Egyptian bodybuilder Mamdouh ‘Big Ramy’ Elssbiay was last seen in action at the 2023 Arnold Classic earlier this month. In a recent The Menace podcast, Dennis James called out athletes representative Bob Cicherillo for criticizing Ramy with unfair comparisons.
Former two-time Mr. Olympia Big Ramy made a name for himself with sheer muscle mass and size as a Men’s Open competitor. He became a powerhouse in 2020 after dominating the competition at the Mr. Olympia contest to win his maiden Sandow trophy.
He successfully defended the title at the 2021 Mr. Olympia contest and entered as the favorite to add a third Sandow to his collection last season. However, Ramy failed to bring his best, and as a result, he got dethroned by the new champion Hadi Choopan at the 2022 Mr. Olympia three months ago.
Following the fifth-place finish, Ramy signed up for the 2023 Arnold Classic in hopes of redemption. His coach, Chad Nicholls opened up on Ramy’s lackluster Olympia showing last month. He admitted a lot went wrong at the contest and called the prep a disaster. He added that Ramy faced digestive issues and a high level of stress before stepping on stage, which likely contributed to him coming in off.
While many were quick to write Ramy off, renowned bodybuilding guru Milos Sarcev was confident he could pull off a comeback at the Arnold Classic. He thought it was a good idea for the mass monster to get back in action and recognized the danger he posed to other contenders.
Bodybuilding icon Jay Cutler backed Ramy as one of the favorites to come out on top in Ohio. He expressed a desire to see the fallen champ reclaim the title, a feat he accomplished successfully in 2009 after winning another Olympia.
In the end, Samson Dauda took home the top prize. Ramy presented an improved package and placed fourth behind Andrew Jacked and runner-up Nick Walker. The results led to controversy surrounding the judging with some alleging Ramy did not get a fair chance at comparisons.
Bob Cicherillo bashed Ramy’s performance and dismissed the likelihood of a potential comeback. He called on Ramy to bring a new version of his physique completely and said he wouldn’t be able to gain his title back given the current issues with his physique. He later said there were no conspiracy theories in the IFBB Pro League regarding Walker or Big Ramy.
Dennis James calls out Bob Cicherillo for ‘pressuring’ Big Ramy to retire
In a recent episode of The Menace Podcast, Big Ramy’s close friend/trainer Dennis James took issue with Bob Cicherillo for an unfair comparison showing a lat spread of Ramy from two different years. After hearing Bob’s take, Dennis questioned Cicherillo over the misleading comparison.
James: “You put two pictures up where you want to compare a 2013 lat spread with the Arnold Classic one where he’s clearly putting his arms back slowly starting to get into the lat spread.”
Bob: “Yeah, that was the editor’s fault not mine. I had two different pictures. I didn’t look it over. It was two lousy easy pictures.”
James: “This looks very misleading for people.”
Bob: “Go look at a picture of Big Ramy doing a lat spread or any pose for that matter and his first year in the league, then you compare it to the last show. The guy has two different physiques and not for the better.”
Bob pointed out several areas that he believes Ramy lost and needs to work on.
“If you just compare Ramy’s physique on his own, he’s bigger, not as shapely as he was, his thighs are even bigger especially his inner thighs, his legs are like tree trunks,” said Cicherillo. “He’s missing half his lower back, arms are shrinking down, midsection is much bigger. It’s not even debatable that he’s not the same bodybuilder. The question is why and can he get it back? I think it’s an uphill battle for him.”
James responded, “Do we all know that his lower back is atrophied? Yes, but something was going on when he won the Olympia too and nobody complained. I don’t get it.”
James claims judges didn’t hold a fair comparison at the 2023 Arnold Classic
James argued the judges didn’t give Ramy a fair chance at comparisons with the other contenders at the 2023 Arnold Classic.
Bob: “You got Big Ramy beating Samson?”
James: “I never said that but here’s what I’m saying. I didn’t get a chance to, they never put them next to each other and battle it out. Ramy was much better than he was at the Olympia. Also, what I’m saying is he should have been compared a little more. That’s just my opinion and there’s a lot of others that have the same opinion.”
Bob: “They can’t see. They don’t have an eye for bodybuilding. All it would have done is highlighted that this is not the best Ramy we have seen.”
James: “At least do that, give him the chance to highlight. I’m not complaining about the result. He was impressive to me, not so much on the screen because looking in the screen and what the people saw on pay-per-view wasn’t as impressive as what it was looking from front of the stage or from high quality pictures and videos. He was in shape, much improved but still put on the outside.”
Big Ramy hit back at the critics calling on him to move on from competition last week. He made it clear he has no plans to slow down anytime soon and intends to stay active in the months to come.
RELATED: Jay Cutler Breaks Down 2023 Arnold Classic: ‘I Thought Nick Walker Could’ve Won’
Bodybuilding veteran Lee Priest wants Ramy to change his diet for better performances. He suggested Ramy capitalize on his popularity and massive build by exploring the world of entertainment.
You can watch the full video below.
Catch full coverage of the 2023 Arnold Classic, including pre-judging, event recaps, analysis, and final and full results at our Arnold Classic coverage hub: FitnessVolt.com/arnold-classic
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