2010 Olympia 202 Showdown Preview: Will English Make It Two In A Row?

Last year Kevin English grabbed the 202 Showdown title from the 2008 champ, David Henry. Will David retake the title or will Kevin keep it for another year?
Article Summary:
  • David Henry is looking to regain his title from Kevin English.
  • Jose Raymond's victories this year have been a surprise. Are more surprises in store?
  • Will Kevin English be able to maintain his conditioning after dropping such high weight?

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2010 Olympia 202 Showdown Preview:
Will English Make It Two In A Row?

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Last year Kevin English grabbed the 202 Showdown title from the 2008 champ, David Henry. Henry wasn't at his best, but was still able to place ahead of Eduardo Correa and Mark Dugdale who were both in tremendous condition.

Kevin English At The 2009 Olympia. Kevin English At The 2009 Olympia.
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Kevin English At The 2009 Olympia.
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When this article was written, one 202 Showdown qualifier, the Detroit 202, had not taken place yet. As of September 13, 2010, here's the list of qualified competitors:


Top Eight Guys

Kevin English

English again successfully defended his 202 New York Pro title this year. Once again he burned off every ounce of fat and squeezed out every extra drop of water to just barely make the 202-lb. cutoff. After the weigh-in he filled back out with plenty of carbs and was closer to 210 pounds by the time he was on stage. His game plan for the Showdown will be much the same. With as much muscle as this guy carries, it could very well be the last time he's physically able to get down to the 202 class. The mini Ronnie Coleman will soon need to make a decision to make the open class his new home.

Granted, Kevin English does not have the prettiest physique among the other 202 competitors. His separation and details aren't better than Correa's and David Henry beats him in the shape department. Kevin's strength, however, is the combination that he brings to the stage. His sheer muscle mass combined with great conditioning gave him the edge last year and it might again this year.

Kevin English At The 2010 New York Pro Bodybuilding & Bikini Championships. Kevin English At The 2010 New York Pro Bodybuilding & Bikini Championships.
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Kevin English At The 2010 New York Pro Bodybuilding & Bikini Championships.
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David Henry

A few years ago David Henry shot himself in the foot, so to speak. Henry came into a few shows with unbelievable conditioning. He came close to winning the Iron Man against Lee Priest and everyone became used to him being on stage with striations etched through every muscle group. When he doesn't display that degree of conditioning and he holds even a tiny bit of water, people consider him "off." That was the case last year. He didn't display the degree of conditioning judges had seen in him at previous shows. That was enough for Kevin English to sneak ahead in the scoring and relegate David Henry to second place.

At the Jacksonville Pro 202 a couple months back, David Henry claimed another title and sucked down to some great conditioning - almost where he was a few years ago. If Henry brings this look to the 202 Showdown, he might reclaim his title.

David Henry At The 2010 Europa Battle of Champions. David Henry At The 2010 Europa Battle of Champions.
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David Henry At The 2010 Europa Battle of Champions.
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Eduardo Correa

The conditioning on this guy is incredible. Look at what he displayed at the Europa Show of Champions earlier this year.

His level of conditioning is second to none. Chris Aceto is his contest prep coach and he clearly outdoes himself each time with Correa.

Based on conditioning alone, you could make a case that Eduardo should have won the 202 Showdown in 2009. He was clearly in the best shape, but almost all the guys in the 202 class come in really crisp and dry. To really be competitive, however, Correa needs more thigh size. I don't know if he can do that and still make the weight class because he doesn't have any more fat to burn off or water to squeeze out. More muscle weight on his thighs will put him over the weight limit. English seems to keep doing it somehow, though, so maybe Correa will do it also.

Eduardo Correa da Silva At The 2010 Europa Show of Champions. Eduardo Correa da Silva At The 2010 Europa Show of Champions.
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Eduardo Correa da Silva At The 2010 Europa Show of Champions.
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Mark Dugdale

Dugdale placed fourth last year and as of the time this article is being written he hasn't qualified for the 202 Showdown. I think it's pretty safe to assume that Mark will qualify at the Detroit 202 one week before the Olympia in Las Vegas.

Mark was clearly disappointed in fourth place last year. He came in with conditioning that rivaled his USA look from several years ago. Dugdale was dialed in and he was in the best shape I've seen him as a pro, but it wasn't enough. He was almost on par with Correa in conditioning, which as I explained earlier, is quite a feat. The only thing that I saw with Mark is that his muscle separation wasn't as pronounced as Correa's. I also thought Dugdale's coloring was a little muddy looking and that didn't help with seeing muscle separation. Other than that Dugdale has few weaknesses.

Mark Dugdale At The 2009 Olympia. Mark Dugdale At The 2009 Olympia.
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Mark Dugdale At The 2009 Olympia.
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Jose Raymond

I have to admit that a number of years ago I thought Jose's brother Tito would be the one making it big in the pro ranks. I saw Tito compete in the California Championships in 2003 and I thought he'd be getting his pro card soon, but that wasn't the case. Jose would be the one to grab the pro card and tear up the IFBB. With two pro wins already this year, Jose has made himself noticed. One of those wins came against former 202 Showdown champ, David Henry.

Jose has plenty of mass and he's got great shape, symmetry and proportions. Last year he struggled with coming in really ripped, but so far this year he hasn't had that issue. If he tightens up even more and brings up greater separation, he has a shot winning the whole thing year. That's right, if he puts it all together; Jose could knock off both David Henry and Kevin English and become the third title holder of the Olympia 202 Showdown.

Jose Raymond At The 2010 Pro Bodybuilding Weekly Championships. Jose Raymond At The 2010 Pro Bodybuilding Weekly Championships.
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Jose Raymond At The 2010 Pro Bodybuilding Weekly Championships.
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The Other Guys

Flex Lewis

Flex Lewis is not competing this year. He decided to take a year off and work on his weak areas, namely his back and chest. Bringing up those two body parts will definitely improve his placings.

James Flex Lewis At The 2009 Olympia. James Flex Lewis At The 2009 Olympia.
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James Flex Lewis At The 2009 Olympia.
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Seth Feroce

Seth Feroce also decided not to compete this despite qualifying by winning his pro 202 debut a couple months ago. He wanted to wait one more year so he could give the title a legitimate shot. He didn't feel he was quite ready to be in the running to actually win it. He's young and - and barring injury - has plenty of time to fill out a bit more and bring up any weak areas.

Seth Feroce At The 2010 Europa Super Show. Seth Feroce At The 2010 Europa Super Show.
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Seth Feroce At The 2010 Europa Super Show.
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Jason Arntz

Jason is one of those guys who comes in great shape and is always in contention for a top five or six spot, but usually not higher than that. Although he has good symmetry and good shape, he needs more size, especially in his arms. Depending on how the guys look, he'll be in the top seven or eight.

Jason Arntz At The 2010 New York Pro Bodybuilding & Bikini Championships. Jason Arntz At The 2010 New York Pro Bodybuilding & Bikini Championships.
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Jason Arntz At The 2010 New York Pro Bodybuilding & Bikini Championships.
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Tricky Jackson

When it comes to posing, this guy can light up a crowd. His routines are always entertaining and fun to watch. Physique-wise Jackson is good and his conditioning is always spot-on, but he's not at the forefront of the 202 competitors. He needs to be thicker in order to really be able to hang with guys Raymond, Henry and English.

Ricky Tricky Jackson At The 2010 Europa Super Show. Ricky Tricky Jackson At The 2010 Europa Super Show.
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Ricky Tricky Jackson At The 2010 Europa Super Show.
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Roc Shabazz

Shabazz reminds me a lot of Tricky Jackson when it comes to physiques. He has good symmetry, shape, and conditioning; he just needs more size. It's difficult, however, for any of these guys to really pack on that much more size because they can't weigh more than 202 pounds. That really is challenging for some of these guys when they want to take their mass to the next level. They have to put on just a little at a time in order to keep themselves under the limit.

Roc Shabazz At The 2010 Europa Show of Champions. Roc Shabazz At The 2010 Europa Show of Champions.
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Roc Shabazz At The 2010 Europa Show of Champions.
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Predictions

This is always the part that is most difficult in a preview article. As a writer I want to pick the correct order so I can say, "Yep, I know what I'm talking about!" In reality, however, I'm just guessing like all the other guys who are writing preview articles or recording preview videos. No one has a crystal ball giving them inside information about who's going to hold water and who will mess up their prep in some way. The best any of us can do is to take an educated guess based on what we've seen the competitors look in the past and guess how they'll look on game day when they are lined up next to each other.

David Henry will bring back his stellar conditioning and regain his title. Raymond will come in at his best-ever showing and push Henry to the limit. Raymond will show some newly found separation that no one has ever seen on him before.

David Henry At The 2010 Europa Battle of Champions. David Henry At The 2010 Europa Battle of Champions.
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David Henry At The 2010 Europa Battle of Champions.
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Kevin English will come in to soft this year with some water-retention issues. Coming down from such a high weight too many times will hinder his conditioning.

Eduardo Correa will be the most shredded person on any Olympia stage the entire weekend. His lack of leg size will hinder his final placing.

Mark Dugdale will again be shredded, but not able to match the other guys in size or separation.

So here are my picks for the 2010 Olympia 202 Showdown:

    1. David Henry
    2. Jose Raymond
    3. Kevin English
    4. Eduardo Correa
    5. Mark Dugdale

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