Blessing Awodibu is one of bodybuilding’s brightest prospects on the rise, especially after the season he registered thus far in 2022. In a recent interview with coach Hany Rambod, Awodibu reflects on being smuggled into Ireland from Nigeria, improvements for 2022 Mr. Olympia, and his rekindled rivalry with Nick Walker.
Awodibu, a Men’s Open Pro, quickly gained popularity in the sport courtesy of his charismatic personality and funny social media presence. The Nigerian-Ireland native began his Pro tenure last year, where he competed at two shows. Awodibu made his debut at the 2021 Indy Pro, securing third place, behind runner-up Mohammed El Emam and champion Justin Rodriguez. Next, Awodibu made his way to the 2021 New York Pro, an event that gave birth to his rivalry with Nick Walker. Ultimately, Awodibu would succumb to his competition, finishing the show in sixth place, behind his rival Walker who won the show.
After coming up short in 2021, Awodibu took time away from the sport to improve his physique. Redemption weighed heavily on the Men’s Open competitor, and he proved as much this year, competing at the 2022 Indy Pro, the same annual event where he made his debut a year prior. He won the show and presented obvious improvements to his lower body, an area he was criticized for in 2021. After he won his first bodybuilding title, “The Boogieman” took his physique to the 2022 New York Pro, and once again walked away in first place.
With an Olympia invitation in his back pocket, Awodibu is ready for another statement-making performance later this year. But first, he joined renowned coach Hany Rambod, for a candid discussion on the events that led to where he is now.
Blessing Awodibu Reflects on Being Smuggled from Nigeria into Ireland
Speaking with Rambod, Awodibu reflected on being smuggled from Nigeria into Ireland at an early age.
“We came from a very poor background. My dad was a farmer, we had a farm. We weren’t living in the city, we were living in this city more like in a jungle. At the age of 9, my parents took myself and my other brother and gave them to a stranger. So, basically, we were smuggled from Nigeria to Ireland you know. With fake names, fake passports.”
“My parents were in Ireland. When we got dropped off at the immigration door, we had no English, no nothing! We literally did not know shit but shout out to their people and that government. They took us in. They could of just deport us back to Nigeria. They took us in. They were able to help our brother and set us up. My brother actually became my guardian.” Awodibu explained.
Despite struggling from a young age, Awodibu appreciates the opportunities he was offered upon entry into Ireland.
“They gave us the opportunity to dream. Opportunity to get an education. Opportunity to fight for something. That’s worth fighting for. That’s why I hope I become somebody, so one day I can go back and change my family’s lives.”
Improvements for 2022 Mr. Olympia
“The Boogieman” has ‘always understood the mission’ and intends to continue improving his physique.
“For me, I’m always understood the mission. I know my body. I know what’s needed of me. I know I’m a little taller guy. I need time to fill out my frame. To be a professional bodybuilder, especially on a Pro League stage, from 2017, I actually decided not to compete.
Not to compete and work as hard as possible to put on all those muscles that are needed for me to do a little bit of damage in the Pro League. So that’s what I did. 2017… and I did not compete till 2021, when I make my Pro debut at the Indy Pro.”
Awodibu believes there is always room to grow, learn and improve. He highlights the importance of training with ‘people that are better than you.’
“Every gym I go to I’m always the biggest guy. If you’re the smartest or the biggest person in the environment, you’re in the wrong environment. Because there is no way to progress or be better. You gotta be around people that are better than you.”
Awodibu on Nick Walker Rivalry: ‘I Respect Him for the Amount of Work He Puts In
Blessing explained to Rambod that Walker’s nickname couldn’t be more fitting. According to Awodibu, if Walker and NBA star LaBron James are walking down the street, people would point to Walker’s freaky muscularity first.
“Nick. The guy is a mutant bro. The guy, looking at Nick is like… you don’t see that anywhere.
“I look at a guy like Nick, and Nick is the type of guy you know, and I wish other bodybuilders would understand this, to see a guy like Nick – he’s a freak of nature. Everybody wants to look at him. Even Labron James.
Nick walking by, and Nick walking by, and LaBron James will look and be like, ‘man, what a freak!’ If you have a freak like that, you know I can talk a little bit of trash. But that adds a little bit more to him than just the muscle. That just sells. It catches everybody’s attention.”
The vocal Men’s Open Pro added that the sport of bodybuilding has become boring, and that rivalries, like the one with Walker, help to keep the sport interesting. While bodybuilders aren’t fighting or wrestling inside of a cage or ring, Awodibu is adamant that these rivalries create interest among fans.
“When I started calling out Nick, guys started making all these posters. These posters were being made for myself and Nick. People were ‘like who’s that guy? What’s going on here? Are people about to box each other?’
People that don’t understand bodybuilding, they see that poster somewhere, somebody shared it somewhere, they’re like ‘what is going on here? Because it does not look like a bodybuilding competition. It looks like some sort of MMA promo, WWE Promo sort-of promo, but you don’t see that kind of freaks in the WWE, or those kinds of freaks in MMA. So, there’s something crazy going on here and guess what, they are interested, and they want to see how it will go down.”
Given the accomplishments Walker has made in such a short journey as a bodybuilder, Awodibu regards him as ‘super talented’, and only has respect for the 2021 Arnold Classic champion.
“Nick is a super talented dude, and you have to respect him for the way he looks and the amount of work he put in. Achieving that look would make a lot of people go, ‘wow what is that’. And he has a really cool name as well. And “The Boogieman” man, that’s like Godzilla and King Kong.”
Following his 2022 New York Pro victory, Blessing called out Walker on stage and said that he planned to ‘whoop Nick Walker’s ass’ at Olympia later this winter.
Watch the full YouTube video below:
“The Mutant” took to Rambod’s podcast a few weeks ago, where he spoke on Awodibu’s chances of defeating him in 2022. Walker explained that Awodibu is ‘top-10 for sure, but not in my line of vision’. With six months until 2022 Mr. Olympia, there is still plenty of time for Awodibu to catch up to Walker. After joining Rambod on the podcast, it’s safe to say Awodibu’s road to the top has been littered with challenges.