Jim Manion’s 2023 Pittsburgh Pro concluded with six new champions. However, one of the biggest talking points of the weekend was the guest posing spectacle, which featured Derek Lunsford, Nick Walker, Samson Dauda, Mamdouh ‘Big Ramy’ Elssbiay, Hunter Labrada, and Shaun Clarida.
Brimming with contenders, the Men’s Open division continues to add excitement to the sport, and the division has seen major changes as of late. At last year’s 2022 Pittsburgh Pro, Big Ramy failed to show up. Instead, Derek Lunsford took his place and dominated headlines for weeks. He posed alongside Quinton Eriya, Nick Walker, Brandon Curry, and Labrada. While Ramy later apologized for his absence, some were concerned that his misstep might cost him on the horizon.
In Sept. 2022, Derek Lunsford accepted a special invitation to compete in the Open class at Mr. Olympia. With zero size limitations, Lunsford would shock the world by taking second place to his teammate and newly crowned champion, Hadi Choopan. Surprisingly, Ramy fell to fifth.
Nick Walker, who earned third at the same contest, made a quick turnaround at the 2023 Arnold Classic in March. He entered the show as the on-paper favorite but was outmatched by Samson Dauda in second place as judges deemed the Nigerian’s physique more complete.
With this year’s Mr. Olympia show taking place in less than six months, many of the division’s top contenders stormed the 2023 Pittsburgh Pro for a special guest posing appearance. Given the shape and fullness of Lunsford in the 2023 off-season, many fans believe he has the greatest chance of dethroning Choopan in November.
Is Derek Lunsford or Samson Dauda the 2023 Mr. Olympia No. 1 Contender? – Pittsburgh Pro Guest Posing Highlights
Find pictures and videos below from the guest posing event at the 2023 Pittsburgh Pro last weekend:
Given the physiques on display in Pittsburgh, it’s safe to say this year’s Mr. Olympia contest will be immensely competitive. Some Open contenders such as Nick Walker believe Choopan won’t repeat as champion. With that in mind, ‘The Mutant’ envisions the next Mr. Olympia title being won by himself or Lunsford.
Two-time Arnold Classic winner William Bonac also chimed in on the 2023 Olympia discussion. He appeared on The Menace Podcast with Dennis James and recently predicted Choopan will defend successfully. However, he acknowledged that the Mr. Olympia title is within Walker’s grasp if he can add more quad sweep.
Meanwhile, Samson Dauda, fresh off his 2023 Arnold Classic victory, is confident he has the skills to upset the champ. According to Dauda, if he improves his back, there are no other areas in which Derek or Hadi can beat him.
Big Ramy’s plans for the rest of the year are unclear, as the former champion suggested he might take a break. Nevertheless, the 2023 Mr. Olympia contest is still generating a lot of excitement among the fans, who are eager to see how Choopan copes with the challenge of defending his title.