Bodybuilding veteran Chris Cormier took a break from examining the Open class to discuss a few threats in the Classic Physique division. In a recent Prime Time Muscle podcast, Cormier and judge Terrick El Guindy opened up about the brewing rivalry between German stars Urs Kalecinski and Mike Sommerfeld.
The Classic Physique category has never been more exciting since its inception in 2016. Currently, Chris Bumstead sits atop the mountain, having earned a total of four consecutive Classic Physique Olympia titles. He took the reigns from two-time winner Breon Ansley in 2019.
Bumstead continues to defy the odds with steady improvements year-to-year. However, plenty of competitors have staked their claim in the division such as Brazil’s Ramon Queiroz, Mike Sommerfeld, and Urs Kalecinski. At last year’s 2022 Mr. Olympia competition, Urs Kalecinski managed to move up to third place from fourth the year prior. Meanwhile, Sommerfeld trailed behind ‘The Miracle Bear’ in fifth.
Given their competition history, Cormier and Terrick El Guindy insist a rivalry between the two has developed. In addition, they outlined what a battle may look like between Sommerfeld and Kalecinski later this year.
Chris Comier & Terrick El Guindy Talk Urs Kalecinski vs Mike Sommerfeld Rivalry
According to Terrick El Guindy, Kalecinski and Sommerfeld unfollowed each other on social media as a result of their heated competitive history.
“No, they unfollowed each other [Urs Kalecinski and Mike Sommerfeld] on Instagram. They don’t like each other. Yes, so that you know the history of these two competitors. Mike Sommerfeld and Urs Kalecinski… they competed, they came out of the IFBB Pro League in Mexico at the Tijuana Pro.”
“I’ve been able to judge that show the last two years, incredible event, we’ve crossed the border, he’s [the promoter] has a great hotel, great food and a lot of great competitors. On that specific day, Mike Sommerfeld beat Urs Kalecsinki. Everybody was impressed by these two German guys. Who the hell are they, they looked incredible.”
El Guindy added that Sommerfeld defeated Kalecinski at the Tijuana Pro, though Kalecinski got the upper hand on the Olympia stage.
“Going into the Mr. Olympia, obviously, Mike Sommerfeld was supposed to be the better one but it didn’t turn out like that. Urs Kalecinski impressed everybody and got in the top five and Mike Sommerfeld fell. So this whole year Mike Sommerfeld all he heard in Germany was how great Urs was, Urs this, Urs that, oh my God, Urs Kalecinski he’s the new guy, he’s the new Dennis Wolf, he’s the new this.
He probably got pissed off and fed up. He almost wanted to tell everybody, ‘I beat this guy in Tijuana. He just beat me once.’ It turned out that in the Mr. Olympia they faced each other, Sommerfeld was in the top five with Urs, and now the rivalry is real. You can’t just talk about Urs Kalecinski coming from Germany, you have to talk about Mike Sommerfeld,” said Terrick El Guindy.
Looking at both competitors as objectively as possible, Cormier said Sommerfeld had muscle maturity on his side whereas Kalecinski had more ‘upside’ due to his young age. Cormier believes Kalecinski still needs to add thickness to his arms.
“The thing is, I’ve kind of been in contact with both of these guys,” Cormier replied. “I’m friends with both of them. I try to help them with what I see they need help with, some posing, stuff like that. Nothing more than that, but just trying to be a helpful hand to the younger generation, you know. Well, I think the most upside is with Urs. The maturity is going to go with Mike, he’s probably a little bit thicker. Urs still has the thing… he needs to underuse those arm movements so much for me and he’s got to get those arms a little thicker.”
El Guindy implied that Sommerfeld posted comparison pictures next to Kalecinski to send a message to his rival.
“Comparison pictures with Urs Kalecinski [posted by Mike Sommerfeld] and all those pictures were beneficial to Mike. And obviously, he’s sending a message to Urs, ‘I’m better than you.’ Some people are very critical of Mike Sommerfeld, ‘You didn’t pick the right angles,’ you know how they do that,” said El Guindy.
“Urs is younger than that he’s like 24 or 25,” added Cormier.
Looking ahead, El Guindy predicts a tense on-stage showdown between Sommerfeld and Kalecinski in November.
“You want to be the best bodybuilder of that country. You talk to Rafael Brandao in Brazil, you mention any other bodybuilder he gets pissed, he’s like, ‘I’m the only one.’ Ramon Dino, he’s the only one. He doesn’t want anybody talking about anybody else. In Germany, you can’t just say that. There’s probably some following from Urs, probably some following from Mike Sommerifeld, and what the really want to do is shut that door. What Urs wants to do is beat the hell out of Sommerfeld at the next Mr. Olympia.”
Lastly, Cormier highlighted that former two-time Arnold Classic winner Terrence Ruffin will likely push into the top three at the 2023 Mr. Olympia show.
“I think so [Terrence will contend with Ramon Dino at 2023 Olympia]. He’s not that tall but he’s very good. He can make his body transform. He can make his body transform before your eyes.”
While they might be enemies when they compete, the division’s top contenders aren’t against training with each other during the off-season. Urs Kalecinski teamed up with Cbum recently for a brutal arms training session.
Considering their competition history, fans, especially those in Germany, are looking forward to seeing two of their country’s biggest stars compete at the most significant bodybuilding event of the year.