2010 Arnold Classic Preview: Who Will Win?

The 2010 Arnold Classic has four of the top-six finalists from the 2009 Mr. Olympia competing this year. Find out who those competitors are...
Article Summary:
  • Branch Warren has beat all the other competitors once or twice. Can he do it again?
  • Kai Greene was last years winner, but he wasn't up against Phil Heath or Dexter Jackson.
  • Dexter Jackson has one the Arnold three times before. Can he tie Flex Wheeler's record?

  • 2010 Arnold Classic Preview:
    Who Will Win?

    The 2010 Arnold Classic has four of the top-six finalists from the 2009 Mr. Olympia competing this year. Find out who those competitors are and who else will be in the big show in Columbus.

    Not counting Jay Cutler, the 2009 Mr. Olympia competition was one of the closest in its history. It took a while for the judges to figure out where to place the guys from second through sixth place.

    Victor in sixth was fairly easy, but it was the other four guys who were tough to put in order. And those are the same four guys who are going up against each other at the 2010 Arnold Classic. The battle for the title this year will be between Branch Warren, Dexter Jackson, Kai Greene and Phil Heath.

    Who Is Going To Win The 2010 Arnold Classic?
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    Who Is Going To Win The 2010 Arnold Classic?


    Branch Warren

      Fresh off an amazing second-place finish, Branch Warren wants to chalk up a win for this year's Arnold Classic. He's a multiple winner of the "Most Muscular" award at the Arnold Classic and he has been a runner-up in the final placements in previous years.

      Branch has beaten every current IFBB pro except Jay Cutler. Wait! He beat him too, way back in 1993 for the overall at the NPC Teen Nationals.

      If Warren can bring the physique to Columbus he displayed in Las Vegas a few months ago, he could very well take top honors at the Arnold.

      It definitely will not be an easy task for him to win, however. Dexter wants another AC title and he would like nothing more than to knock off Branch to gain it back. With all things considered, Branch needs to match or surpass the physique he brought to the Olympia stage to win the Arnold Classic this year.

    Branch Warren At The 2009 Olympia. Branch Warren At The 2009 Olympia.
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    Branch Warren At The 2009 Olympia.
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    Dexter Jackson

      What more can be said about Dexter Jackson? He's won all the titles out there including three Arnold Classics and one Mr. Olympia. I've never seen Dexter Jackson out of shape come contest time. He's very consistent. He might be a bit sharper from time to time, but he's always in great shape.

      Dexter stands poised to tie Flex Wheeler's record of four AC title with a win at this year's event. Age-wise, Jackson probably has a couple good years in him and he knows he doesn't have many years left so he'll be taking his prep very seriously. He also wants to prove that Branch placing ahead of him at the Mr. Olympia was only a fluke. Look for Dexter to come in at his all-time best at the 2010 Arnold Classic.

    Dexter Jackson At The 2009 Olympia. Dexter Jackson At The 2009 Olympia.
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    Dexter Jackson At The 2009 Olympia.
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    Hidetada Yamagishi

      Like Branch Warren, Hide had his best Olympia showing to date. He has shown improvement on a consistent basis. Although I don't see him placing in the top six, Yamagishi deserves to compete in the Arnold Classic this year. If Hide ever decides to lose a few more pounds and drop down to the 202 Class, he could fare very well in that division.

    Hidetada Yamagishi At The 2009 Olympia. Hidetada Yamagishi At The 2009 Olympia.
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    Hidetada Yamagishi At The 2009 Olympia.
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    Johnnie Jackson

      The strongest IFBB pro comes back to the bodybuilding stage after beating Ben White in a strength contest at the Olympia expo last September. Jackson has struggled with being consistent with his conditioning. Unless he corrects that and puts a little more size and sweep on his thighs, I don't see him placing in the top-six at the Arnold Classic this year.

      Regardless of how he places at the AC this year, though, Jackson sure stirs up additional interest with the amazing poundages he hoists. He'll have his work cut out for him because Stan Efferding is up for the challenge to try and out-lift Johnny this fall.

    Johnnie Jackson At The 2009 Europa Super Show & Supplement Expo. Johnnie Jackson At The 2009 Europa Super Show & Supplement Expo.
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    Johnnie Jackson At The 2009 Europa Super Show & Supplement Expo.
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    Kai Greene

      Last year's Arnold Classic champion is returning in an attempt to make it two titles in a row. He wasn't at his best the 2009 Olympia, but he still captured fourth place. Kai and his coach, Oscar Arden, were going for a more streamline look for the Olympia and it backfired. Look for Greene to go for an all-out freak look this year at the Arnold Classic. We might see the best Kai Greene to date.

    Kai Greene At The 2009 Olympia. Kai Greene At The 2009 Olympia.
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    Kai Greene At The 2009 Olympia.
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    Melvin Anthony

      The Marvelous One did not make the top ten at the Olympia in 2009 and he wasn't pleased about that. Melvin has the best shape and balance of all the IFBB pros right now, but he needs to be a little bigger and whole lot sharper to win a big show like the Arnold Classic.

      I think Melvin is more concerned about the bragging rights of winning the Best Presentation Award at the Arnold and wants to show Kai a thing or two about posing. We'll have to see what Anthony has in store for the crowd this year. Who knows? Maybe he'll be doing somersaults, headstands, and bicycle kicks this year too.

    Melvin Anthony At The 2009 Olympia. Melvin Anthony At The 2009 Olympia.
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    Melvin Anthony At The 2009 Olympia.
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    Phil Heath

      In case you've been asleep since last September, Phil Heath placed a disappointing fifth at the 2009 Mr. Olympia. He got very sick the night before the judging and barfed his biceps out, which made him about 10 to 15 pounds lighter than expected during the prejudging. Because of his dismal finish, fans were quick to point out that maybe "The Gift" isn't quite as gifted as everyone thinks.

      Look for Phil to step on stage at his all-time best. With Dexter, Branch, and Kai all at their best, it'll be exciting to see how the chips fall. We have not seen the best Phil Heath to date. He might surprise everyone and garner his first AC title.

    Phil Heath At The 2009 Olympia. Phil Heath At The 2009 Olympia.
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    Phil Heath At The 2009 Olympia.
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    Robert Piotrkowicz

      The new guy from Poland will make his Arnold Classic debut this year. He's big, thick and ripped, but will be closer to last place than to first.

    Robert Piotrkowicz At The 2009 Sacramento. Robert Piotrkowicz At The 2009 Sacramento.
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    Robert Piotrkowicz At The 2009 Sacramento.
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    Roelly Winklaar

      Last year's Arnold Amateur winner has great triceps and he's huge. When Roelly steps on stage with the other IFBB pros, his lack of muscle maturity will become evident.


    Ronny Rockel

      Based on his seventh-place showing at the Olympia, Ronny should have a lock on a top-six spot. That top-six spot is based on him matching his conditioning at the 2009 Olympia also. If Rockel is not as sharp, he's out of the top-six and fighting for a top-ten with many of the other guys.

    Ronny Rockel At The 2009 Olympia. Ronny Rockel At The 2009 Olympia.
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    Ronny Rockel At The 2009 Olympia.
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    Sergey Shelestov

      Sergey looked his best at last year's Arnold Classic. I noticed in the pump-up room last year before he even got on stage that he was at his all-time best. Although I don't see him in the top six, I see him in the top eight if he comes in as sharp as last year.

    Sergey Shelestov At The 2009 Arnold Classic. Sergey Shelestov At The 2009 Arnold Classic.
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    Sergey Shelestov At The 2009 Arnold Classic.
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    Tarek Elsetouhi

      Tarek is another Arnold Amateur winner. He has a good physique, but something about it looks a little, well, off. His midsection sort of offsets things with the rest of his physique and throws off his taper. Look for Tarek to battle it out for last place with the other Arnold Amateur winner, Roelly Winklaar.

    Tarek Elsetouhi At The 2009 Europa Super Show & Supplement Expo. Tarek Elsetouhi At The 2009 Europa Super Show & Supplement Expo.
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    Tarek Elsetouhi At The 2009 Europa Super Show & Supplement Expo.
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    Toney Freeman

      Fresh off a win at the Sacramento Pro in November last year, Toney Freeman is looking to show that he can still place in the top three of the Arnold Classic like he did a few years back. Can the X-Man pull it off? If he comes in with crazy conditioning and fullness like he displayed at the 2008 Mr. Olympia, he can. If not, Toney is looking at a top-eight spot in this lineup.

    Toney Freeman At The 2009 Sacramento. Toney Freeman At The 2009 Sacramento.
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    Toney Freeman At The 2009 Sacramento.
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    Guessing The Outcome

      This year's Arnold Classic will be very competitive, possibly the tightest show to date. Even though Kai Greene is the defending champ, he's not the clear-cut favorite. Dexter Jackson is a three-time Arnold champion and just placed higher than Kai at the Mr. Olympia in September.

      Branch Warren, of course, placed ahead of Jackson at the same event. Phil Heath has defeated both Kai Greene and Branch Warren in the past too. So far Phil Heath hasn't placed ahead of Dexter Jackson.

      What does this all mean? It means any of these four guys could win the 2010 Arnold Classic. As far as predictions go, there really isn't a strong argument for any of the competitors to win. If Warren had not placed ahead of Jackson at the Olympia, I'd be saying Dexter Jackson without hesitation.

      I wasn't going to give my predictions, but what the hey? Why not? If I get it right, I look brilliant. If I mess up and Lonnie, Isaac or Ron predict the results correctly, they just got lucky anyway, right?

      Here it goes: Dexter Jackson will win his fourth Arnold Classic Title. Now it gets really tough. Branch Warren will win the Most Muscular award again, but who will come in second place? Phil Heath will - just barely - squeak by Kai Greene and Branch will end up in a controversial fourth place. Toney Freeman, Ronny Rockel and Melvin Anthony will be in the running for fifth, sixth and seventh place. It could go any way those three.

      My other big prediction, which I already stated, is Winklaar and Elsetouhi will duke it out for last place.


    Conclusion

    Those are my predictions. Guesses might me a better term this year. And guessing is what anyone is going to do this year too. We'll all have to wait and see what kind of shape they present on the day of the event and let the judges decide this one. Whatever the outcome is, however, it's going to be a great show!