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The Olympia, 212 Showdown Preview!

The Olympia, 212 Showdown Preview!

On the stage, we’re going to see plenty of intriguing action this weekend. Perhaps nowhere more so than the 212 division, where an unimaginably deep lineup of talented athletes are set to hit the stage with the hope of knocking-off reigning champion, Flex Lewis. In-case you haven’t been keeping up with the 212 division so far this season, here’s a quick overview of the competitors that are set to hit the stage:

Oliver Adzievski – Adzievski might not exactly fall into the category of household name, but with four top six finishes already to his credit this season, he’s certainly more than capable of holding his own in the right lineup. Unfortunately for Oliver, this will not be that lineup, and it would take a minor miracle for him to land a top ten spot.

Ahmad Ahmad – Here’s a scientific fact: Two names makes you doubly awesome. Given the fact that Ahmad squared was looking mighty sharp a few weeks out, it isn’t hard to imagine a scenario where we see him right in the mix of things somewhere in the top-ten.

Ahmad Ahmad_212_bodybuilding_Olympia_Europa

Khalid Almohsinawi – If you read that name and had a spontaneous ‘who’ come out of your mouth, don’t feel bad, you’re not alone. I love long shots as much as the next guy, but even Happy Gilmore couldn’t drive this one long enough for him to even be remotely close to sniffing the top-ten.

Al Auguste – Here’s a nice comeback story. Auguste had a series of injuries that kept him off of the stage last-season, and now makes his first trip back to the Olympia since 2012. Perhaps returning to his old top-ten stomping grounds might not be out of the question if the stars align just right.

Marin Cambal – If you’re looking for someone to bet a long shot on and make a good grip with only a few bucks, Cambal might be your guy – or maybe not.

Alejandro Cambronero – The former North-American champ is heading into the show riding a nice wave of momentum, following his win at the Texas Pro a few weeks ago. He probably isn’t quite ready to make a serious run at dislodging anyone of the top-tier athletes in this show, Cambronero is someone you’re going to want to keep your eye on moving forward.

Guy Cisternino – Guy was probably the most egregiously overlooked athlete in last year’s contest, and he hasn’t forgotten that. After a huge win at the New York Pro, and another year under the eyes of Chris Aceto, Cisternino is coming into this year’s contest out for blood.

Shaun Clarida – It’s impossible not to love The Giant Killer, who got a well-deserved first professional win earlier this season at the Toronto Pro. The perpetually shredded Clarida has everything you could ask for in a 212 competitor – except the mass. I’m certain that he’s going to look fantastic, but also certain that he will be out-muscled by some of the division’s mini monsters.

Shaun Clarida_212_Olympia_Showdown

Aaron Clark – Aaron Clark is one scary dude. Clark’s career trajectory has been on a steady uptick ever since turning pro. Much to his credit, over the last few years he’s manage to transform himself into an elite athlete that’s capable of cracking the top-five on the sport’s biggest stages. With so much front-loaded talent at this show however, working his way up even a single spot or two is one monumental task.

Eduardo Correa – With no Sandow, Arnold Classic, or New York Pro trophies lining his trophy case, Correa may be the best athlete in the division to not have some heavy-hardware weighing down his shelves at the moment. Despite whatever he may lack in wins, he’s made up for in spades with consistency; seemingly never finding himself anywhere outside of the top-three. After battling a series of injuries the last few years, Correa is finally healthy, but even that might not be enough to put him over the top.

Dobri Delev – Unless you’re a hardcore bodybuilding fan, or happened to be in attendance at the NPC Atlantic States a few years ago, you probably had no idea who Dobri Delev was until he showed up at the Omaha Pro and cleaned house while everyone in the building collectively whispered ‘Who the hell is that guy?’ Delev is a built like a small truck, but Omaha ain’t Las Vegas. Let’s see if he can find a way not to get sucked in by the undertow in this lineup.

Charles Dixon – The Tank is arguably the most improved athlete in the entire 212 division these past few years, and he’s got the wins to prove it. Earlier this year we saw a fully loaded Tank leave tread marks all over the stage at the Arnold Classic on his way to a third place finish. However, Dixon still has a lot of ground to cover in the placings from last year if he’s going to be considered a real top-five contender this time around.

David Henry – Is there anyone in the entire 212 division that gets less respect as a former Olympia champion than David Henry? By all accounts the man who can lay claim to having one of the best upper bodies in the entire sport looks like he hopped himself right into the rejuvenation machine, and came out looking like the 2008 DH we all like to remember. As illustrious a career he’s had (both inside the IFBB and out,) father Time waits for no man; and unfortunately for Henry, his days of being a real title threat are probably over.

Tricky Jackson – What a resurgent year it’s been for Tricky Jackson. Somehow, at forty plus years old, Tricky managed to gain new life this season – not to mention some new size to go along with it. The Mr. Olympia contest is held in Las Vegas, and the odds are that someone in this show is going to pull a rabbit out of his hat and surprise quite a few people, Tricky just might be that someone.

Kim Jun Ho – He’s not going to be blowing anyone away with his size, but Kim Jun Ho is one hell of a bodybuilder. Front to back, top to bottom, he doesn’t have one glaring weakness – other than the fact that he’s saddled with Shaun Clarida Syndrome. He’s a great small man who always shows up in shape, with a tendency to get swallowed up by the bigger sharks in the tank. The Olympia and even the Showdown have historically been considered ‘big man’s’ shows, so it will be interesting to see where Kim lands; as he bring all facets to the table, except sheer-mass.

Kim Jun Ho_212_Olympia Showdown

Kyung Won Kang – If you happen to be someone who bet all of their rent money on Kyung Won Kang shocked everyone by taking the crown in Dallas. Hope he enjoyed his fifteen minutes, because he won’t be doing too much shocking on the Olympia stage.

Kyung Won Kang_212_Olympia_showdown

Flex Lewis – Three time defending champ. Enough said…

Jose Raymond – There’s one man in this contest that truly has a chance to defeat Flex Lewis, and that man’s name is Jose Raymond. The Boston Mass beat Father Time back with a giant whooping stick earlier this year at the Arnold Classic to win the biggest contest of career, while bringing his best package ever, despite the fact that his ship left the Boston Harbor and sailed to a port north of forty years old many moons ago. The window of opportunity is open, let’s see if Jose can go straight up Ben Affleck in The Town and take the title by force.

Jose Raymond_212_Olympia_Europa

Craig Richardson – His win at the Chicago Pro shocked a long list of people – a list that probably included himself. Whatever magic potion he conjured seemed to be working through the early part of the year. Let’s hope that he got himself the extended release version and it carries him all the way through Olympia weekend.

Marco Rivera – It’s been quite a year for Marco Rivera. He won his first pro show. He and his wife IFBB pro Yeshira Robles added a new member to the family. Now, he’ll be hitting the Olympia stage for the first time. I sure hope he remembers all the good times he’s had so far, because something tells me his placing in this show won’t be quite as pleasant.

Zane Watson – If you’re going to buy stock in a promising 212 startup, Zane Watson is your guy. Watson hit one over the fence and into the stratosphere at his only pro contest this season, the Toronto Pro, where he won the show in impressive fashion. Let’s see what the young Canadian prodigy can do underneath the bright lights on the big stage.

Hidetada Yamagishi – The good news for Hide is that he’s still getting better, as evidenced by the awesome package he brought to the Arnold Classic. The bad news for Hide is that he still didn’t win. Hide falls into the category of guys who looking absolutely incredible on their own, but once they’re in a stacked lineup, small flaws become glaringly apparent. That being said, it would be a bit of a shock to not see The Dragon land somewhere in the top-five.

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