With the 2023 Arnold Classic in the rearview mirror, athletes and veterans of the sport are processing the results. In a recent The Menace podcast, Bob Cicherillo discussed Samson Dauda’s potential at the next Mr. Olympia contest after taking home gold in Ohio.
Earlier this month at the Arnold Classic, fans saw Samson Dauda emerge as the new champion, defeating runner-up Nick Walker and third-place finisher Andrew Jacked. The results sparked controversy as Walker later urged fans and followers to keep dialogue surrounding the outcome respectful.
A number of bodybuilding greats have taken issue with Dauda’s victory. In addition to Samir Bannout, former four-time Mr. Olympia Jay Cutler thought Walker could have won the title. Meanwhile, Chris Aceto, who coached Jacked to success in third, suggested Walker would have overwhelmed Dauda in a one-on-one comparison but never got the opportunity. Aceto also had a problem with the scorecards and described them as ‘phony.’
Dauda’s trainer, Milos Sarcev, on the other hand, believes Dauda was leading the show the moment he stepped on stage. To his credit, four-time Arnold Classic winner Flex Wheeler recognized Dauda as the winner early on as well. Speaking with Dennis James, Sarcev, and Chris Cormier, Bob Cicherillo gave his take on Dauda’s chances of another upset at 2023 Mr. Olympia this November.
Bob Cicherillo on Samson Dauda: ‘If He’s 5% Better Than the Arnold, You’re Looking at Your New Mr. Olympia’
Given Dauda’s shape and symmetry, Bob Cicherillo believes with a little improvement, he can become the next Mr. Olympia winner.
“This is an easy one to me, if, and we’re always talking hypotheticals, but we have to do something, that’s what we do. If Samson comes into the Olympia five percent better than what he was at the Arnold, you’re looking at your new Mr. Olympia. Simple. Nobody else has his shape.”
In the months to come, Sarcev plans to improve the width of Dauda’s back and underlined his motivation levels after winning the sport’s second-most prestigious title.
“I know Bob, you were saying before, he doesn’t need to be 300 pounds, but look: he’s growing and getting shapelier. He can still fill up the frame. You’re saying he can bring bigger and wider back. We already expanded the shoulders. I think the shoulders in the last year grew considerably. You know, capping and his tie-ins, separation is a little bit more visible. He’s super motivated. He can taste it. I mean, Lee Haney himself, commented the other day, and said how much he appreciated Samson’s look.”
“But Hadi is compact, nothing missing, I was saying, even, if you remember, Dennis, back in 2021, Hadi was the only one that could stand next to Ramy and when he opened up his front lat spread, he was so wide. We don’t consider Hadi a big guy. He was 212 right, but let me tell you, that lat spread from the front and lat spread from the back, it’s all over the place,” Milos Sarcev explained.
Cicherillo believes Dauda can win this year’s Mr. Olympia against Hadi Choopan if he’s ‘close to 100%.’
“Even though I liked Samson to win the Arnold, I actually had to pick Nick Walker because Samson wasn’t proven at that point. Nick had taken third place at the Olympia, so you had to give him his respect. If Samson Dauda is anywhere close to 100%, he wins the Olympia this year.”
Cicherillo Talks Mr. Olympia Having Too Many Competitors, Says Brandon Curry’s Physique Imbalanced
According to Cicherillo, there should be fewer athletes competing at the next Mr. Olympia because the qualification window has been reduced by three months. In addition, the point system has been removed, which used to award athletes invites based on placing in the top five at shows throughout the year. To rectify this problem, Bob said there should be a ‘cut round’ like other sports utilize.
“You got to remember now, going back to last year, we didn’t have 12 months, we had 15. There was proportionately more shows and therefore more people qualifying. I’ve got no issue with 10 million people qualifying. Everybody and their mother can qualify – what I have an issue for, and have been for years, is not [having] a simple cut round, like every other sport on this earth has.”
“Have a cut round, bring it down, those are the people that should pay, I wouldn’t be paying for everybody, God bless Jake Wood for showing out, but that was a pretty hefty check he had to cut for all those people qualify.”
Despite Brandon Curry‘s status as a former Mr. Olympia, Bob doubts he’ll be able to balance out his legs with such a strong upper body.
“Yeah, listen, if you got a former Mr. Olympia, he’s automatically – if you’re good enough to win the Olympia, you always have to be in the conversation. I don’t know if there’s anything Brandon can do at this point. He still has that pretty physique, but he’s spent a lifetime trying to bring his legs up to his arms. His arms and shoulders are so big, that I don’t think he’ll ever quite match. He’s been damn close,” Cicerillo said.
In light of the judging controversy surrounding the Arnold Classic, Jay Cutler took to another Cutler Cast to give his take on the situation. After analyzing the results in further detail, Cutler maintains that any of the top four could have won the show. Moreover, he said the ‘judges definitely got it right’ in the aftermath.
RELATED: Athletes Rep Bob Cicherillo Offers Pay-Per-View ‘Profit-Share’ Solution to Bodybuilders Having to Pay Own Way for Events
Having claimed gold in Ohio, there’s no doubting Samson Dauda’s standing as one of the favorites heading into the next Mr. Olympia contest. Should he improve his physique by just 5%, Bob Cicherillo is confident Samson Dauda will be the name he’s calling to take the first-place award later this year.
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
Leave a Reply