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2006 Arnold Classic Preview - Dexter Up Against Badell - Again!

If they all come in top shape it could be a very tight race indeed. Here are my predictions in order of who will place last and first. Remember somebody has to lose. Get my list right here.

Ronnie is the undisputed best. Cutler is the number-two man. Who is number three? Gustavo? Dexter Jackson? The 2006 Arnold Classic is gearing up to become the contest to decide who is the third-best pro bodybuilder in the world.

Dexter Jackson
The Reigning Champion.

The big match up is between Gustavo Badell and Dexter Jackson. Dexter Jackson is the reigning Arnold Classic champion. Last year it was a close decision between Chris Cormier and Dexter Jackson, but Dexter got the nod and the Arnold Classic title.

He joined the ranks of Jay Cutler, Flex Wheeler, Shawn Ray and "Big Country" himself, Ronnie Coleman. If Dexter has anything to say about it, he'd like to be a multiple Arnold Classic winner as well.

After a disappointing placing at the 2004 Olympia due to a "Challenge Round" fiasco, Dexter entered and won the 2005 Arnold Classic and sat out the Olympia this past October.

Click Image To Enlarge.
Dexter @ The 2003 Mr. Olympia.

He had a project he was working on with Met-Rx, his new sponsor, and couldn't effectively fit in a contest-preparation period for the Olympia. This means Dexter has taken an entire year off from competition and has plenty of time to rest-and grow!

Gustavo Badell
Looking Out For Number One.

Hot on Dexter's heels is Gustavo Badell. Badell placed one notch higher than Dexter in the 2004 Olympia. Earlier in 2004, Jackson beat Badell at the Iron Man and the Arnold Classic.

Dexter came out on top the last time they met at the 2005 Arnold Classic, but that was before Badell was able to pull out a win with a newly streamlined physique at the Challenge Round of the 2005 Olympia where he bested the one and only Ronnie Coleman.

Badell is extremely hungry and wants to win every major title and be declared the best bodybuilder on the planet. He's not even thinking about being number three. He wants to be number one!

Not Competing This Year

Chris Cormier:

    Chris Cormier, the six-time runner-up at the Arnold, has opted not to compete. Could he have taken up Dorian's offer to help train him? Did he head over to England? Or maybe he's just lying low for a while until he works out some of his personal problems.

Mark Dugdale:

    Mark Dugdale will not be competing this year either. His personal problems involved a date with a flu bug immediately following the Iron Man. Lonnie Teper announced that one of Mark's daughters' had food poisoning a couple nights before the show.

    Click Image To Enlarge.
    Mark Dugdale @ The 2006 Iron Man.

    Apparently it wasn't food poisoning and his daughter was kind enough to share her flu-bug friend with daddy. Mark actually had to be hospitalized to get rehydrated, which messed up his contest prep and he knew he wouldn't be 100% for the Arnold. So he withdrew.

And The Rest...

Besides Dexter and Gustavo, Troy Alves will be competing and he's looking to have a better showing than the Iron Man where his peak was timed incorrectly. Melvin Anthony, Darrem Charles, Chris Cook, Ahmad Haidar, David Henry, Victor Martinez, Johnny Jackson, Mustafa Mohamed, Lee Priest and Branch Warren will also be throwing their hats into the ring.

These are all high-caliber athletes and, with the exception of Chris Cook, all have been or are Olympia qualified. Many have won pro competitions, which means these guys are all first-tier bodybuilders. If they all come in top shape, it should be very interesting to see where each of these guys will be placed by the judges. Someone's going to come in last and someone's going to win.


With that being said, here are my predictions for the 2006 Arnold Classic:

13th Place - Chris Cook

The New Blond Bomber, although improved from his Iron Man showing, will not come in as sharp as he needs to be in order to place higher against the stiff competition.

12th Place - Mustafa Mohamed

He'll be too smooth with a too-wide waist and legs that are too big.

11th Place - Ahmad Haidar

He'll be sharper than the Iron Man, but will give up too much size to his fellow competitors.

10th Place - Johnny Jackson

His conditioning will be one of his best, but it won't be enough to place higher.

9th Place - Darrem Charles

In his usual ripped condition but lacking size.

8th Place - David Henry

Fresh off his great Iron Man showing, he'll come in with great conditioning and narrowly place above Charles.

7th Place - Melvin Anthony

I'll stick my neck out and say he'll win best poser.

6th Place - Victor Martinez

You never know about this guy. When he's on, he's phenomenal. He'll need to be a little bit drier.

5th Place - Troy Alves

Troy will look better than the Iron Man and just squeak by Martinez and Anthony.

4th Place - Branch Warren

He might fool me and place higher with his newfound talent for coming in to a contest in super-dry condition. He'll have the best legs, which is no surprise to anyone.

3rd Place - Lee Priest

It's just a hunch, but I think Lee will come in at his all-time best and be dry and grainy and prove all those folks wrong about how he can't bring in his hams and glutes.

2nd Place - Gustavo Badell

Gustavo will come in big, cut and ready to win. He'll have a ton of fans booing when he's called out in second place. (Message boards will go ablaze with people complaining that he got robbed!)

1st Place - Dexter Jackson

With an extra five to seven pounds of muscle Dexter will win deservedly with ultra-dry conditioning, be totally shredded, and become a two-time Arnold Classic champ.


The 2006 Arnold Classic line up will prove to be a very exciting contest to all the fans in the audience and to those watching via pay per view. Let's see how the judges place these guys and maybe, just maybe, when the dust settles, we'll come to an agreement on who's the number-three bodybuilder on the planet.