It’s almost time for the greatest bodybuilders in the world to take to the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. In a recent Muscular Development interview with Giles Thomas on October 25, Milos Sarcev discussed the chances of Nick Walker, Samson Dauda, Derek Lunsford, and Hadi Choopan at 2023 Mr. Olympia.
The Open class has endured a wild ride since last year’s conclusion of the Mr. Olympia. In a historic drop, Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay not only suffered defeat but finished fifth. Instead, Derek Lunsford, Nick Walker, and Hadi Choopan fought for gold.
In the end, it was Choopan’s night, and while he was successful, fans left Sin City talking about the performance of former 212 Olympia Derek Lunsford. Months later, the Men’s Open hierarchy changed again when Samson Dauda overcame Nick Walker in March to win the 2023 Arnold Classic championship.
With no shortage of contenders ready to battle on stage, Milos Sarcev, who serves as “The Nigerian Lion’s” coach, sat down to discuss how he believes the competition will shake out in the coming weeks.
“These Places Are Not Guaranteed” – Milos Sarcev Talks Top Contenders at 2023 Mr. Olympia
With less than two weeks until showtime, Sarcev assessed Dauda’s progress and identified how much conditioning is necessary to win the Sandow trophy.
“We are going to bring more condition for Samson than the Arnold Classic, that’s for sure. It is just like a few things in perspective… how far do you go [with condition] at the expense of everything else right?”
“He has the most things checked, check, check, check. First, size department: he was the only guy that stood next to Big Ramy and held his own, you know. That was that thing last year, it was his first Mr. Olympia. In your interview, he told you we were shooting for the top 10, to leave an impact hoping maybe at one point get the comparison with Big Ramy.”
“These places are not guaranteed. It’s not like, ‘I’m first, I can only slip to second.’ No, no, no. There are so many Olympia contenders, the best of the best, that’s why we have Mr. Olympia.”
While Sarcev accepts that Dauda won’t overwhelm Nick Walker in the conditioning department, he believes his pupil has the upper hand just about everywhere else.
“Two weeks out, he’s exactly where he’s supposed to be. If you asked for the weight, I wouldn’t be able to guess it. I don’t really care. You know I don’t really care,” added Sarcev. “It’s not a scale show.”
“We knew we were not going to beat Nick Walker’s conditioning but we were going to beat Nick on many others, check, check, check, what I just mentioned, balance, aesthetics from the front to back.”
Having strategized with Dauda for this very moment, Sarcev is confident they will “have enough tools to win this show.”
“Same thing, going into this year’s Olympia.”
“Samson and I strategize on how to beat anybody in any particular pose. There’s some poses we’re not going to be able to match the guys but as overall impact, I think we have enough tools to win this show,” said Sarcev. “That aesthetics, that shape, that width, that thickness… right?
He’s improving his back. And I don’t know if you pay attention to those things. Most of the guys when they post pictures and videos, they put their strongest poses, the best body parts, the things that emphasize their physiques. Samson only posts back double biceps,” said Milos Sarcev.
As for Walker’s progress, Sarcev believes he brought up his chest and back.
“He improved. He improved chest and back,” said Sarcev.
Sarcev underlined that Walker, Dauda, and Lunsford would be devastated if they left The Sunshine State without the Mr. Olympia title.
“Maybe the judges saw Derek a little bit light in the legs and top-heavy, did he need to improve, there’s some improvements you need to make. I’m just going to say that not just Samson is shooting for first place, he would be devastated for anything other than first, and so is Nick Walker.”
“Nick Walker is going to be devastated, so is Derek, he would be devastated, so would champion Hadi right? THis is the beauty of it right? They are going on the stage and we can all have our favorites and you guys will say ‘Hey you are a bias coach.'”
Lastly, Sarcev acknowledged Lunsford’s “legitimate chance” of becoming champion but said he wouldn’t reach that goal without an imposing physique.
“Derek has a legitimate chance of becoming champion, but still when somebody walks into the room, you want to look at them and say, ‘I see why this is Mr. Olympia.’ He has to be that imposing. You know, size, width, height, and everything.”
Aside from Milos Sarcev, other bodybuilding veterans have been open about their 2023 Mr. Olympia predictions. As it stands, Jay Cutler, Ronnie Coleman, Chris Cormier, and Samir Bannout are backing Lunsford to win it all, whereas Lee Priest believes Nick Walker will get the job done. Recently, King Kamali joined Sarcev in extending his support for Dauda to emerge victorious.
With so many Open threats capable of winning the prestigious title, fans are in store for an unforgettable weekend when the 2023 Mr. Olympia kicks off November 2-5, in Orlando, Florida!