Contest Results, New IFBB Pro League Cards, Andrew Oye's IFBB Pro Athletes Roundup
Just Announced: Over the weekend, Alexis Rivera-Rolon from Bayamon,
Puerto Rico, won the Super-Heavyweight Class and Overall title at the
2014 NPC National Bodybuilding Championships in Miami, Florida. As
reported in "Andrew Oye's Pro-Muscle Report," winning athletes earn pro
cards at Nationals (like last year's winner, IFBB Pro Kevin Jordan).
This year, with 241 competitors in the bodybuilding division (the most since 2001), 14
IFBB Pro cards were awarded, encompassing the 1st place and 2nd place
finishers in the seven weight classes.
The "So What?":
A fitness coach and father of two sons, new IFBB Pro Alexis Rivera-Rolon
had competed at the amateur level since 2010. After being crowned Mr.
Puerto Rico in 2011, he competed internationally. Following 11th place
finishes in 2011 (in a Heavyweight Class won by IFBB Pro An Nguyen) and
2012 (in a Heavyweight Class won by IFBB Pro Justin Compton), he entered
the 2014 NPC Nationals not expecting to win, because he faced what he
viewed as his toughest competition. Among the other newly qualified IFBB
Pro League athletes: Super-Heavyweight 2nd place Michael Lockett (who
had previously earned pro qualification at the 2006 NPC Team Universe
but chose not to activate) and Heavyweight 1st place Dominick Cardone, a
new friend of Rivera-Rolon. Prior to the contest, they had planned to light
up the stage if they battled for the Overall title, which they did.
Andrew Oye's Verdict:
Behind a trail of past NPC Nationals winners (like Mr. Olympia IFBB Pro
Lee Haney, IFBB Pro Kevin Levrone, IFBB Pro Gary Strydom, IFBB Pro Troy
Zuccolotto, IFBB Pro Aaron Maddron, IFBB Pro Cedric McMillan, IFBB Pro
Evan Centopani, and IFBB Pro Robert Burneika), Alexis Rivera-Rolon
enters the IFBB Pro League with a strong team in his corner. After
winning the NPC Garden State Championships in New Jersey in June 2013,
Rivera-Rolon had taken a year off. His contest-prep coach, retired IFBB
Pro Don Long, was the 1995 NPC Nationals Overall Winner and relived the
glory via his client nearly two decades later. Long said,
"[Rivera-Rolon] made a visit to Jacksonville, Florida. I was noticing in
the [pre-contest progress] photos he was sending me that the posing needed work. If [he was]
going to get the Overall, he would have to be polished... We worked on
some things to make him look professional on stage. That was the key.
The judges like to envision that a guy can go straight into the pros."
IFBB Pro Gustavo Badell (a 7-time contender at Joe Weider's Olympia
Weekend and 7-time contender at the Arnold Sports Festival's IFBB Pro
Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic Bodybuilding Championships), had continued
to work with Rivera-Rolon on his presentation upon the rookie's return
to Puerto Rico. Long admits, initially, there had been trepidation that
the densely stacked Lockett might overtake his client.
However, in the end, the conditioning and aesthetics of Rivera-Rolon
gave him the edge, and the champ concluded, "When you have great
conditioning, the posing just improves your condition." For his pro
debut, Rivera-Rolon's team is considering the new IFBB Pro Olympia Qualification Series bodybuilding
contest in Puerto Rico scheduled for May 2015.
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