The Men’s 212 Bodybuilding division will take over Sin City for the highly anticipated 2022 Mr. Olympia contest. Action for the marquee show kicks off on December 15 – 18, at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino venue. This article will break down and predict the top five finishers from the 212 division at 2022 Olympia.
Many regard Men’s 212 Bodybuilding as a downsized version of the Open class. The category was introduced in 2011 for shorter individuals who could not match the muscle mass of their taller counterparts. Initially, the height limit was 5″5′, but that rule was eventually removed. All competitors still must weigh 212 pounds or under though.
Over the past few years, the 212 division has undergone plenty of changes at the top. However, that wasn’t always the case, as Welsh standout Flex Lewis, a seven-time 212 Olympia winner, dominated in the category from 2012-2018. Since his illustrious reign, the title has been subject to a game of hot potato.
After Lewis’ successful defense in 2018, the title was won by Libia’s Kamal Elgargni the following year. Lewis decided to retire in May to focus on his family. And while fans thought Elgargni would retain his status as champ, he was unable to stop the freaky 3D muscle of Shaun Clarida, who walked away as a 212 Olympia winner in 2020.
In 2021, the title changed hands again. Derek Lunsford brought arguably his most complete package to date and won the 212 title. In Sept., Lunsford accepted a special invitation to compete in the Men’s Open division.
Looking to fill the vacancy, other contenders have thrown their names in the hat as well, like Angel Calderon Frias, Keone Pearson, and Nathan Epler. Without further ado, let’s get into the 2022 Olympia predictions for Men’s 212 Bodybuilding.
Competitors List for 212 Men’s Bodybuilding at 2022 Mr. Olympia
Find a full list of competitors expected to compete at 2022 Olympia in the 212 Men’s Bodybuilding category below.
- Noel Adame (USA)
- Abdullah Alsaif (Saudi Arabia)
- Radoslav Angelov (Bulgaria
- Ahmad Ashkanani (Kuwait)
- Mohamed El Azim (Egypt)
- Jafar Ghaffarnezhad Azizi (Iran)
- Ayat Baghri (Iran)
- Kerrith Bajjo (USA)
- Anwar Al Balushi (Oman)
- Bryan Balzano (USA)
- Shaun Clarida (USA)
- Lucas Silva Coelho (Brazil)
- Douglas Connor (USA)
- Eduardo Correa (Brazil)
- Kamal Elgargni (Libya)
- Nathan Epler (USA)
- Ahmed Fawzi (Iraq)
- Angel Calderon Frias (Spain)
- Oswaldo Gonzalez (USA)
- David Henry (USA)
- Sung Yeop Jang (South Korea)
- Hamed Juma (Bahrain)
- Hossein Kalateh (Canada)
- Oleh Kryvyi (Ukraine)
- Dectric Lewis (USA)
- Derek Lunsford (USA)
- Naser Mohamed (Kuwait)
- Peter Molnar (Hungary)
- Felipe Moraes (Brazil)
- Keone Pearson (USA)
- Yunlong Ping (China)
- Mazin Al Rahbi (Oman)
- Romain Ramassamy (Canada)
- Daniel Sticco (Italy)
- Robert Taylor (UK)
- Dean White (UK)
- Daniel Sticco (Italy)*qualified on points
- Nathan Epler (USA)*qualified on points
- Abdullah Alsaif (Saudi Arabia) *qualified on points
212 Olympia 2022 Winner Prediction Criteria
1. Performances Leading Up to 2022 Olympia
At Fitness Volt, we take pride in curating research, articles, and videos to produce our picks for the 58th edition of Joe Weider’s 2022 Olympia Weekend. Of course, athletes’ recent performances factor into their placing at Olympia, but so do the overall packages they brought to the stage over the past year.
2. Social Media and Physique Updates
Fitness Volt and its staff routinely check social media accounts for physique updates and other relevant information pertaining to an athlete’s prep. This information is cross- analyzed with any relevant data we come across to help accurately predict the results of Mr. Olympia contests.
Say a bodybuilder gets injured, suffers a personal loss, or contracts an illness before the competition, this information can obviously affect the results of a given show. We offer consistent news stories about bodybuilders during the off-season and contest prep, which helps us render our list of predictions.
4. Performances From Last Year’s Olympia
While past performances don’t always dictate the future, it’s certainly a useful measuring stick. Mr. Olympia contests are the biggest and baddest contests in the IFBB Pro League; therefore, they are weighed heavily when we are crafting our top contenders for this year’s extravaganza.
212 Olympia 2022 Predictions
Fifth Place — Nathan Epler
Nathan Epler, who finished fifth at 2021 Olympia, is likely to repeat the success he had last year. In addition to that performance, Nathan placed runner-up at the Indy Pro and dominated at last year’s New York Pro, where he defeated Noel Adame and John Jewett, respectively.
All season long, Epler issued plenty of promising physique updates. He is known for his full back and sports a very balanced physique. While he’s made progress, our prediction is that he again places fifth when the smoke clears at 2022 Olympia. The reason we chose Epler to take fifth is because he’s managed to tack on a meaningful amount of muscle mass but may struggle with the conditioning of other top contenders.
Fourth Place — Angel Calderon Frias
The detailed separation in his legs are among the best in his division. His freaky muscle striations and overall conditioning support his chances for success at the upcoming contest.
During the off-season, Angel showcased incredible strength with a number of workouts on social media. His approach to heavy training has helped him build a grainy and detailed physique. He certainly has future Mr. Olympia potential written all over him, but we have him just shy of reaching the podium when all is said and done at Olympia.
We predict Angel Calderon Frias will place fourth at 2022 Olympia — the same position he held at last year’s show. Despite a number of new challenges this year, his muscularity and detail make him stand out on stage.
Third Place — Keone Pearson
We aren’t the only ones in the bodybuilding community backing Keone Pearson to shake things up at 2022 Mr. Olympia. Despite placing 14th at 2021 Olympia in 212, Pearson put his head down during the off-season and never stopped working. Former 1983 Mr. Olympia Samir Bannout has high hopes for Pearson this year. In fact, he predicted Pearson will be crowned the 212 champion in less than two weeks.
While we aren’t ready to pick Pearson to win the show, we do believe he will shock a lot of people en route to placing third. Last month, he reassured fans of his potential with a brutal sleeve-ripping arm workout. During the training session, he said he plans to make a statement at his next Olympia show. In light of his drastic improvements to the upper body, we believe Pearson is likely to place third at this year’s Olympia show.
Second Place — Kamal Elgargni
With intentions of turning back the clock, 51-year-old Kamal Elgargni is amid some of the most intense preparations of his career. His goal is to become a two-time 212 Olympia winner. To facilitate that objective, he’s trained alongside a number of standouts in the Open class, like Samson Dauda and Nick Walker.
At last year’s Olympia contest, Elgargni nearly stole the show with his trademark conditioning but ended up finishing third. Many were shocked to see Kamal take bronze because he brought substantial improvements to his physique, especially in terms of muscle separation. At the event, the only bodybuilders to surpass Elgargni were former 212 champ Shaun Clarida and Derek Lunsford.
Kamal took his talents to the Men’s Open division this year, where he debuted in second place at the 2022 Tampa Pro. He brought perhaps the best conditioning at the event but was outsized by Akim Williams. The Libyan native didn’t let the result deter him from competing again the following weekend. At the Texas Pro, Elgargni finished fourth, respectively.
Elgargni’s balance, proportions, and symmetry were on full display the last time he won the 212 Olympia title. Taking that and his past performances into consideration, we believe Elgargni will find himself battling Clarida in second place for the vacant 212 title.
First Place — Shaun Clarida
Standing at 5″2′, Shaun established himself as ‘The Giant Killer’ last year. He earned the nickname after defeating mass monsters like Canada’s Regan Grimes and Sergio Oliva Jr. in the finals at the 2021 Legion Sports Fest Pro.
Garnering comparisons to the eight-time Mr. Olympia Ronnie Coleman, fans quickly took notice of Clarida’s near-superhuman strength. His muscle fullness and graininess are lauded by his peers as well. Shaun finished second to Derek Lunsford at 212 Olympia last year.
Clarida expressed a desire to compete at Olympia in both 212 and the Open since he’s qualified for both in 2022. He spoke with Jim Manion and Olympia President Jake Wood to make it happen, but they told Shaun that he would have to pick one division to compete in. In mid-November, Clarida confirmed that he was coming back for his 212 title at 2022 Olympia.
Shaun Clarida has shown exceptional conditioning throughout the season, and he’s gone to great lengths to ensure his overall package is more balanced this year. For those reasons, Fitness Volt picks Shaun Clarida to win his second 212 Olympia title this year after narrowly missing out on the honors in 2021 to Lunsford.
A List of All 212 Olympia Winners Can Be Found Below:
|Kevin English||2009, 2010, and 2011||3|
|Flex Lewis||2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018||7|
For more information on past 212 Olympia winners, a comprehensive breakdown and history of the division can be found below.
212 Olympia 2022 Schedule
- 12/16/2022 — Prejudging starts at 9:30 a.m.
- 12/16/2022 — Finals start at 6:00 p.m.
You can expect a full list of results, breakdowns, and more from Fitness Volt for 2022 Mr. Olympia. We look forward to bringing you expedient coverage without sacrificing quality. Before the show goes down, let us know your top five this year at 2022 Olympia in the 212 division!
Fitness Volt will cover the entire 2022 Mr. Olympia event, including pre-judging reports and results. Check out the Mr. Olympia coverage hub here! FitnessVolt.com/olympia