The 2023 Mr. Olympia competition goes down in less than 13 weeks, prompting bodybuilding veterans to discuss the Men’s Open lineup. In a recent Cutler Cast Podcast, Jay Cutler and Milos Sarcev gave their thoughts on a number of top frontrunners like the reigning champion Hadi Choopan, Samson Dauda, Hunter Labrada, and Andrew Jacked.
Last year’s Olympia contest shocked the world as a Choopan took the crown from the former two-time winner, Mamdouh ‘Big Ramy’ Elssbiay. The finals were contested by Nick Walker and Derek Lunsford as well, who took home second and third-place honors. Despite taking silver, Lunsford impressed on the Olympia stage in his Open debut from Men’s 212 Bodybuilding.
In May, the hype surrounding the next Olympia contest heated up. Derek Lunsford and Samson Dauda stole the show guest posing at the 2023 Pittsburgh Pro. With a massive cash prize and the sport’s highest accolade on the line, fans expect a cutthroat battle for gold in Orlando, Florida at the upcoming Olympia.
Sarcev serves as Samson Dauda’s trainer and believes he has the tools to win the Sandow trophy. However, to accomplish this goal, Dauda needs to make crucial back improvements both in detail and overall thickness. In honor of the contest approaching, Sarcev and Cutler debated who might jump into the top five.
Jay Cutler & Milos Sarcev Talk ‘Scary’ Hadi Choopan
Cutler was blown away by Choopan’s training intensity and said his competition should be scared.
“He [Hadi Choopan] was working dude, he’s working. That’s scary. That should scare everyone. Yes [his workouts] are bananas,” said Cutler.“He’s the first favorite going into the show, he’s the first favorite because if he improves the conditioning just a tad… they’re going to judge his previous look and he’s going to be better, he’s going be bigger, because he’s building the tissue,” said Milos Sarcev.
“Derek is just the best bodybuilder from behind on the planet and Hadi from the front is the best bodybuilder from the front. Now, if you have someone that has a combination of both or if one of those guys achieves similar, we have our top. It’s going to be very hard to knock those two guys off the top-two position. I know you have high hopes for Samson. I don’t know if Hunter is the one or Nick is the one or Samson or Brandon jumps in there,” said Cutler. “Separation is going to separate the top positions, like detail.”
“Condition from the back was not exactly conditioning from the front,” Sarcev stated.
“I think Hadi has some things to say about it. I’ve seen crossing in media that says Hadi is angry or Hadi shouts back, or Hadi puts up this post. Is there such thing, is Hadi like hey guys don’t forget about me? Is he putting that out there?” asks Cutler.“He doesn’t need to, he was never a big talker, 2019 he was silent came in, decided to do the Open, he could have done 212, he placed third, he could have won. In 2020, he showed up 33 hours before the prejudging right and still at the finals he looked tremendous. 2021, he could have won the show, for me. Knowing then what we know now.”
Sarcev & Cutler, Talk Samson Dauda, Hunter Labrada, and Andrew Jacked
Sarcev specified that Samson Dauda is ‘super committed’ and ‘zeroed in’ on placing first this year.
“Yeah, there’s a chance, a very good chance if I have a winner, right or top contenders,” said Milos Sarcev. “I’m convinced it could happen [Samson Dauda winning]. You never know that for sure. Thirteen weeks out yeah, super committed, zeroed in on the prize. Okay, you competed before, you dethroned unbeatable Ronnie Coleman, so if anybody would tell you back in the day, ‘Oh you’re out of your mind.’ What are you going to say?”
“Brandon Curry who’ve we kept out of this equation,” said Cutler.
“Because we didn’t know if he was competing, but it looks like he’s competing right?” said Sarcev.
As for Hunter Labrada, initially, Sarcev didn’t think he could defeat Andrew in Texas but changed his mind.
“Initially, I didn’t think he [Hunter] could beat Andrew Jacked but now I do think he can beat him,” added Sarcev. “You asked both of us, can Andrew Jacked win the Olympia? Since the first time I’ve talked about Andrew Jacked, you’ve said yourself, and I agree, yeah can be Olympia. His structure is just about perfect. I mean just about perfect, nobody is six-foot-whatever, wide shoulders everything is there, he just needs to fill it up.”
“I don’t even know how heavy and big he [Hunter] is but he made John Delarosa look small and I didn’t expect that,” said Milos Sarcev. “I’m a fan. Of course, I’m training Samson to win and hopefully Regan is going to come and compete and then I’m going to hopefully pair them to go against each other and you know push each other to their best and let the best man win.
I have zero issues with Nick Walker winning or Derek Lunsford or Hadi, I love all those guys, right? My job is… I’m not nervous for the other ones. If Hunter deserves to beat him [Samson], we’ll be the first one shaking his hand. He’s a contender, for sure.”