The Headline: ANDREW OYE'S ARNOLD CLASSIC PREVIEW: ARNOLD SPORTS FESTIVAL HOSTS INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF BODYBUILDING + FITNESS IFBB PRO LEAGUE ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER CLASSIC CHAMPIONSHIPS IN RIO DE JANEIRO, BRASILThe Item:
IFBB Pro League Contest Competitors List, Sports Festival, Combat Sports, Strength Sports, Andrew Oye's IFBB Pro Athletes Roundup, WSM Pro Athletes Roundup, UFC Pro Athletes RoundupThe Scoop:
Just Announced: The Arnold Sports Festival delivers a diverse population of athletes for combat, athletic, strength, and bodybuilding competitions to Brazilian shores for the 3rd Annual IFBB Pro Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic Brasil Bodybuilding Championships in Rio de Janeiro (May 29–31). The "So What?":
As reported in "Andrew Oye's Pro-Muscle Report," the Arnold Classic franchise will soon expand into South Africa and Asia. The Arnold Fitness Expo in Rio includes: aikido, 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, running, spinning, street workout (calisthenics), table tennis, taekwondo, tug-of-war, weightlifting, wrestling, Wushu Sanda, Wushu Taolu, and more. This year's event takes place a month later than the date of last year's Brazilian edition of the multi-sport festival (and two and a half months after the inaugural Arnold Classic Australia, which was won in March by IFBB Pro Dexter Jackson -- who also earned his record-breaking fifth title at the 2015 Arnold Classic USA in March). Bodybuilding Open Division Competitors:
IFBB Pro Lionel Beyeke, IFBB Pro Brandon Curry, IFBB Pro Marius Dohne, IFBB Pro Mamdouh Elssbiay ("Big Ramy"), IFBB Pro Toney Freeman, IFBB Pro Victor Martinez, IFBB Pro Cedric McMillan, IFBB Pro Juan Morel, IFBB Pro Jose Luis Rodriguez Oyola, IFBB Pro Fred Smalls Fitness Open Division Competitors:
IFBB Pro Marta Aguiar, IFBB Pro Michelle Blank, IFBB Pro Bethany Cisternino, IFBB Pro Regiane DaSilva, IFBB Pro Ryall Graber, IFBB Pro Tanji Johnson, IFBB Pro Ashley SeberaPro Strongman Competitors:
Brian Shaw (2015 WSM World's Strongest Man and 2015 Arnold Strongman Classic USA Champion), Zydrunas Savickas (2014 Arnold Strongman Classic Brasil Champion and 4-time WSM World's Strongest Man), Krzysztof Radzikowski (2-time Poland's Strongest Man), Ervin Katona (3-time Serbia's Strongest Man), Marcos FerrariExpo Appearances:
4-time Mr. Olympia IFBB Pro Jay Cutler, Brazilian IFBB Pro Eduardo Correa, Fitness IFBB Pro Oksana Grishina, IFBB Pro Jason Huh, IFBB Pro Roman Fritz, MMA Fighter "Toquinho" Rousimar Palhares (World Series of Fighting Welterweight Champion), and Martial Artist and Hollywood Action Movie Actor Chuck Norris (as part of the Arnold Fights MMA World Festival)Andrew Oye's Verdict:
In a sign of the times, the lineup at "Governator" Schwarzenegger's invitational contest dropped from 15 competitors last year to ten contestants this year. Several recent IFBB Pro Olympia Qualification Series contests (offering chances to take on Mr. Olympia IFBB Pro Phil Heath at Joe Weider's Olympia Weekend) have had smaller contestant pools. Two additional bodybuilding contests for IFBB Pro athletes will be staged simultaneously this weekend; however, the inaugural Puerto Rico Pro Championships and Omaha Pro Championships are for 212-Division (not Open-Division) athletes.
At the Arnold Classic Brasil Championships, it's interesting who will and who won't step onstage. The 2014 Arnold Classic Brasil Champion, IFBB Pro Steve Kuclo (a Texas firefighter/paramedic), will not return to defend the title; however, the inaugural 2013 champion, Brandon Curry, returns after skipping last year's contest. Earlier this year, German IFBB Pro Ronny Rockel announced that he would be unable to compete in Rio de Janeiro; whereas, Cedric McMillan finally makes it to the stage after a controversial disqualification for missing a mandatory pre-show athletes' meeting at the first Arnold Classic Brasil -- which many had predicted him to win. Jose Luis Rodriguez Oyola makes his pro debut after earning his IFBB Pro card by winning the 2014 Arnold Amateur Bodybuilding Championships in Brazil. Making his debut on any of the many Arnold Classic stages, Egypt's "Big Ramy" Elssbiay is one of the pre-contest favorites to possibly earn a ticket to the "Super Bowl of bodybuilding."
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