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2013 Arnold Sports Festival: Dexter Jackson Wins His Fourth Arnold Classic

The Blade sliced through this year's field like butter, becoming a four-time Arnold Classic winner.

Forty-three-year-old Dexter "The Blade" Jackson sliced through the age barrier and diced the competition to win the 2013 Arnold Classic. The win tied him with "Flex" Wheeler at four total titles, cementing Jackson's place in IFBB history.

Make that entry in pencil, though. He may not be done.

Truth be told, Jackson made this win look easy. He faced no real challenge from the rest of the field. So dominating was his win that the judges didn't even call him back for a final comparison in the last callout during the judging. This was the same dominating Dex that we saw at the afternoon prejudging.

Jackson has been competing as a pro since 1999, after winning the IFBB North American, and his amazing conditioning earned him the nickname "The Blade." It's been a double-edged sword, though, because everyone seems to compare his conditioning with his past incarnations. He's looked great on stage next to the other guys, but since he wasn't quite as crisp as a few years ago, people would say he was "off" or holding water. Based on his placings from 2010 to early 2011, it appeared that Jackson might be on a downward slide. So much for that theory.

Runner-up Ben Pakulski showed he is a force to be reckoned with on the pro circuit, and that last year's high placing was no fluke. He's made noticeable improvements to his barn door back, and he truly deserved second place tonight.

Placing Toney Freeman third place was also fair. He looked good, but he's looked better, and in bodybuilding, you're competing against more than other athletes; you're competing against your past selves, too. And when you're 46, there's a lot of "muscle memory" to account for.

I had Cedric McMillan finishing fourth, but the judges placed him sixth. Sure, he was a tad smooth, but his size and shape overwhelmed the two men who placed ahead of him: Johnnie Jackson and Hidetada Yamagishi. Before we move on to the routines, here's the final scorecard:

Final Results ///
  • First Place — $130,000, Dexter Jackson
  • Second Place — $75,000, Ben Pakulski
  • Third Place — $50,000, Toney Freeman
  • Fourth Place — $30,000, Johnny Jackson
  • Fifth Place — $15,000, Hidetada Yamagishi
  • Sixth Place — $10,000, Cedric McMillan
  • Most Muscular — Ben Pakulski
  • Most Entertaining Posing — Fred Smalls, $10,000

Muscle In Motion

Anyone who thinks bodybuilders are masses of immobile muscle should check out the Arnold. There's enough flexibility, body control, and dance moves on display to belie that notion for good. Here are some back-of-the-envelope notes on these entertaining routines:

Fouad Abiad ///

Abiad's army of fans was treated to a display of hardcore muscle. He held his conditioning from the afternoon judging and wowed the crowd with his 2013 "Rebuild."

Darrem Charles ///

It was good to see Charles back on the Arnold Classic stage. He did a modified lock-and-pop routine that electrified the audience. His legs were down in size a bit from past presentations, but they were never his strong point, anyway. It's just amazing that he's still going strong, having done his first pro show back in 1992!

Toney Freeman ///

The "X-Man" did his trademark slow-mo routine and held each pose to perfection. The lighting was different from the afternoon judging, and it looked like Freeman's legs needed more fullness and separation.


Marcus Haley ///

This guy is just fun to watch pose. He moves and glides and wiggles and sort of writhes. It's hard to even describe. If you missed it, you'll just have to watch the webcast replay. Check it out!

Dexter Jackson ///

He did the normal routine with slow spins combined with powerful muscle shots. I was sitting next to his trainer, Charles Glass. Let's just say he was beaming from ear to ear with pride when his star pupil was on stage.



Johnnie Jackson ///

Jackson showed his fans how he and Branch Warren cook up muscle, Texas-style. He's got amazing overall mass and some of thickest traps in the sport.



Michael Kefalianos ///

The man from Greece just wasn't himself, and he didn't show the amazing conditioning he is known for.

Cedric McMillan ///

After fading this morning, Cedric came back strong during his routine. He also improved his coloring and didn't look washed out tonight. His improvements solidified his place in the top six. I expected him to be higher.



Ben Pakulski ///

The crowd loves the PakMan and it erupted during his routine. He sticks out his tongue and hits most musculars like he came out of the womb that way. He was also very sick for the last 24 hours, consuming no solid food, and no one even knew. That's amazing!



Edward Nunn ///

The man has shoulders you could land a plane on and a wasp-like waist. He's an all-around big dude with good conditioning, but he still needs more torso thickness.

Ronny Rockel ///

The Rock has improved his posing and presentation over the years, but his conditioning was really off this year.

Fred Smalls ///

Fred "Biggie" Smalls truly enjoys the presentation round and it shows. He combined poses, dancing, lock-and-pop, and moonwalks. He got one of the loudest ovations of the night.

Hidetada Yamagishi ///

Hide's physique has a striking similarity to Rich Gaspari's. Even the poses he strikes have a "Dragonslayer" flare to them. It's probably no coincidence that one of his sponsors is Gaspari Nutrition. Hide broke his wrist a couple weeks ago, but it didn't seem to affect his presentation.



Special Awards ///

Almost all of the Arnold Classic Champions were presented on stage. The following were here tonight:

To top it off, the big man himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger, joined the men on stage for a once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity.

In keeping with tradition, the Lifetime Achievement Award was again presented this year. The recipient was none other than Rich Gaspari, the first Arnold Classic Champion and current owner of Gaspari Nutrition.

Dr. Terry Todd was awarded the "Golden Dumbbell" for creating the Strongman competition.




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Myron Mielke - Bodybuilder & Author of Imabodybuilder.com.

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eyadkattan

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eyadkattan

NO!!!!! NO!!! NO!!!!
Cedric cannot be sixth! and Ben's belly DOES NOT!! beat the X frame....the judges were high!

Mar 2, 2013 10:19pm | report
 
WorldZ

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WorldZ

Exactly, Cedric should if not won, then got 2 place

Mar 3, 2013 6:09am | report
ebenito11

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ebenito11

Cedric should won!

Mar 3, 2013 11:43am | report
Nirmal1991USA

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Nirmal1991USA

Congratulations Dexter! :)

Mar 2, 2013 10:45pm | report
 
CupcakeSquats

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CupcakeSquats

Great job Dex! Tying it up with Flex Wheeler is just crazy.

Mar 2, 2013 10:57pm | report
 
CalebRM

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CalebRM

Pakulski should have won. But congrats to Dexter

Mar 2, 2013 11:06pm | report
 
jlr9ca

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jlr9ca

My congrats to Ben Pakulski for showing up 7 months pregnant... is it a boy or a girl?

Mar 3, 2013 7:22am | report
 
luvspellcpl

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luvspellcpl

i knew dexter would win with glass training him and a new diet

Mar 3, 2013 8:22am | report
 
Fullmecha

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Fullmecha

Congratz to Dex for making it into the history books!
Glad Pakulski won Most Muscular at least...

Mar 3, 2013 8:58am | report
 
Rouge771

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Rouge771

ben showed up and that is whats amazing because of him being sick, could hardly tell anything was wrong, wasnt for that he might have won the whole thing, its cool though dex tied the record. cedric deff should have placed higher prob 4th, or even third, sounded to me he had the crowd as well as ben did.

Mar 3, 2013 9:15am | report
 
PDeV1

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PDeV1

sooooooo beast ! There are all winners ! Nice job to everybody !

Mar 3, 2013 11:56am | report
 
BigWayne662

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BigWayne662

Congrats dex great job he is going down in bodybuilding history for his fourth victory

Mar 3, 2013 12:25pm | report
 
marke8

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marke8

for a site that claims to anti steroid,why do they promote comps like this?

Mar 3, 2013 12:43pm | report
 
ktothewire

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ktothewire

Your on a bodybuilding website. This is a bodybuilding event.

Get the picture?

Mar 3, 2013 5:31pm | report
liuzhoudragon

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liuzhoudragon

I will give you a few hints

it rhymes with

honey
bales
mash

Mar 3, 2013 7:33pm | report
marke8

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marke8

im fully aware its a bodybuilding site.but the site has banned me from the forum for even mentioning a.a.s
i have no problem with steroids and know all the pro's in that comp will be on hgh and aas.
my query was why does a site that denies the talk of steroids,but are happy to promote steroid fueled comps.$$$$$$$$$$$$ its all about greens baby

Mar 5, 2013 3:36pm | report
mrlongisland1

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mrlongisland1

Met Blade down at world gym in Jax. Cool dude.

Mar 3, 2013 5:22pm | report
 
ktothewire

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ktothewire

Amazing. Everyone that was there is winners in my book. However, congrats DEX!!!!!!

Mar 3, 2013 5:31pm | report
 
SPOOKHOLIDAE

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SPOOKHOLIDAE

B-Pak at second place?? Hmm wow, extremely questionable at best. I think the judges really let the crowd get to them. Very stange also how I expected a better Freeman, anyone remember the pics of him from a couple weeks ago? Good job Hide, breaking your wrist a couple weeks ago and getting 5th...not bad at all.

Mar 3, 2013 5:45pm | report
 
JayTheMiniHulk

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JayTheMiniHulk

Go Ben!
Canadian Love!

Mar 3, 2013 6:10pm | report
 
jwethall

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jwethall

Dex looked hard as nails with full sails! Thought Cedric deserved better than 6th but Tony and Ben placed more than fair. Awesome show!

Mar 3, 2013 6:54pm | report
 
fredzz1003

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fredzz1003

what a big great muscle :)

Mar 3, 2013 10:00pm | report
 
la_isla

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la_isla

WOW! I'm talking cut up. Dexter was shredded. Kudos.

Mar 4, 2013 7:34am | report
 
godsamurai

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godsamurai

mad resepect for the Dexter Jackson. A lot o people dont realize Dexter is old and doing really great for his age.

Mar 4, 2013 11:40am | report
 
Rubennnnn

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Rubennnnn

He deserves it! I'm impressed of his arms :) too bad for Ronnie Rockel tho.

Mar 4, 2013 12:18pm | report
 
Showing 1 - 25 of 27 Comments

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