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The Item: Career Updates, Strength Sports, Powerlifting Contest, Andrew Oye's IFBB Pro Athletes Roundup

The Scoop: Recently Announced: To silence critics of his Pound-For-Pound Powerlifting Challenge win at the 2010 Joe Weider's Olympia Weekend Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada, IFBB Pro Derik Farnsworth has issued an open challenge to any takers for a showdown at the 2011 IFBB FLEX Pro Bodybuilding Championships in Santa Monica, California, this weekend (February 19). Eligibility is open to any athletes who competed in an NPC (National Physique Committee) or IFBB Pro League (International Federation of Bodybuilding & Fitness) contest in 2009 or 2010, who can lift twice their bodyweight in the squat and deadlift.

The "So What?": As reported in "Andrew Oye's Pro-Muscle Report" last year, (while Mr. Olympia IFBB Pro Jay Cutler was busy winning his fourth Sandow trophy against IFBB Pro Phil Heath, IFBB Pro Branch Warren, IFBB Pro Dexter Jackson, IFBB Pro Dennis Wolf and IFBB Pro Ronny Rockel), IFBB Pro Ben Pakulski hoisted some iron in the Pound-For-Pound (Pound4Pound) Challenge, but Derik Farnsworth (at 5'2", 160 lbs.) won the event.

"A lot of people had something to say, but no one stepped up to beat me," says Farnsworth of his previous, unheralded victory. "Now I'm putting $3,000 of my own money up -- if you think you can beat me, then come and prove it!" Thus far, no one has stepped up to challenge Farnsworth in California, except 202 Division IFBB Pro Jose Raymond, who says, "I think [powerlifting] is great for bodybuilding, and for some of us lesser known guys to get some exposure, to show what we've got -- to show that we're not just a 'one-trick pony.' These muscles aren't just for show."

Farnsworth's last bodybuilding contest was the 2009 Atlantic City Pro Bodybuilding Championships (won by IFBB Pro Flex Lewis in the 202 Class and IFBB Pro Gustavo Badell in the Open Class). Raymond's last physique competition was a 2nd place finish at the 2010 Sacramento Pro Bodybuilding Championships (won by IFBB Pro Tricky Jackson)

Andrew Oye's Verdict: I agree that events like this (as well as the IFBB World's Strongest Bodybuilder Powerlifting Challenge, in which IFBB Pro Ben White and IFBB Pro Stan Efferding competed, and strength exhibitions at expos like the Arnold Sports Festival's IFBB Pro Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic, by powerlifters like IFBB Pro Johnnie Jackson and IFBB Pro Andy Haman, and in weightlifting matches of the past, by IFBB Pro Tom Platz and IFBB Pro Franco Columbu) are good for showcasing the multi-sport talents of IFBB Pro League athletes. Note: This weekend's event is a precursor of sorts, as the official title of Pound-4-Pound Champion will be settled at the 2011 Olympia Weekend.

It's a shock that a bodybuilder is offering dough from his own pocket. It's a shame more iron pushers didn't rise to the challenge Nevertheless, Derik Farnsworth gets to the point of his motivation, concluding, "If I lose, Jose will get the money from my pocket. If I win, FLEX gives me the money -- it won't come from Jose's pocket For Jose, it's a win-win situation. He loses nothing. If I lose, I lose my pride and 3000 bucks."

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