Bodybuilding legend Jay Cutler took part in a recent podcast to discuss the lineup for the upcoming 2023 Arnold Classic. Speaking with Milos Sarcev, Cutler named Nick Walker as an overwhelming favorite but mentioned Mamdouh ‘Big Ramy’ Elssbiay could pull off the upset.
“Are the big dudes going to have enough combination to push Nick to the side? I have a hard time believing that,” Jay Cutler said.
Last month, the 58th Mr. Olympia ended with several talking points. One of them was Big Ramy dropping to fifth place. Days after surrendering his title to Hadi Choopan, Ramy opened up in an honest interview about his future plans. At the time, he made it clear his focus would be on fixing the areas that held him back in Las Vegas.
Steve Weinberger, the lead judge from 2022 Olympia, believes the former two-time champion was off. While Ramy’s coach was confident ahead of the show, Weinberger thought he looked worse than in 2021. In addition, he questioned if Ramy was dealing with a shoulder or back injury.
Elssbiay will face Nick Walker at the 2023 Arnold Classic. ‘The Mutant’ finished third at 2022 Olympia and was crowned with the Olympia People’s Champ Award. Given the momentum he picked up in Vegas, many have dubbed the 28-year-old a massive favorite heading into March.
A handful of Men’s Open competitors entered the 2023 Arnold Classic after the prize money increased to $300,000. With less than two months until the show, Jay Cutler took a closer look at some of the names battling for gold.
Jay Cutler and Milos Sarcev Talk Big Ramy vs Nick Walker Battle at 2023 Arnold Classic
Jay Cutler and Milos Sarcev refuse to count out Big Ramy ahead of the Arnold Classic.
“Now, with Ramy getting back in, what was your take on Ramy’s conditioning, oh, [people said] ‘he needed to be fuller, he needed to be fuller, so, you expect this is the card they are going to play. They are going to make him full. He’s widest and biggest. I mean — he’s a specimen,” Sarcev added.
Ramy wasn’t full. Ramy needed to be Ramy. His skin would have been tighter. His appearance – there would have been more roundness to everything. Listen, Ramy, we talked about it. If Ramy is 100% he beats everybody. He’s still Big Ramy,” Cutler said.
While he accepts Big Ramy could win at his absolute best, Cutler specified that Nick Walker is the clear frontrunner leading into the show.
Cutler to Sarcev: ‘In The End,’ Nick Walker Will Be A Two-Time Champ’
Before Cutler discussed Walker’s potential, Sarcev suggested his lower body and upper body were imbalanced.
“He has that freak factor, nobody can deny it. He’s a fan favorite. He’s probably one of the most popular if not the most popular right. Okay, physique still needs to be balanced out. His lower body doesn’t match his upper body.
Aesthetic part of the physique, yeah he needs to improve. There’s a lot of guys that are way more aesthetic than him. He’s going to bring conditioning, freak factor, I think he’s improved since the Olympia. You’ve seen those pictures,” says Milos Sarcev.
Considering his 2022 Olympia finish, Sarcev agreed that Walker is the clear-cut favorite to win the event.
“He’s first favorite going into the show. He’s the highest placing Olympian. They see him. He sees himself as a winner. He’s not going to take second place. He’s going to have some tough competition,” Sarcev added.
Jay said it will be difficult to stop Nick Walker from capturing a second AC title.
“We all have our opinions… I just know Nick’s mindset. I know his vision. I know every night before he goes to bed, he’s visualizing winning this competition. And sometimes, you can’t overtake someone’s willpower.
He believes more than anyone else on this planet — we can talk about the confidence of these people leading into these shows… I just don’t think there’s anyone more dedicated than Nick Walker. I think in the end, he’ll be a two time champ,” Cutler explained.
Milos Sarcev: Samson Dauda Will Win 2023 Arnold Classic
Sarcev predicted his client Samson Dauda will win the upcoming Arnold Classic.
“Samson – I see him really winning the show. I didn’t talk about him winning the Olympia. But now, considering everything that we’ve seen, that we know, can he win the show, absolute,” Sarcev said. “I absolutely see Samson winning.”
Should Jacked and Dauda face off in Ohio, Sarcev is confident Samson would win that battle as well.
“They all say Samson needs to bring up the back. But I still think out of both of those Samson would win. Ab shots would probably go to Andrew. Most muscular, they’re both good but I’d give it to Samson. It’s very close. This is me, biased coach.”
The last bodybuilding veteran to discuss the 2023 Arnold was Chris Aceto, who recently started coaching Andrew Jacked. While he wouldn’t count out Ramy, he specified that it wouldn’t be a ‘cakewalk’ getting through Nick Walker.
Check out the full video below:
This will be Big Ramy’s first Arnold Classic contest since 2020 as he looks to redeem himself after finishing fifth at 2022 Olympia. As for Walker, if he wins a second Arnold Classic title, it will set him up for another huge year in the sport.