The countdown to the 2023 Mr. Olympia competition has begun, with less than 13 weeks remaining. As the anticipation builds, bodybuilding veterans Jay Cutler and Milos Sarcev recently shared their thoughts on the Men’s Open lineup in a podcast episode of Cutler Cast. The discussion revolved around top frontrunners such as the reigning champion Hadi Choopan, Samson Dauda, Hunter Labrada, and Andrew Jacked.
Last year’s Olympia contest was a shocker as Choopan dethroned the former two-time winner, Mamdouh ‘Big Ramy’ Elssbiay, to claim the crown. The finals also featured Nick Walker and Derek Lunsford, who secured second and third-place honors respectively. Despite Lunsford’s silver medal, he made a remarkable impression in his Open debut from Men’s 212 Bodybuilding.
In May, the excitement surrounding the upcoming Olympia intensified when Derek Lunsford and Samson Dauda stole the show with their guest posing at the 2023 Pittsburgh Pro. With a substantial cash prize and the highest accolade in the sport at stake, fans are expecting a fierce battle for the gold in Orlando, Florida.
Milos Sarcev, who serves as Samson Dauda’s trainer, believes that Dauda has the potential to win the coveted Sandow trophy. However, Sarcev emphasizes the need for crucial back improvements in terms of detail and overall thickness. In light of the approaching contest, Sarcev and Cutler engaged in a debate about potential contenders who could break into the top five.
Cutler expressed his awe at Choopan’s training intensity and warned that his competition should be scared. Sarcev echoed this sentiment, stating that Choopan is the favorite going into the show due to his continuous improvement and muscle development. Cutler argued that it would be incredibly difficult to surpass Derek Lunsford or Hadi Choopan in the top two positions, as Lunsford excels from behind, while Choopan dominates from the front. However, Cutler acknowledged the potential of other contenders such as Samson Dauda, Hunter Labrada, Nick Walker, and Brandon Curry.
Sarcev pointed out Choopan’s potential weakness in his back conditioning, which differs from his impressive front conditioning. Sarcev also commended Choopan’s performance in the 2019 and 2021 Mr. Olympia contests, suggesting that he could have won both shows with the knowledge gained since then.
Moving on to discuss other contenders, Sarcev expressed his belief in Samson Dauda’s commitment and determination to secure first place this year. Cutler mentioned Brandon Curry as another potential contender, and Sarcev acknowledged the possibility of Hunter Labrada defeating Andrew Jacked, despite his initial doubts. Sarcev praised Jacked’s near-perfect structure, highlighting the need for him to fill out his physique.
Regardless of who wins the 2023 Mr. Olympia title, Sarcev expressed his support for all the competitors and emphasized that he has no reservations or issues with any outcome. He mentioned training Samson Dauda to win and hoped that Regan would also compete, creating an environment where the best man would prevail. Sarcev concluded by stating that if Hunter Labrada deserved to beat Samson Dauda, they would be the first to congratulate him as they recognize his potential as a contender.
Public opinion regarding the potential winner of the upcoming Olympia remains divided. Nick Walker believes that the finals will come down to himself and Derek Lunsford, ruling out Choopan as a repeat champion. On the other hand, Lunsford completely disagrees with this assessment.
In the final weeks leading up to the competition, the bodybuilding world eagerly awaits the showdown at the 2023 Mr. Olympia, where the ultimate victor will be crowned.