Heading into a new year, so many athletes have the potential to rise up and earn the coveted Sandow trophy but getting through Derek Lunsford won’t be easy. During a recent interview with Brian Shaw on YouTube, Cutler reflected on Lunsford’s historic victory and discussed earning income in bodybuilding.
This year was full of upsets at the 2023 Mr. Olympia as seven divisions crowned new winners. The biggest shake-up of the night though was when Derek Lunsford was named the new Mr. Olympia and became the first two-division champion. This pushed former titleholder Hadi Choopan into second place while Samson Dauda moved on up to third.
The contest was lacking Nick Walker, a major competitor in the Open, due to a hamstring tear that forced him to withdraw just days before taking the stage. There is speculation that Walker could have taken gold at the competition with his freak factor though fans will never truly know.
While Derek Lunsford has a ripped back and an overall conditioned physique, positions on the Mr. Olympia stage are never a guarantee. As mentioned, Nick Walker has the ability to rock the Olympia stage and claim the gold, that is if he receives the special invite to this year’s show considering he doesn’t plan to compete at any other competitions.
Jay Cutler Talks Men’s Open Standouts For 2024 Mr. Olympia
Considering his vast improvements with every show, Samson Dauda is a major contender. He has competed in a a handful of shows, including back-to-back victories (2023 Romania Muscle Fest Pro and 2023 Prague Pro) after taking third place at the Mr. Olympia.
Bodybuilding legend Jay Cutler takes this into consideration while discussing the future of the open in a recent YouTube video with Strongman Brian Shaw. Obviously, the first standout in the Open is the current Mr. Olympia champion Derek Lunsford who he states is in the prime of his career.
“I think Derek, you know he’s at an age I think he is coming into his own. I mean I won my first at 33, Phil Heath was 31, Ronnie was 34. So you talk about potential he has a lot of peak years.
He’s the winner, we can’t disrespect that. Hadi is a great champion. I think Samson is coming on super strong, if he kinda dials in the condition he could be a real contender because we’ve never seen that size and structure before.
With Lunsford’s improvements, Cutler understands why judges favored his look most.
“But Derek right now you have to respect what he was able to do because he did improve from last year and he does have a height disadvantage because he is a little shorter so you know they always said a great big man will beat a great little guy. I hate to say little but he’s just shorter in stature but he is very wide and obviously, he’s got the crazy back and all that and they always said the Olympia is won from the back which I tend to disagree with somewhat but I feel like he has potential to really carry the title in a good nature and really still have room for improvement if that makes sense” Cutler says.
For Lunsford, Cutler emphasized that one of his physique’s drawbacks was his lack of height.
“He just needs to be careful to not get too big. Where Ronnie and myself were able to get bigger, even Brandon Curry we all put on size but when you have that limited structure-to-height ratio you have to be careful to not get too big cause otherwise you look compact.”
In addition to Derek Lunsford being a standout in the Men’s Open, there are several other competitors that have the potential to steal the crown at this year’s Olympia.
There are a lot of mentionable people such as Andrew Jacked who has this crazy structure height and he got fifth. Brandon, obviously he is a former Mr. Olympia he’s got a great physique but you know he is definitely coming to the tail end. we may see him in another contest such as the Arnold or whatnot.”
We also got Hunter Labrada whose father is a legendary champion and he’s a pretty big dude. I mean if he nails his condition, he’s fighting in that top four or five easily right there. He’s right there with Samson. We have new hopes such as Regan, he’s coming along, and Michal Krizo.”
“There are so many guys we can mention for the future. We were missing Nick Walker, which potentially he could have been in that top three. We suffered seeing his absence from that contest.”
Cutler Talks Income Streams In Bodybuilding
Detouring from Open discussions, Cutler also gave his thoughts on how bodybuilders earn income in the sport.
“You know it can be scary at times because you know you are testing waters. Like I told you, I knew I was great in the gym and then all of a sudden I selling one shirt, then you start selling videos, then you do posters, and then you branch out. I mean you start making money off the contest and you start investing.
Like I said I moved to Vegas to start selling real estate and I developed a great team around me and i have great guidance it all stems from my upbringing,” Jay Cutler said.
Speaking of big players in the Open class. Up and coming Rubiel ‘Neckzilla’ Mosquera just earned his pro card and took third place during his pro debut. His overall freak factor and monstrous size have already captivated fans of the sport. Although his lack of balance between his upper and lower body could be something that holds him back, he has plenty of room to grow and improve, making him a definite threat to the Men’s Open.
As 2023 comes to a close, we eagerly await the arrival of 2024, bringing with it the emergence of new bodybuilding stars and unprecedented physiques that will amaze spectators and fans alike. While it’s impossible to predict what the future holds, we can be sure that the upcoming season will be filled with excitement.