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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 the FLEX Pro just released the competitors list of IFBB Pro League athletes that will face-off at the 2012 IFBB FLEX Pro Bodybuilding and Fitness Championships in Santa Monica, California, this weekend (February 18).  

Open Division Competitors:
IFBB Pro Fouad Abiad
IFBB Pro Grigori Atoyan
IFBB Pro Lionel Beyeke
IFBB Pro Lionel Brown
IFBB Pro Eduardo Correa
IFBB Pro Omar Deckard
IFBB Pro Mark Dugdale
IFBB Pro Stan Efferding
IFBB Pro Oleg Emelianov
IFBB Pro DeShaun Grimez
IFBB Pro Rus Jeffers
IFBB Pro Jojo Ntiforo
IFBB Pro Ben Pakulski
IFBB Pro Shawn Rhoden
IFBB Pro Vladimir Sizov
IFBB Pro Mehmet Yildirim

The "So What?": This marks the IFBB Pro League's pro-bodybuilding contest-season kickoff. As reported in "Andrew Oye's Pro-Muscle Report," the inaugural FLEX Pro Championships in 2011 was won by IFBB Pro Evan Centopani. IFBB Pro Eduardo Correa, previously a top contender in the 202 Division (now the 212 Division), makes his debut in the Open Division in California.

Andrew Oye's Verdict: The first contest of the season in sunny California, the "All-American" home of the bodybuilding lifestyle and culture, includes an international lineup of pre-contest frontrunners that hail from across the globe: Frenchman Lionel Beyeke, fellow Canadians Ben Pakulski (10th place at the 2011 IFBB Pro Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic Bodybuilding Championships, won by IFBB Pro Branch Warren) and Fouad Abiad (12th at the Arnold Sports Festival's 2011 Arnold Classic), Brazilian Eduardo Correa, and Jamaican sensation Shawn Rhoden. These physique athletes from around the world are hungry for the new (retroactively applied, per the IFBB Pro League's March 2012 announcement) IFBB Pro Olympia Qualification Series points to compete at Joe Weider's Olympia Weekend in Las Vegas and challenge reigning Mr. Olympia IFBB Pro Phil Heath, who defeated 4-time Mr. Olympia IFBB Pro Jay Cutler for the Sandow trophy and Olympia medals last year. 

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