The 2019 Mr. Olympia competition saw Brandon Curry be crowned the champion. However, according to Dennis James, that title could have easily gone to Hadi Choopan.
Headed into the 2019 Mr. Olympia, Brandon Curry was considered to be the favorite. A new champion was going to be crowned this year, as Shawn Rhoden would be unable to compete. Therefore it was thought that Curry had shown enough growth and improvement over the years, that he would walk away as the champion. Eventually, that grew to fruition, as he is now the 15th man to hold that title.
However, things could have easily gone in a different direction. Iranian bodybuilder Hadi Choopan was set to make his debut on the Olympia stage this year, as well. Hadi Choopan had never competed in a U.S. competition, due to visa issues preventing him from making the trip. Nevertheless, he had garnered a ton of attention for his physique and conditioning. Therefore it was thought that perhaps he had a chance of earning that title as well.
In the end, Choopan scored third, to Curry’s first-place victory. However, this came as a bit of a shock to Dennis James. In an interview with RXMuscle, he explained that while watching the prejudging, he did not expect Curry to win.
“Friday after prejuding, to be perfectly honest, I had Hadi and William Bonac in one and two. That was Friday after prejuding, because of conditioning. Brandon’s conditioning was off too. Brandon, his shape carried him Friday.”
More than that, James thinks Hadi could have won the whole thing.
James went on to explain that while Curry was much off on Friday, he was much improved on Saturday. Additionally, he believes that Curry’s size is what carried him to victory. However, in his opinion, Choopan had a good shot of winning nonetheless.
“Don’t get me wrong, you could have easily, easily, made a case for Hadi winning the Olympia. And I said it somewhere else, I said if you switch heads back and forth, you put Brandon’s head on Hadi’s body, oh that’s Mr. Olympia all day.”
Dennis James went on to praise Brandon Curry, saying he is very deserving of the title. However, he made it clear that Curry will have to step his game up next year in order to retain that title. Watch the full interview below: