It’s almost here… athletes are amid preparations to bring their all-time best to the 2023 Mr. Olympia Men’s 212 Bodybuilding stage. The 2023 Mr. Olympia Weekend will take over The Sunshine State — Orlando, Florida, from November 2-5 in the Orange County Convention Center venue (West Halls A and B). This article will analyze and predict the top seven finishers in the 212 category.
Since the division’s inception, onlookers of the sport have deemed the Men’s 212 Bodybuilding division a downsized version of the Men’s Open. This category was adopted into the IFBB Pro League in 2011, originally for competitors weighing 202 pounds but that changed months later to 212 pounds. There are no longer any height restrictions though competitors must weigh 212 pounds or under.
The popularity of the 212 Bodybuilding division has swelled in recent years in part thanks to the rise of Flex Lewis, who acquired seven 212 Olympia titles (2012-2018) before retiring last year. Since “The Welsh Dragon’s” reign, the title has changed hands a few times.
Kamal Elgargni cemented his name among the best in 2019, however, Shaun Clarida, hailed as a ‘Mini Ronnie Coleman,’ overpowered the Libyan to secure his first gold trophy in 2020. At the 2021 Olympia, Derek Lunsford won, and after his move to the Men’s Open, Clarida reclaimed control of the throne.
Now, two-time 212 Olympia titleholder Shaun Clarida has a target on his back as he aims to win the sport’s greatest honor thrice. But with contenders Keone Pearson, Angel Calderon Frias, Kerrith Bajjo, and Ahmad Ashkanani looming large with dark horses on standby, ‘The Giant Killer’ will have an arduous road to glory.
2023 Mr. Olympia Men’s 212 Bodybuilding Prediction Criteria
Our team at Fitness Volt carefully assembles predictions based on multiple factors for the 59th edition of Joe Weider’s 2023 Mr. Olympia Weekend.
Performances Leading Up to 2023 Mr. Olympia
Obviously, how a bodybuilder has performed in recent competitions is a big factor in predicting their success at the Olympia. We look at their overall presentation, including their physique, conditioning, and posing.
Social Media and Physique Updates
We also closely monitor social media for updates on athletes’ physiques and training. This gives us a good idea of how they’re progressing and what kind of condition they’re in heading into the Olympia.
Any news or events that could impact an athlete’s performance at the Olympia, such as injuries, personal losses, or illnesses, will also factor into our predictions.
Performances from Last Year’s (2022) Mr. Olympia
While past performance isn’t always a guarantee of future success, it’s still a valuable data point. We look at how athletes performed at the previous Olympia to get a sense of their potential and how they stack up against the competition.
Here Are Your 2023 Mr. Olympia Men’s 212 Bodybuilding Predictions (Top 7)
Without further ado, let’s get into why, how, and who has nabbed spots in Fitness Volt’s predictions for 212 competitors at 2023 Olympia.
Seventh Place — Hidetada “Hide” Yamagishi
Heading into this year’s 2023 Olympia, Hidetada Yamagishi may in fact possess more momentum than any other competitor outside of Clarida. He put an end to his retirement recently and came back to win the 212 Masters Olympia title at the show’s return after 11 years.
Yamagishi may be 50 years old but that’s never stopped him from pursuing his dreams or pushing the pace inside the gym. In 2020, Yamagishi took part in the Olympia show and walked away in 14th place. With a more filled-out back and extra leg volume, “Hide” could find himself fighting for a shot in the first call-out on the big stage.
Sixth Place — Oleh Kryvyi
Oleh Kryvyi isn’t short on steam either, having recently claimed gold as a 212 powerhouse at the 2023 Europa Pro Championships, a highly competitive event. It doesn’t take a trained eye to see that Kryvyi’s physique displays very few weaknesses. His vascularity coupled with his capped shoulders and huge traps give him the freak factor needed to shake up the roster.
With on-stage experience and savvy posing skills, Oleh Kryvyi is always a problem. He took fifth place at the 2022 Mr. Olympia show and intends to improve his position with a combination of density and shape in the coming weeks.
Fifth Place — Ahmad Ashkanani
Ahmad Ashkanani is another top name heading into the Mr. Olympia Weekend. With shredded physique updates in the lead-up to this show, fans online have raged behind Ashkanani, and not just lately, he’s remained a significant factor at the top of the category for years. As a fourth-place finisher at the 2022 Mr. Olympia and the winner of January’s 2023 Saudi Classic Pro, Ashkanani will set his sights on gold this year.
With surprising volume and thick muscle mass, Ashkanani demands respect any time he takes to a stage. It’s amazing he makes the 212 limit given how well he manages to fill out his frame. With onion-skin conditioning, Ahmad Ashkanani could be fighting for a shot at the podium this year.
Fourth Place — Kerrith Bajjo
Another top gun aiming to do some damage this November is Kerrith Bajjo whose conditioning has always been a strong point. Bajjo placed seventh on the Olympia stage last year but his performance at Steve Weinberger’s 2023 New York Pro was astounding. With more tissue on his frame, Bajjo has become a nightmare on stage because he still keeps a thin waist.
Given his latest victory and past performances on the Mr. Olympia stage, we see him moving up three spots this year, especially if he continues to present the same or better lower body definition.
Third Place — Angel Calderon Frias
Having placed as high as second at Mr. Olympia in 2022, Angel Calderon Frias is a leading favorite heading into Orlando, Florida’s show. With a history of nailing his peaks, Frias is a challenging threat on stage, boasting massive arms and an impressive chest.
Frias has used the entirety of his 2023 season to build and make changes to his physique. He has shown progress updates and even some training clips on his Instagram as he aims to clinch the one title that has evaded him since he began his career.
Second Place — Keone Pearson
Could Keone Pearson give Shaun Clarida a run for his money at 2023 Olympia? We think it’s possible. Taking his latest package at the 2023 Texas Pro into account, Pearson is leading the race as one of the top contenders to upset ‘The Giant Killer’ in Florida. Pearson’s muscle separation and lines give him a unique look in the Men’s 212 Bodybuilding class.
Keone Pearson last took to the Olympia stage in sixth place, the same event that saw Clarida win back his title after losing it to Lunsford in 2021. There’s no denying Pearson’s genetic gifts, and if he matches the conditioning of Clarida, fans could be in for an unforgettable showdown.
First Place — Shaun Clarida
Shaun Clarida may stand at five-foot-two but makes up for it with granite, dry, freaky conditioning. In addition to lifting insanely heavy weight, Clarida finds a way each year to improve his look. Whether it’s adding volume without sacrificing lines or packing on a clean 10 pounds of muscle, ‘The Giant Killer’ understands the ins and outs of building a world-class physique.
Having claimed the 212 Olympia title in 2020 and 2022, Clarida enters this show not only with the most accolades but with a dream in mind: to break Flex Lewis’ record of seven titles. A victory this November would put Clarida at three, pushing him one step closer to that huge goal.
He also took fifth in the Open at the 2023 Arnold Classic. With so many threats in pursuit of what he holds, the two-time champ will look to leave no doubt in the judges’ minds.
2023 Mr. Olympia Men’s 212 Bodybuilding Official Lineup
Find the full 2023 Mr. Olympia competitors list for the Men’s 212 Bodybuilding:
- Felipe Fierro (Chile)
- Shaun Clarida (USA)
- Angel Calderon Frias (Spain)
Kamal Elgargni (Libya)(out due to family emergency)
- Ahmad Ashkanani (Kuwait)
- Felipe Moraes (Brazil)
- Kerrith Bajjo (USA)
- Piotr Borecki (Poland)
- Andrei Melnikov (Russia)
- Roman Iushchenko (Ukraine)
- John Jewett (USA)
- Chris Jones (USA)
- Fabrizio de Souza Moreira (Brazil)
- Naser Mohamed (Kuwait)
- Keone Pearson (USA)
- Hidetada Yamagishi (Japan)
- Oleh Kryvyi (Ukraine)
- Hossein Kalateh (Canada)
- Radoslav Angelov (Bulgaria)
2023 Mr. Olympia Schedule Details
Olympia Prejudging — Friday 11/3/2023
- Men’s 212 Bodybuilding | 9:30 am
Olympia Finals — Friday 11/3/2023
- Men’s 212 Bodybuilding | 6:00 pm
Read more: How to Watch 2023 Mr. Olympia Online
A List of All 212 Olympia Winners Can Be Found Below:
212 Olympia Past Winners
|2022||Shaun Clarida||Las Vegas, NV|
|2021||Derek Lunsford||Orlando, FL|
|2020||Shaun Clarida||Orlando, FL|
|2019||Kamal Elgargni||Las Vegas, NV|
|2018||Flex Lewis||Las Vegas, NV|
|2017||Flex Lewis||Las Vegas, NV|
|2016||Flex Lewis||Las Vegas, NV|
|2015||Flex Lewis||Las Vegas, NV|
|2014||Flex Lewis||Las Vegas, NV|
|2013||Flex Lewis||Las Vegas, NV|
|2012||Flex Lewis||Las Vegas, NV|
|2011||Kevin English||Las Vegas, NV|
|2010||Kevin English||Las Vegas, NV|
|2009||Kevin English||Las Vegas, NV|
|2008||David Henry||Las Vegas, NV|
You can expect comprehensive coverage and a full list of results, breakdowns, and more from Fitness Volt for the 2023 Mr. Olympia Weekend. We look forward to bringing you expedient news for the sport’s greatest showcase of the year. Who do you believe will walk away with the Men’s 212 Bodybuilding title on November 3?