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2007 Arnold Classic Review - Victor Pulls Off Upset!

From the first callout, it was clear that last year's champ, Dexter Jackson and Victor Martinez would be dueling it out for top honors at the 2007 Arnold Classic. Here is my review of the competitors and how they placed.

From the first callout, it was clear that last year's champ, Dexter Jackson and Victor Martinez would be dueling it out for top honors at the 2007 Arnold Classic.

The hype behind Heath was huge. Many thought he might pull off an amazing win. Others think he's overrated. One thing's for sure. Phil made his mark on the pro stage against some of our sport's best and held his own to again qualify for the Mr. Olympia.

Here's how the judges placed all the competitors:

  1. Victor Martinez - view pics
  2. Dexter Jackson - view pics
  3. Toney Freeman - view pics
  4. Gustavo Badell - view pics
  5. Phil Heath - view pics
  6. Silvio Samuel - view pics
  7. Branch Warren - view pics
  8. Ronny Rockel - view pics
  9. Markus Ruhl - view pics
  10. Vince Taylor - view pics
  11. Mark Dugdale - view pics
  12. Marcus Haley - view pics
  13. Hidetada Yamagishi - view pics
  14. David Henry - view pics
  15. Sergey Shelestov - view pics
  16. Luke Wood - view pics

Most Muscular Award: Victor Martinez
Best Posing Routine ($10,000): Marcus Haley

Silvio Samuel:

    Silvio, with a last-minute invite, proved to the world that he can mix it up with the big boys. When Samuel learns to control his breathing so his abdomen stays tight and when he learns to stand with his feet a little closer together, he'll be on his way to taking home a few titles at some of the smaller shows really soon.

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Silvio Samuel.
View More Pics Of Silvio At The 2007 Arnold: Finals

Phil Heath:

    I was hoping Phil Heath could pull out a miraculous upset and stay undefeated but that's because it would have made great story. Yeah, I know it wasn't realistic, but, nonetheless, it was fun considering the possibilities of such an upset.

    Personally, I think Heath had the most ideal physique in the entire show, but he didn't have the best physique according to today's judging standards. He's not big enough and not wide enough. That might have something to do with only having about five years of bodybuilding training under his belt. (I trained for five years before entering my first amateur show and Heath is already a pro, for crying out loud!)

    Give him another three or four years and another 20-30 pounds and he'll dominate every show he enters.

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Phil Heath.
View More Pics Of Phil At The 2007 Arnold: Finals

Gustavo Badell:

    Gustavo had a strong finish in the prejudging. He battled his way up to fourth place and you could see him gain confidence as he posed. You could also see his energy drain out from him as he hit pose after pose in five of the callouts.

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Gustavo Badell.
View More Pics Of Gustavo At The 2007 Arnold: Finals


    And speaking of the callouts, it made for an interesting show to witness the amount of callouts the judges made. IFBB pros have continually been asking to have more comparisons at competitions; at the 2007 Arnold Classic, they got them. There were only sixteen guys in the show, but take a look at all the callouts.

    • First callout:
      Toney Freeman, Phil Heath, Dexter Jackson, Victor Martinez
    • Second callout:
      Branch Warren, Ronny Rockel, Gustavo Badell, Silvio Samuel
    • Third callout:
      Markus Ruhl, Hidetada Yamagishi, Marcus Haley, Mark Dugdale, Vince Taylor
    • Fourth callout:
      Branch Warren, Silvio Samuel, Ronny Rockel, Markus Ruhl
    • Fifth callout:
      Hidetada Yamagishi, Sergey Shelestov, David Henry, Luke Wood
    • Sixth callout:
      Toney Freeman, Gustavo Badell, Silvio Samuel, Phil Heath
    • Seventh callout:
      Phil Heath, Toney Freeman, Dexter Jackson, Victor Martinez, Gustavo Badell
    • Eighth callout:
      Silvio Samuel, Ronny Rockel, Markus Ruhl, Branch Warren
    • Ninth callout:
      David Henry, Vince Taylor, Mark Dugdale, Marcus Haley
    • Tenth callout:
      Dexter Jackson, Gustavo Badell, Victor Martinez
    • Eleventh callout:
      Phil Heath, Toney Freeman, Gustavo Badell
    • Twelfth callout:
      Toney Freeman, Dexter Jackson, Victor Martinez

    In many shows it might be unnecessary to have this many callouts, but this one actually warranted it. It was very close and when you have this many quality athletes it makes it more difficult to make a decision to pick who really is best.

Toney Freeman:

    The X-Man held his conditioning for another week as he took the stage to try and win contest number three this year. Two out of three ain't bad! He looked incredible and wouldn't have surprised many if he had been called out in second place. Toney still has the Australian Pro to go. He might make it three out of four. That ain't bad either.

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Toney Freeman.
View More Pics Of Toney At The 2007 Arnold: Finals

Dexter Jackson:

    The Blade was visibly disappointed with his second-place finish. Who wouldn't be? He was trying to tie Cutler's record of three straight wins, but he got bumped by Martinez. It was very close and I might have given the nod to Dexter. I still think Dexter needs a little more size, though, and he's been sharper in previous shows.

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Dexter Jackson.
View More Pics Of Dexter At The 2007 Arnold: Finals

Victor Martinez:

    I thought he might come in smooth, but Victor was on the money and in the money as it turns out. He was sharper at the Olympia, but was still good enough to squeak by Dexter and dethrone The Blade for his first Arnold Classic title. I have a feeling this won't be his last. Congrats on your win, Victor. Got any upsets planned for the fall that we should know about?

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Victor Martinez.
View More Pics Of Victor At The 2007 Arnold: Finals

A Few More Observations:

Markus Ruhl is huge! He just dwarfs the guys who stand next to him.

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Markus Ruhl.
View More Pics Of Markus At The 2007 Arnold: Finals

Oh, Henry! Where has your conditioning gone? You're bigger but not better.

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David Henry.
View More Pics Of David At The 2007 Arnold: Finals

Luke Wood held up to everyone's expectation of looking nothing like his photos posted on web sites a few weeks out.

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Luke Wood.
View More Pics Of Luke At The 2007 Arnold: Finals

Sergey Shelestov learned the importance of coloring between the afternoon and evening show. Thank goodness!

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Sergey Shelestov.
View More Pics Of Sergey At The 2007 Arnold: Finals

Former Arnold Classic Champion, Vince Taylor looks absolutely incredible despite being more than 50 years old!

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Vince Taylor.
View More Pics Of Vince At The 2007 Arnold: Finals

We have to wait for another guy to come up the ranks and be the first undefeated pro!

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