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The Item: IFBB Pro League Contest Competitors List, Sports Festival, Special Event, Andrew Oye's IFBB Pro Athletes Roundup

The Scoop: Just Announced: The Arnold Sports Festival brings an international mix of athletes for athletic, physique and bodybuilding competitions back to Brazil -- the land of sunny beaches and sensational bodies -- for the 2nd Annual IFBB Pro Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic Brasil Bodybuilding Championships, in Rio de Janeiro (April 25 - April 27).
The "So What?": As reported in "Andrew Oye's Pro-Muscle Report," following the still-fresh launch in Brazil, the Arnold Classic franchise will soon expand into Australia, China and South Africa. The Arnold Fitness Expo in Rio includes: armwrestling, amateur bodybuilding, indoor rowing, indoor cycling, extreme sports (BMX freestyle biking, skateboarding), boxing, capoeira, CrossFit, frescobol, foosball, gymnastics, jump rope, MMA, martial arts, Muay Thai, Jiu Jitsu, karate, powerlifting, pro strongman, tug-of-war, weightlifting, wrestling, Wushu Sanda and more.

Bodybuilding Open Division Competitors: IFBB Pro Baitollah Abbaspour, IFBB Pro Julio Cesar Balestrin Freitas, IFBB Pro Lionel Beyeke, IFBB Pro William Bonac, IFBB Pro Jon Delarosa, IFBB Pro Marius Dohne, IFBB Pro Toney Freeman, IFBB Pro Michael Kefalianos, IFBB Pro Martin Kjellstrom, IFBB Pro Steve Kuclo, IFBB Pro Juan Morel, IFBB Pro Ed Nunn, IFBB Pro Ben Pakulski, IFBB Pro Robert Piotrkowicz, IFBB Pro Fred Smalls

Fitness Open Division Competitors:
IFBB Pro Marta Aguiar, IFBB Pro Tiffany Chandler, IFBB Pro Bethany Cisternino, IFBB Pro Regiane DaSilva, IFBB Pro Ryall Graber, IFBB Pro Amanda Hatfield, IFBB Pro Whitney Jones, IFBB Pro Babette Mulford, IFBB Pro Diana Monteiro, IFBB Pro Danielle Ruban, IFBB Pro Melinda Szabo

Pro Strongman Competitors: Brian Shaw (2013 WSM World's Strongest Man and 2013 ASC America's Strongest Man), Hafthor Bjornsson, Zydrunas Savickas (2014 WSM World's Strongest Man), Mike Burke (2012 America's Strongest Man), Dainis Zageris, Krzysztof Radzikowski, Ervin Katona, Marcos Ferrari, Lauri Nami

Expo Appearances: Mr. Olympia IFBB Pro Phil Heath, IFBB Pro Jay Cutler, IFBB Pro Rich Gaspari, IFBB Pro Hidetada Yamagishi, IFBB Pro Kevin Jordan, IFBB Pro Mamdouh Elssbiay (a.k.a. "Big Ramy"), and IFBB Pro Dennis James -- contest-prep coach for Beyeke, Abbaspour and Balestrin. who makes his pro debut after winning the 2013 Arnold Amateur Bodybuilding Championships in Brazil.

Andrew Oye's Verdict: Since last year's winner IFBB Pro Brandon Curry will not return to defend the title at the Arnold Classic Brazil Pro Bodybuilding Championships, and the lineup does not include top-tier heavyweights like IFBB Pro Dexter Jackson, IFBB Branch Warren or IFBB Pro Dennis Wolf, I consider the Arnold Classic Brasil an "open-door opportunity" for the IFBB Pro League athletes seeking advancement in the IFBB Pro Olympia Qualification Series leading to Joe Weider's Olympia Weekend. Pre-game buzz surrounds Bonac after a 2nd place finish at the Australian Grand Prix (against winner IFBB Pro Shawn Rhoden). Delarosa carries momentum from a 2nd place finish in Orlando (against winner IFBB Pro Justin Compton). Vets who have been in the game for a while, like Freeman and Piotrkowicz, face a slew of on-the-cusp athletes in search/need of a new "breakout moment" -- Beyeke, Pakulski, Kuclo, Morel. There will be a little bit of everything on the Brazilian stage, so the eventual winner needs to bring his everything to prevail.

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