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The Item: IFBB Pro League Contest Results, Andrew Oye's IFBB Pro Athletes Roundup

The Scoop: Just Announced: Over the weekend, IFBB Pro Essa Obaid won the 2012 Chicago Pro Bodybuilding Championships in Illinois. Taking the 2nd place spot was IFBB Pro Fred Smalls. IFBB Pro An Nguyen was the 3rd place finisher. IFBB Pro Grigori Atoyan took 4th place, and 5th place went to IFBB Pro Adorthus Cherry. The remaining field: IFBB Pro Manuel Lomeli (6th), "Calfasaurus" IFBB Pro Erik Fankhouser (7th), IFBB Pro Valentine Jabes (8th), and IFBB Pro Alexandre Nataf (9th), followed by IFBB Pro Omar Deckard.

The "So What?": As previously noted, this was Chicago's first pro bodybuilding contest since the 1994 IFBB Chicago Pro Invitational won by retired IFBB Pro Mike Francois. Kentucky firefighter and IFBB Pro Porter Cottrell had won the Chicago Pro Invitational in 1992 and 1993. As reported in "Andrew Oye's Pro-Muscle Report," the IFBB Pro Olympia Qualification Series Point System: (1st automatic qualification, 2nd - 4 Points, 3rd - 3 Points, 4th - 2 Points, 5th - 1 Point) applies to IFBB Pro League athletes' eligibility to compete against Mr. Olympia IFBB Pro Phil Heath at Joe Weider's Olympia Weekend in Las Vegas (September 29).

Again, Chicago's lineup was similar to Hartford's recent list for the "Battle of Champions." Between Connecticut and Chi-Town, Essa Obaid bumped up from 3rd to the number one spot, grabbing his second pro win (following the Europa SuperShow 2010 Dallas Pro victory). Fred Smalls' big jump from 4th to 2nd was followed by Atoyan's even bigger leap from 10th to 4th in a week's time. This event was rookie An Nguyen's debut in a pro bodybuilding contest.

Andrew Oye's Verdict: This was redemption for those who had favored Essa Obaid's physique in Hartford; however, pre-show frontrunner 2006 NPC Mr. USA Omar Deckard surprised folks by finishing at the bottom of the pack in Illinois. Now fans will be watching to see if Obaid has the goods to go on to win higher titles like the IFBB Pro Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic Bodybuilding Championships at the Arnold Sports Festival (as IFBB Hall of Famer Michael Francois did in 1995, defeating the likes of IFBB Pro Flex Wheeler, IFBB Pro Charles Clairmonte, IFBB Pro Andreas Munzer and IFBB Pro Lee Labrada) or an even more elusive Olympia Sandow trophy (which Francois was unable to do in his three attempts against 6-time Mr. Olympia IFBB Pro Dorian Yates from 1995-1997).

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