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

The Scoop: Just Announced: Promoters of Arnold Schwarzenegger's Arnold Sports Festival released the roster of IFBB Pro League athletes invited to compete at the 2013 Arnold Classic in Columbus, Ohio (March 2).

Open Class Competitors
IFBB Pro Fouad Abiad
IFBB Pro Darrem Charles
IFBB Pro Toney Freeman
IFBB Pro Marcus Haley
IFBB Pro Dexter Jackson
IFBB Pro Johnnie Jackson
IFBB Pro Michael Kefalianos
IFBB Pro Cedric McMillan
IFBB Pro Ben Pakulski
IFBB Pro Ed Nunn
IFBB Pro Ronny Rockel
IFBB Pro Fred Smalls
IFBB Pro Hidetada Yamagishi

The "So What?": The 2013 IFBB Pro Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic Bodybuilding Championships marks the 25th anniversary of the contest, which was first won by IFBB Pro Rich Gaspari in 1989. Competing in his 14th Arnold Classic contest, Dexter Jackson (who previously won the 2005, 2006 and 2008 editions) wants to match the four-win record set by IFBB Hall of Famer and retired IFBB Pro Flex Wheeler (the 1993, 1997, 1998 and 2000 Arnold Classic Champion). A favorite next-generation bodybuilder, U.S. Army Instructor Cedric McMillan makes his Arnold Classic debut, seeking IFBB Pro Olympia Qualification Series points to compete at the "Super Bowl of bodybuilding" -- Joe Weider's Olympia Weekend -- in September.

As previously reported in "Andrew Oye's Pro-Muscle Report," Germany's Ronny "The Rock" Rockel and Japan's Hidetada Yamagishi are battling back health-wise and injury-wise, respectively. The 2011 and 2012 Arnold Classic winner, "Quadrasaurus" IFBB Pro Branch Warren, will not defend the title but will join the anniversary-celebration gathering of all previous champions -- including Wheeler, Jackson, IFBB Pro Ronnie Coleman, IFBB Pro Jay Cutler, IFBB Pro Kevin Levrone, IFBB Pro Shawn Ray, IFBB Pro K. Greene, IFBB Pro Mike Ashley, IFBB Pro Vince Taylor, IFBB Pro Michael Francois, IFBB Pro Victor Martinez, and IFBB Pro Nasser El Sonbaty.

Andrew Oye's Verdict: Pre-game buzz led me to bill the main frontrunner match-up as "The Vet versus The Rookie," i.e., Dexter Jackson vs. Cedric McMillan. Jackson (2008 Mr. Olympia) will attempt to repeat the phenomenal condition that won him the Masters Olympia at the close of 2012, while McMillan attempts to represent the "new school" and usher in a new era at this contest hosted by "Governator" Arnold Schwarzenegger -- an era-defining athlete who went on to become a 7-time Olympia champion, California Governor and movie actor ("Terminator," "Conan the Barbarian"). Not to be discounted, veteran Toney Freeman was the predecessor to McMillan's shape-meets-mass physique type and placed 5th at last year's Arnold Classic, and "World's Strongest Bodybuilder" Powerlifting Challenge winner Johnnie Jackson wants in on the fight for this physique title.

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