Dominic Nicholls, son of famed bodybuilding coach Chad Nicholls, confronted retired bodybuilder Shawn Ray during the 2023 Arnold Classic Expo. The video of Dom threatening Ray has gone viral on social media. Ray and Chad Nicholls have bad blood between them, and the incident was a culmination of years of pent-up anger.
The 2023 Arnold Classic is taking place in Columbus, Ohio, from March 3 to 5. It is the first major professional bodybuilding show of the year, and therefore there is a lot of excitement about it. The world’s second most prestigious bodybuilding competition witnesses a lot of drama and competitive spirit on stage. However, it spilled over off-stage in the form of the Dom Nicholls and Shawn Ray confrontation. Ray has been a vocal critic of Chad Nicholl’s coaching techniques and has made several defamatory comments about the famed coach in the past. Dominic defended his father from Ray’s defaming remarks when he came face-to-face with Shawn Ray at the event.
Thankfully, only words were exchanged, and there was no physical altercation between the two. However, Dominic and Ray stood dangerously close to each other, and a fight could break out with one miscalculated move from either man.
You can watch the video of this interaction below, courtesy of Muscular Development’s Instagram Account:
“I don’t want to hear you say one f***ing word about my f***ing dad, okay? Next time I see you, I’m going to kick your f***ing a**, got it? Alright? I don’t want to hear one thing about the f***ing cops… (Inaudible)… Don’t make me f***ing come back…”
The history between Chad Nicholls and Shawn Ray
Shawn Ray’s reaction to Dominic’s action suggests that it was probably not their first altercation. Ray is a legendary bodybuilder from the 90s, and Chad Nicholls is a famed bodybuilding coach who has trained many legendary bodybuilders like the eight-time Mr. Olympia champ Ronnie Coleman. The retired bodybuilder has criticized Nicholls’s training methods multiple times and stated that many bodybuilder deaths and health issues are because of Nicholl’s approach. He has also claimed that Nicholls puts his athletes on dangerous drug doses.
Many bodybuilding coaches and training systems have come under scrutiny in recent years due to a staggeringly high number of young bodybuilders’ deaths. Many, if not all, of these deaths are attributed to the stress of the bodybuilding lifestyle and the ill effects of performance-enhancing drugs. Ray has been pointing at Chad Nicholls for a long time, even before these deaths became so frequent.
Ray’s repeated allegations against Chad Nicholls seem to be the primary reason behind Dominic Nicholls’ aggression. Thankfully, the event did not turn ugly and was limited to a short altercation.