After predicting the winner of the 2023 Olympia contest, bodybuilding legend Ronnie Coleman is back to assess the future of the Men’s Open division. In a recent Olympia TV interview, ‘The King’ discussed who could become the next Ronnie Coleman and revealed his doubts about Derek Lunsford’s potential Mr. Olympia dynasty.
Ronnie Coleman dominated the Men’s Open landscape from 1998-2005 with sheer size, muscularity, and willpower. He cemented his all-time great status with a total of eight Mr. Olympia victories, all while challenging himself against gold-standard threats such as Jay Cutler, Flex Wheeler, Kevin Levrone, and Lee Priest.
In retirement, Coleman’s eye for talent is on constant display and he never shies away from the tougher conversations, whether he is weighing the probability of a Lunsford title defense or questioning who — if anybody, could fill his shoes as a long-standing Mr. Olympia titleholder.
Ronnie Coleman Discusses If Derek Lunsford Will Achieve Mr. Olympia Dynasty and Samson Dauda’s Future
Speaking with IFBB Pro League judge Terrick El Guindy, Coleman predicted Lunsford to win the 2024 Mr. Olympia but expressed doubt about the champ’s ability to establish a dynasty.
“Do you believe that he [Derek Lunsford] is going to retain the title?” asks Terrick El Guindy.
“Yeah, buddy!” Coleman responds.
“Are we talking about dynasty?” asks El Guindy.
“Oh, I wouldn’t say a dynasty. No, no that’s not happening, no. But I do think he’ll win again though, for sure.”
When asked about who had the best chance of becoming the next Ronnie Coleman, the bodybuilding icon looked to Samson Dauda.
“I think he could be the next Ronnie Coleman but he’s got to train like Ronnie Coleman and eat like Ronnie Coleman and do all the things that I did. So it’s not going to be easy but anything is possible.”
As of late, Samson Dauda has been on a tear, smashing through competitions and earning gold medals. Fresh off a third-place finish at the 2023 Olympia show to Hadi Choopan and Derek Lunsford, Dauda jumped back into prep. Before last year ended, Dauda picked up two consecutive victories at the 2023 Romania Muscle Fest Pro and the EVLS Prague Pro.
In addition to those obligations, ‘The Nigerian Lion’ committed to the upcoming 2024 Arnold Classic Ohio in less than six weeks and the Arnold Classic UK contest. Meanwhile, the reigning Mr. Olympia Derek Lunsford, who took the crown from his teammate Choopan, has decided to forgo any competitions until his title defense, which is expected to come later this year.
The 2024 Mr. Olympia event takes place from October 10-13 in Las Vegas, Nevada inside the Las Vegas Convention Center. The organization has a special production in the works for its 60th-anniversary celebration, per Olympia President Dan Solomon.