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

The Scoop: Just Announced: The promotion team behind Arnold Schwarzenegger's Arnold Sports Festival released the list of IFBB Pro League athletes invited to compete at the 2012 Arnold Classic in Columbus, Ohio (March 3), hosted by the Hollywood movie actor, former Governor of California (a.k.a. "The Governator"), and star of "Terminator," "Conan the Barbarian," and the bodybuilding documentary "Pumping Iron."

Open Class Competitors:
IFBB Pro Fouad Abiad
IFBB Pro Gustavo Badell
IFBB Pro Lionel Beyeke
IFBB Pro Matthias Botthof
IFBB Pro Evan Centopani
IFBB Pro Eduardo Correa
IFBB Pro Brandon Curry
IFBB Pro Dexter Jackson
IFBB Pro Michael Kefalianos
IFBB Pro Ben Pakulski
IFBB Pro Shawn Rhoden
IFBB Pro Branch Warren
IFBB Pro Ben White
IFBB Pro Dennis Wolf

The "So What?": As reported in "Andrew Oye's Pro-Muscle Report," after an injury that sidelined him for the second half of the 2011 IFBB Pro League contest season, winner of the 2011 IFBB Pro Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic Bodybuilding Championships, IFBB Pro Branch Warren revisits Ohio to defend his title. This event marks Gustavo Badell's return to the stage after a long break; Badell last competed at the 2009 Mr. Olympia contest (won by 4-time Mr. Olympia IFBB Pro Jay Cutler, the long-time rival of 8-time Mr. Olympia IFBB Pro Ronnie Coleman). The first-ever winner of the 1989 Arnold Classic was IFBB Pro Rich Gaspari (long-time rival of 8-time Mr. Olympia IFBB Pro Lee Haney). In an addition to the athletic festivities, the International Sports Hall of Fame and ISHOF founder Dr. Bob Goldman will honor Arnold Schwarzenegger and other sports and fitness luminaries, including UFC MMA fighter Randy Couture, fitness guru Jack LaLanne, plus more.

Andrew Oye's Verdict: Contest frontrunners are 3-time Arnold Classic Champ and 2008 Mr. Olympia Dexter Jackson (who could tie the record of 4-time Arnold Classic winner IFBB Pro Flex Wheeler), Branch Warren (winner of multiple "Most Muscular" Awards at this event), Evan Centopani, Lionel Beyeke and Dennis Wolf, but this group could yield surprises. All competitors are hungrily chasing IFBB Pro Olympia Qualification Series points on the quest to compete at Joe Weider's Olympia Weekend and challenge reigning Mr. Olympia IFBB Pro Phil Heath, the recent successor to 4-time Mr. Olympia IFBB Pro Jay Cutler.

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