Mr. Olympia 2018 Predictions
Well folks, it's that time of year again. The most exciting date on the bodybuilding and fitness calendar is upon us. That's right, it's the Olympia Weekend! The festivities begin Thursday with the Athlete’s Press Conference and finish up on Sunday with a host of events that will give you access to all of your favourite fitness stars. With so many stories, controversies and promises of dethroning our current champions surrounding this year's event, along with The Rock's Seven Bucks Productions team taking on the responsibilities of promoting and producing the show once again, we are all in for one explosive and highly anticipated Mr. Olympia Weekend!
In the spirit of anticipation, all of the athletes are going to be fighting for that top spot and want nothing more than to be the King. From the social media posts, YouTube videos and all of the interviews you've seen up to this point, I'm sure you have your favourites and top spots already picked. Will the current champs be able to defend their titles or will we see some upsets along the way. To add just a little more hype into this year's rendition, here are my predictions for the 2018 Mr. Olympia competition and who I think will take home the title of the best bodybuilder on the planet!
Men's Physique Division
Possibly the biggest controversy to occur over the course of the year occurred within this division when the current champ, Jeremy Buendia, claimed that the Men's Physique Division was responsible for saving the fitness industry. Of course this statement was met with a bevy of rebuttals, but to his point, we have definitely seen an increase in the number of competitors due to the popularity of the board shorts division. Nonetheless, whether you agree with him or not, he has his hands full with this year's group of contenders and here's how I see things unfolding.
First Place: Jeremy Buendia
It's hard to beat the current champ and despite the pec tear he endured this year, I still think Jeremy is top dog in this division and will deliver once again. His blend of size, shape, conditioning and his presentation is just too much to handle at this point.
Second Place: Andre Fergusson
Andre has experienced an incredible amount of success in this division and holds many titles including this year's Arnold Classic title. If he's on 100% and Jeremy slips up just a bit, he could easily take over top spot.
Third Place: Brandon Hendrickson
Brandon is no stranger to the winner's circle either and has an Arnold Classic title under his belt too. With his feud with Buendia still on everyone's mind, he would like nothing more than to dethrone the champ. As I see it, he will take a strong third but again, should the other two slip up, he has what it takes to be the champ. And let’s not forget, Brandon is a Heyday Footwear customer, so that’s a clear advantage ;)
Men's Classic Physique Division
Out of all the classes competing this weekend, this one probably has more people excited than any of the other divisions. Last year's competition was highly contested with many in the audience and those of us watching from home, feeling that Chris Bumstead was the deserving champ. It didn't play out that way and Breon Ansley found himself in the winner's circle and perhaps rightly so. With that said, these 'weekend warriors' will undoubtedly put on an incredible show for us and display the most pleasing of all physiques in the form of that old school look so many appreciate. Here is who I see filling in those top spots.
First Place: Chris Bumstead
I have to keep it real here and go with my fellow Canadian as the new Men's Classic Physique Champion. I felt he deserved the title last year and believe he might have one of the best structures we will ever see in this class. His height, wide shoulders, tiny waist and incredible leg development along with crispy conditioning is just going to be too much to take on for the rest.
Second Place: Breon Ansley
I know everyone says to beat the champ you have to knock them out and I think this year, Breon might just take that TKO. He is flawless, there's no doubt about that, I just think when you put his overall structure next to Bumstead's, he doesn't possess what the division is supposed to be all about. He's smaller and doesn't take up as much space on stage as Chris does and I don't think his presence is as impressive as Chris's is. No disrespect to Breon because he has an incredible physique, but I think his time is up.
Third Place: Regan Grimes
This one may not sit well with the true and hardcore fans of this division, but I'm going to go with another fellow Canadian in Regan Grimes for third place. Yes Regan will most likely find his way back into the Men's Open Division at some point in time, but I actually think it was a great move for him coming down to meet the standards of this division and win the New York Pro title that he did a few months back. His physique is so pleasing to the eye that it will be hard not to notice him in that line up. Regan is also a Heyday Footwear customer.
I have always been a fan of this division since its inception as the 202 class first and then evolving into what we have today in the Men's 212 class. The gnarly conditioning these freaks bring to the stage is just unreal. With 6 time and current champion Flex Lewis stating that this will be his last competition as a 212 competitor, he's aiming to go out on top while holding off an extremely hungry and formidable group of contenders all aiming to knock him off his throne. Again, this class is going to bring a tremendous amount of excitement and emotion to the weekend and here's how I see it unfolding.
First Place: Flex Lewis
He will win and he will win with class and integrity and show us why he is the King of the 212 division. His physique is perfect in every sense of the word with size, symmetry and conditioning all being exactly where it needs to be to win. His last hurrah as the 212 champ will be a sight to see that's for sure.
Second Place: Ahmad Ashkanani
Ashkanani has been second in this line up on previous occasions and will find himself second once again. His win at the Arnold Classic back in 2017 was very impressive and if he brings that package or something even better than that, he will definitely give Flex a run for his money but I don't think it will be enough. His legs have always been a little behind his upper body development and unless that's been corrected, second place will be his again.
Third Place: Shaun Clarida
My pick for third place might surprise some of you out there because I'm putting him in front of other established and very successful veterans of this class, but I think Shaun Clarida might actually be the future of this division. His size and shape are so impressive that it's really hard to ignore even with Shaun being the smallest competitor. If he can figure out his conditioning, and I think he has which is why I have him in third, you'll be witnessing the emergence of a new champion who is also a Heyday Footwear athlete.
Men's Open Division
Alright, it's now time to talk about the big boys of the show and who is going to take the most prestigious title of the bodybuilding kingdom home with them this year. As exciting as all of the other classes are, the Men's Open division is always saved for last because it's what started everything and what everyone wants to see (no disrespect to the other classes). Can Phil Heath win his 8th consecutive Mr. Olympia title tying that of the great Lee Haney and Ronnie Coleman or will a new champ see his way into the winner's circle. This year's line up is incredibly impressive and one that I wouldn't want the responsibility of judging, but here it goes with my picks for the top spots.
First Place: Phil Heath
Phil is going to hold onto this title until Phil doesn't want it anymore; plain and simple. Word this year is that he's streamlining his physique a bit and giving us something new to look at which is very exciting. It could have something to do with the whole 'bubble gut' thing from last year or it could just be Phil's way of letting us know he's the best bodybuilder in the world for a reason and that reason is he can make his body look whatever way he wants it to look and however it does look is just too much for anyone to handle.
Second Place: Big Ramy
This man is humongous. He is also incredibly well proportioned for such a large athlete and the flow to his physique is so perfect that when viewed from any angle is simply overwhelming. Ramy's issue has always been finding that even blend between fullness and conditioning. If he's too full blown, he loses that crispness and dry look we all want to see. If he's sucked down, he loses that full blown effect that is so incredibly alarming. Even if he nails it, I still think the quality of Phil's physique is better than Ramy's so for another year, I see him in that second spot.
Third Place: Shawn Rhoden
Rounding out the top 3, I have Shawn Rhoden holding it down. Shawn is an amazing athlete with phenomenal shape, size and structure. This year he seems to have a whole new perspective on his approach leading up to the Olympia and has been posting more pics of his physique and what he looks like when compared to the past. This leads me to believe that he's super confident in the package he's bringing and being no stranger to the top three at the Olympia, I'm putting him in at a solid third place finish. We also had an amazing collaboration with Flexatron in 2016.
So there you have it friends, my predictions for the 2018 Mr. Olympia competition. Whether you agree with my picks or not, one thing for certain is that we will all thoroughly enjoy the show and share in the excitement that will unfold over the course of the weekend. Dreams will be made, dreams will be crushed and lots of carbs will be consumed. All the best to the competitors taking part in the festivities this weekend and good luck!
Clearly with so many competitors in Heyday Footwear, you know we’re the choice of both bros AND pros!
Author: Dana Bushell
AST Sports Science sponsored athlete/writer, sponsored by Schiek Sports Inc.