2010 Arnold Classic: 13 Top Pros Battle It Out - Who Will Win?

13 athletes may sound like a small line-up, but fear not, they are 13 of the most worthy IFBB professional athletes active today. Here’s the line-up, plus top 6.

Article Summary:
  • 13 men are on the Arnold invite list, ready to battle it out for their place in history.
  • The Arnold Classic takes place March 6, 2010 in Columbus, Ohio.
  • The winner of the Arnold will be the front runner for this year's Mr. Olympia.
  • The 2010 pro bodybuilding season was thrown a curve ball when the news broke that a 20 year tradition was about to end. The cancellation of the 21st Pro Iron Man was a shocker and to many a conspiracy theorist, a sign of things to come for our great sport.

    Traditionally the show to kick off the IFBB Pro calendar and an indicator of who is going to take some names at the Arnold, the Pro Iron Man, is now no longer even a thought.

    Why? Because the Arnold Classic is just around the corner, and the 22nd annual bodybuilding and fitness festival created by Arnold and Jim Lorimer is the biggest fitness event on the planet, and if that doesn't allow us bodybuilding enthusiasts to move on after the loss of the Iron Man, nothing will.

    As it is every year, the Arnold is the show of shows, and this year is no different. As of February 5th there are 13 men on the invite list, ready to battle it out for their place in history.

    Reigning champion, Kai Greene will be ready to defend his title, and after a 4th place finish at his Olympia debut, where he was a hot favorite to win, will be hungry for the win.

    Former Mr. Olympia and 3 times Arnold Champion, Dexter Jackson has signed the contract to compete, and he should be more motivated than ever. Not only did he lose his Olympia title, but he fell back to third place, being beaten by arguably the world's most muscular bodybuilder, Branch Warren.

    Coincidentally, Warren has never won here at the Arnold, but amazingly won the Most Muscular award 3 times! But the Arnold is not a three horse race. The future of bodybuilding, as he has been dubbed, Phil 'The Gift' Heath who missed his peak in Vegas September last, will also be looking to reestablish himself as the future of the sport.

    13 athletes may sound like a small line-up for such a prestigious contest, but fear not, they are 13 of the most worthy IFBB professional athletes active today. Here is a look at the line-up.


    The 2010 Arnold Classic Line-Up


    -> Melvin Anthony (8th, 5th, 5th, 8th, 7th)

      Dubbed bodybuilding greatest poser, Marvellous Melvin Anthony is one of the most seasoned IFBB pro's competing in the 2010 season. His muscle mass and maturity along with his trademark symmetry will stand him well in this line-up, but his lack of conditioning in the past has lead to his highest placing being 5th at this show. Will this be the year the marvellous one nails it and brings home the coveted Arnold trophy?

    Melvin Anthony At The 2009 Olympia. Melvin Anthony At The 2009 Olympia.
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    Melvin Anthony At The 2009 Olympia.
    View More Pics Of Melvin Anthony At The 2009 Olympia.


    -> Tarek Elsetouhi (2008 Amateur Champion)

      With some impressive finishes in his rookie year as an IFBB pro, Elsetouhi will be looking to make a name for himself on the same stage where a mere two years ago he was unheard of. With his huge level of mass, and muscle maturity conditioning will be the key to his success.

    Tarek Elsetouhi At The 2009 Europa Super Show & Supplement Expo. Tarek Elsetouhi At The 2009 Europa Super Show & Supplement Expo.
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    Tarek Elsetouhi At The 2009 Europa Super Show & Supplement Expo.
    View More Pics Of Tarek Elsetouhi At The 2009 Europa Super Show & Supplement Expo.


    -> Toney Freeman (4th, 7th, 3rd, 9th, 10th)

      The X-Man finished the 2009 season on a high note with a win in Sacramento, but when it comes to the Arnold he is always hot and cold. Nobody knows what version of the X-Man will be onstage in Columbus. But with a finish as high as 3rd, he is one IFBB pro that is never to be counted out. If he comes to the Arnold like we all know he can, he could very well win the 22nd Arnold Classic.

    Toney Freeman At The 2009 Sacramento. Toney Freeman At The 2009 Sacramento.
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    Toney Freeman At The 2009 Sacramento.
    View More Pics Of Toney Freeman At The 2009 Sacramento.

    RELATED VIDEO:
    2009 Mr. Olympia: Toney Freeman Routine

    Toney Freeman's posing routine from the 2009 Mr. Olympia.


    -> Kai Greene (1st, 3rd)

      The defending champion is coming back for another Arnold trophy and another big pay check. After finishing out of the top 3 at last year's Olympia, The Predator will be coming to take some names.

    Kai Greene At The 2009 Olympia. Kai Greene At The 2009 Olympia.
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    Kai Greene At The 2009 Olympia.
    View More Pics Of Kai Greene At The 2009 Olympia.

    RELATED VIDEO:
    2009 Mr. Olympia: Kai Greene Routine

    Kai Greene's posing routine from the 2009 Mr. Olympia.


    -> Phil Heath (2nd, 5th)

      The Gift was narrowly beaten here in 2009 by Kai Greene. He went onto the Olympia with a realistic chance of taking home the title but was almost hospitalized the night before the show. He still competed and finished a disappointing 5th behind Kai Greene for the second time in two shows.

    Phil Heath At The 2009 Olympia. Phil Heath At The 2009 Olympia.
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    Phil Heath At The 2009 Olympia.
    View More Pics Of Phil Heath At The 2009 Olympia.

    RELATED VIDEO:
    2009 Mr. Olympia: Phil Heath Routine

    Phil Heath's posing routine from the 2009 Mr. Olympia.


    -> Dexter Jackson (1st, 2nd, 1st, 1st, 3rd, 4th, 3rd, 5th, 5th, 7th)

      The most seasoned athlete in the line-up, Jackson has won everything there is to win in bodybuilding, including Mr. Olympia. He has won here on no fewer than 3 occasions, and after a very disputed defense of his Mr. Olympia crown, where he finished 3rd behind Branch Warren who is also going to be in Columbus.

    Dexter Jackson At The 2009 Olympia. Dexter Jackson At The 2009 Olympia.
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    Dexter Jackson At The 2009 Olympia.
    View More Pics Of Dexter Jackson At The 2009 Olympia.

    RELATED VIDEO:
    2009 Mr. Olympia: Dexter Jackson Routine

    Dexter Jackson's posing routine from the 2009 Mr. Olympia.


    -> Johnnie Jackson (9th, 9th, 13th)

      The world's strongest bodybuilder has had the worst season in his career last year. Finishing in the top 10 in his last two Arnold's, Johnnie O. Jackson has something to prove to the bodybuilding world. He is not yet ready to step off the stage, and is sure to bring the best Johnnie Jackson we have seen.

    Johnnie Jackson At The 2008 Olympia. Johnnie Jackson At The 2008 Olympia.
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    Johnnie Jackson At The 2008 Olympia.
    View More Pics Of Johnnie Jackson At The 2008 Olympia.


    -> Robert Piotrkowicz (Arnold Debut)

      Poland's top bodybuilder, Piotrkowicz competed here as an amateur in 2008 and finished 2nd. Since then he has gone on to finish in the placings in several IFBB events.

    Robert Piotrkowicz At The 2009 Sacramento. Robert Piotrkowicz At The 2009 Sacramento.
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    Robert Piotrkowicz At The 2009 Sacramento.
    View More Pics Of Robert Piotrkowicz At The 2009 Sacramento.


    -> Ronny Rockel (10th, 13th, 8th)

      Rockel had the most successful Olympia of his career in 2009, barely missing out on a top 6 place, finishing in 7th place. If the same Ronny is in Columbus this coming March, I have no doubt that he will be there for the posedown.

    Ronny Rockel At The 2009 Olympia. Ronny Rockel At The 2009 Olympia.
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    Ronny Rockel At The 2009 Olympia.
    View More Pics Of Ronny Rockel At The 2009 Olympia.

    RELATED VIDEO:
    2009 Mr. Olympia: Ronny Rockel Routine

    Ronny Rockel's posing routine from the 2009 Mr. Olympia.


    -> Silvio Samuel (Not Competing)

      Originally on the list of competitors, El Matador has since decided to sit out this year's Arnold, focusing on refining his physique for the second half of the IFBB season.

    Silvio Samuel At The 2009 Olympia. Silvio Samuel At The 2009 Olympia.
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    Silvio Samuel At The 2009 Olympia.
    View More Pics Of Silvio Samuel At The 2009 Olympia.


    -> Sergey Shelestov (8th, 15th)

      Last year's dark horse at the Arnold, Sergey is one of the biggest men in the IFBB, and when he steps onstage he can make any man look small. If he can bring the same conditioning as last year, I think he can be in the final 6.

    Sergey Shelestov At The 2009 Arnold Classic. Sergey Shelestov At The 2009 Arnold Classic.
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    Sergey Shelestov At The 2009 Arnold Classic.
    View More Pics Of Sergey Shelestov At The 2009 Arnold Classic.


    -> Branch Warren (3rd, 4th, 7th, 2nd)

      Warren is the man to beat. Not only has he beaten defending champion Kai Greene, but he has also beaten last year's defending Mr. Olympia Dexter Jackson, with his second place finish at the Olympia. Warren has won the most muscular award at the Arnold on no fewer than three occasions and he is surely going to be the best we have ever seen him and will take some serious beating.

    Branch Warren At The 2009 Olympia. Branch Warren At The 2009 Olympia.
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    Branch Warren At The 2009 Olympia.
    View More Pics Of Branch Warren At The 2009 Olympia.

    RELATED VIDEO:
    2009 Mr. Olympia: Branch Warren Routine

    Branch Warren's posing routine from the 2009 Mr. Olympia.


    -> Roelly Winklaar (2009 Amateur Champion)

      Last year's amateur champion is making his Arnold Classic debut. Winklaar shines like the future star that he is when amongst the amateurs, but does he have what it takes to step onstage with the IFBB's elite? We will see this coming March.


    -> Hidetada Yamagishi (13th)

      With one previous Arnold appearance, Hide will be looking to impress. Japan's greatest ever bodybuilder has had a great season in 2009 that culminated with a spot on the Olympia stage and a Gaspari Nutrition contract to go with it.

    Hidetada Yamagishi At The 2009 Olympia. Hidetada Yamagishi At The 2009 Olympia.
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    Hidetada Yamagishi At The 2009 Olympia.
    View More Pics Of Hidetada Yamagishi At The 2009 Olympia.


    Who Will Win?

    Who will rein supreme this coming March 6th: Dexter Jackson? Phil Heath? Kai Greene? Branch Warren? Only time will tell. Most athletes have beaten each other on previous occasions; however, Kai and Phil have never beaten Dexter! Will that remain the case? Will it be a battle between the Mr. Olympia runners up Dexter and Branch?

    Here is how I see it playing out:

    1. Branch Warren
    2. Phil Heath
    3. Dexter Jackson
    4. Kai Greene
    5. Ronny Rockel
    6. Toney Freeman

    Regardless of who wins, he will not only become the 2010 Arnold Classic Champion, but also the front runner for this year's Mr. Olympia. See you all in Columbus.