Bodybuilding legend Jay Cutler, a four-time Mr. Olympia, has a sharp eye for talent based on years of experience competing at the highest level. In a recent YouTube video, Cutler talked about Samson Dauda, Nick Walker, Big Ramy, and Andrew Jacked following the 2023 Arnold Classic.
The 2023 Arnold Classic wrapped up from March 2-5 in Columbus, Ohio. Stakes were high going into the contest as the organizers bumped the prize money for the Men’s Open class to a record $300,000. A handful of competitors signed up for the event following the announcement, which made for some exciting battles on stage.
Coming off a third-place finish at the 2022 Mr. Olympia, Nick Walker went into the show as the highest-ranked Olympian and the betting favorite to reclaim the Arnold Classic title. Samson Dauda was another notable name fans circled as a leading threat. Former two-time Mr. Olympia Mamdouh ‘Big Ramy’ Elssbiay also threw his name in the hat along with Andrew Jacked and Patrick Moore.
Ultimately, Dauda was triumphant and won the 2023 Arnold Classic with Walker coming in second place and Jacked in third. Walker won the Most Muscular Award whereas Jacked earned the Best Poser Award.
Following the event, Walker was content with his performance and promised a stronger comeback next. On the other hand, Jacked thought his placing was well-deserved. He revealed plans to take some time off after remaining active for over a year.
Bodybuilding veteran Zack Khan fired shots at the judges for allegedly making decisions based on politics. He argued Jacked should’ve taken silver instead of Walker and extended his support for Ramy’s latest showing. Former Mr. Olympia Samir Bannout shared a similar sentiment and questioned the judges for giving Dauda a perfect scorecard despite some fans suggesting ‘The Nigerian Lion’ seemingly faded away in the second half of the show.
Event commentator Bob Cicherillo pushed back against the criticism directed at the show’s judges. He explained the judging criteria and shared that Walker lost some of his freak factor on stage. A few days later, Walker was forced to step in and call on his fans to refrain from sending hateful messages to the judges or other competitors online.
Jay Cutler shares his breakdown of the 2023 Arnold Classic
In a recent video uploaded on YouTube, Jay Cutler gave his take on Samson Dauda’s victory over Nick Walker and Andrew Jacked.
“The top three could’ve gone anyway in my opinion,” said Cutler. “I had predicted Nick, and I thought nick could’ve won it. He could have but Samson looked incredible. Andrew made a huge impact, huge improvements. From the judges’ talk, Nick didn’t appear as full and round as maybe the Olympia, which he says he was better. I talked to him yesterday.”
“I feel Nick is constantly improving. His shape has improved tremendously. He was the frontrunner going in. It didn’t go his way. He missed out on a huge payday to an unbelievable Samson. That was huge for him. He’s massive. Milos said he weighed around 290. Obviously, he’s a little taller.
“But is this the threat of the taller guys coming in now with him and Andrew Jacked who really people question he could’ve won or came in second or third.”
Cutler advised Nick Walker to focus on out-muscling athletes at future shows because he doesn’t have shape like Dauda.
“If I could say anything, I did mention this to Nick, is you got to work with your strengths. His strengths is definitely outmuscling people. Unfortunately, he’s not going to overly shape a Samson or a Derek Lunsford.”
As for Andrew, Cutler praised him for performing well against a very tough lineup in Ohio.
“Andrew didn’t have the overwhelming wow factor that he had in the earlier shows and I think because he was in such great condition standing next to those guys. It’s a different lineup. You can say so-and-so placed at the Olympia so I got past them and now I’m in this position. That’s not true though. It’s show to show. That can change dramatically,” said Jay Cutler.
Cutler believes Big Ramy could still win Mr. Olympia title
Big Ramy had a quick fall from grace after missing the mark at the 2022 Mr. Olympia. He brought a better package at his latest show but appears to have been counted out by many. Cutler believes Ramy could still find success on the Olympia stage if he finds the right motivation.
“Ramy improved. I know people counted him out. The big question mark was can he win it back. I still think there’s a chance he could win it back honestly if he figured it out but he has to be motivated himself. He has to believe. I believe that he can if he just looks past all this. I think he’s a little disappointed to be honest. Speaking to him backstage, it’s a little tough for him. He’s like, ‘what do I have to do to improve?’ Now, he’s got guys beating him that he doesn’t feel should beat him. I feel for him.”
Derek Lunsford could’ve won the 2023 Arnold Classic, says Cutler
Former 212 Olympia champ Derek Lunsford made a statement in his Open debut with a runner-up finish at the latest Olympia. According to Cutler, Lunsford would’ve likely won the Arnold Classic title had he signed up for the contest.
“Derek Lunsford could’ve probably came in and won this contest. If he was there, obviously, Hadi too. It’s a little more difficult for him. I respect Derek’s decision to sit it out and really hone in on the Olympia. Either solidify position or challenge Hadi. I think it’ll be really hard for everyone to challenge Hadi.”
“Derek is definitely a contender for that if he improves the legs a little bit, get some fuller pecs, and remember that extra fullness is going to give him more condition from the front, which was kind of the knock on him last year event though he was tremendous from the backside. He smoked everybody. He’s so dangerous up there. His shape and proportions is so crazy.”
Bodybuilding guru Chris Aceto took issue with the judges’ scorecards for making the contest appear more convincing than it actually was. Although Dauda won, Aceto doesn’t believe he has what it takes to beat Walker one-on-one.
Coach Milos Sarcev also agreed with the judges and theorized Walker’s loss came down to his inability to properly control his midsection and as well as the lack of volume in his legs.