his physique, has really made a difference. His legs are the best in the business. I don't think you could even tell which triceps was torn. I predicted a 3rd place finish for him.

Branch Warren. Branch Warren.
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Branch Warren At The 2009 IFBB Arnold Classic.
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2nd Place: Victor Martinez

    2nd place was the 2007 Champion Victor Martinez, coming in off of a torn patellar tendon, was a little off, his leg looked to be lagging behind a little, but I feel if he was just that 5 to 10% tighter he could have taken the title again. I predicted a 1st place finish.

Victor Martinez. Victor Martinez.
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Victor Martinez At The 2009 IFBB Arnold Classic.
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1st Place: Kai Greene

    2009 Arnold Classic Champion - Kai Greene (I predicted 2nd) came in huge and ripped, I have not seen the score sheets, but I would imagine a straight first victory for Greene. He has truly cemented himself into bodybuilding history with this momentous victory, by becoming not only the 13th man to win the coveted title of Arnold Classic Champion. He added a bonus $10,000.00 to the prize money by winning the 'Best Presentation' award. Will Kai Greene go on to win the big O? Who knows, we will find out in September just what Dexter Jackson and Phil Heath have to say about that.

Kai Greene. Kai Greene.
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Kai Greene At The 2009 IFBB Arnold Classic.
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Conclusion

My predictions were not too far out, about from a tremendously improved Sergey Shelestov, who really blew me away during prejudging, and a dejected Ronny Rockel, who threw away a chance at making the final 6, with some luck, he will fix whatever it was that went wrong. So as you can see, I have no crystal ball, and I sometimes get it wrong. But the judges on the day got it right, the favourite was found wanting and Kai Greene took his chance and took home a check for $140,000.00 Not a bad days work for the newly crowned Arnold Champion Kai Greene.