To stake his claim as one of the best bodybuilders to ever step on stage, Jay Cutler was tasked with taking down a titan of his generation, Ronnie Coleman. Decades following their epic rivalry, Jay Cutler took to an Instagram reel and explained why Coleman remains the biggest and fiercest competitor he’s faced.
During the 1990s and 2000s, Ronnie Coleman cemented himself as an all-time great, boasting eight Mr. Olympia titles, matching the record with former champion Lee Haney. Cutler emerged as a promising talent but after consistent runner-up showings to Coleman, many were left unsure of his future. While hunting down gold, Cutler’s and Coleman’s rivalry on stage only grew with each passing year.
Cutler shocked the world in 2006, defeating ‘The King’ to win his first Mr. Olympia title. This turning point marked the end of an era as Coleman would later retire. Meanwhile, Cutler would lose gold and regain it against Dexter Jackson at 2009 Mr. Olympia, further solidifying his legacy. Having led an illustrious career, Cutler looked back on some of his greatest opponents.
Jay Cutler Pays Respect to His ‘Fiercest and Biggest’ Bodybuilding Competitors
During the 2000s, Cutler remembers being challenged by several top-tier bodybuilders, some of whom included, former seven-time Mr. Olympia Phil Heath, former 2008 Mr. Olympia Dexter Jackson, Victor Martinez, the late Gustavo Badell, Chris Cormier, and Gunter Schlierkamp.
“Who was my fiercest competitor besides Ronnie Coleman? I have to give credit to a lot of people. I mean I have to give credit to Phil Heath, I have to give credit to Dexter Jackson because both those guys beat me.
Victor Martinez was a great challenger, Gustavo Badell, Gunter Schlierkamp was a great challenger.”
As for Cutler’s “biggest and fiercest” competitor, he says that honor will always belong to Ronnie Coleman.
“A lot of my competition, but I’m talking about those guys that were close to me in the competition Mr. Olympia.
I have to give my hat to every single one of them. Chris Cormier, to not forget, Chris Cormier, he was one of the best and still to this day Ronnie Coleman was my biggest and fiercest competitor,” explains Jay Cutler.
This wasn’t the first time Cutler looked back on facing Ronnie Coleman in his prime. Assessing the current crop of talent in the Open, Cutler doesn’t believe any competitors have presented physiques close to the size, density, and conditioning displayed by Big Ron.
Even though Coleman gave him his toughest tests, Cutler credited several Men’s Open competitors for pushing him to be great, especially when it came to shining on the prestigious Mr. Olympia stage.