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The Headline: ANDREW OYE'S IFBB PRO CONTEST REPORT: IFBB PRO MARCO RIVERA WINS INAUGURAL PUERTO RICO PRO BODYBUILDING CHAMPIONSHIPS, EARNS FIRST IFBB PRO LEAGUE CAREER VICTORY, AND FIRST ANNUAL OMAHA PRO CHAMPIONSHIPS CROWNS 212 DIVISION ATHLETES

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

The Scoop: Just Announced: Over the weekend, two contests for 212-Division IFBB Pro athletes were held simultaneously. IFBB Pro Marco Rivera won the inaugural IFBB Puerto Rico Pro Bodybuilding Championships in San Juan, Puerto Rico. IFBB Pro Shaun Clarida (2nd), IFBB Pro Manuel Manchado (3rd), IFBB Pro Raul Carrasco Jimenez (4th), IFBB Pro Milton Martinez (5th), IFBB Pro Leonardo Pacheco (6th), IFBB Pro Caleb Blanchard (7th), IFBB Pro Alison Maria (8th), IFBB Pro Carlos Rabiei (9th), IFBB Pro Mauricio Solis (10th), IFBB Pro Rafael Cabrera (11th), and IFBB Pro Willie Vegas (12th).

Meanwhile, at the 1st Annual IFBB Omaha Pro Bodybuilding Championships in Nebraska, another IFBB Pro athlete was a first-time winner. IFBB Pro Tricky Jackson (2nd), IFBB Pro Oliver Adzievski (3rd), IFBB Pro Darron Glenn (4th), IFBB Pro Thomas Anderson (5th), IFBB Pro Daron Lytle (6th), IFBB Pro Bleu Taylor (7th), and IFBB Pro Rod Ketchens (8th).

The "So What?": 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 at Joe Weider's Olympia Weekend to face reigning Olympia 212 Showdown Champion IFBB Pro Flex Lewis in Las Vegas, Nevada. This marked the first time the pro contests were staged in Omaha and Puerto Rico, as well as the first victories in the professional bodybuilding careers of their respective winners. Marco Rivera earned his IFBB Pro card by winning the Light-Heavyweight Class at the 2011 NPC National Bodybuilding Championships, and, since then, had managed to nab two 2nd place finishes and two 3rd place finishes.

Andrew Oye's Verdict: As I reported in my recap of the UK BodyPower Pro Championships, the growing number of 212-Division contests (particularly those held offshore from the U.S.) is bringing new physiques to the Olympia (the "Super Bowl of bodybuilding") to contend for the division's highest crown. The 3-time Olympia Showdown winner James "Flex" Lewis also won the Arnold Sports Festival's first-ever 212 contest at the 2014 IFBB Pro Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic Bodybuilding Championships in Columbus, Ohio. Thus far, the Arnold Classic USA is the only one of the franchises (which includes Europe, Australia, and Brasil, which was won over the weekend by IFBB Pro Mamdouh Elssbiay, a.k.a. "Big Ramy") to host a contest for the pro lightweight class of the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness. Perhaps if one or more the remaining Arnold Classic franchises (or the proposed/upcoming editions in South Africa or Asia) follow suit, they can provide more opportunities for the top-tier 212-Division competitors to collect major titles, while other circuit contests continue to be proving grounds for up-and-comers.

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