With the 2024 Arnold Classic approaching fast, Shawn Ray and Milos Sarcev sat down to discuss Samson Dauda’s future. In a recent IFBB AMA podcast, Ray shared that if Dauda wins the Arnold Classic Ohio and Arnold Classic UK consecutively, he will become the next Mr. Olympia champion.
The evolution of Samson Dauda’s physique has been impossible to ignore since he made his way into the IFBB Pro League. In his debut Mr. Olympia performance, he earned sixth place, just one spot behind the former two-time Mr. Olympia titleholder, Mamdouh ‘Big Ramy’ Elssbiay thanks to his mass, classic lines, and improved conditioning.
While he was ‘over the moon’ after his Olympia debut, Dauda quickly redirected his sights to the 2023 Arnold Classic. He battled Nick Walker for a record $300,000 cash prize and ultimately came out on top due to his shape and aesthetics. When it was time to grace the Olympia stage in 2023, Dauda shocked the world, having finished third behind Hadi Choopan and two-division titleholder Derek Lunsford.
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Dauda continued his success, laying claim to back-to-back victories at the 2023 Romania Muscle Fest Pro and EVLS Prague Pro. Although Dauda is carrying more momentum than most talents in the Open, Ray explains below why winning the Arnold Classic Ohio and AC UK will essentially set him up as the irrefutable number-one contender for 2024 Mr. Olympia.
Shawn Ray, Milos Sarcev Discuss Future of Samson Dauda, Says He Wins 2024 Mr. O If He Sweeps Arnold Classic Ohio and AC UK
According to Ray, if Dauda brings a ‘streamlined Ronnie Coleman 2001′ look to the Arnold Classic, he will become the next Mr. Olympia.
“Derek and Hadi are more similar than Samson. So, Samson, he’s either first or he’s third. That already happened. What does Samson have to do?
Those two little guys… they are already maxed out. They can come in harder a little bit more dryer. Samson comes in streamlined Ronnie Coleman 2001 at the Arnold Classic — Samson is Mr. Olympia.”
Moreover, should Dauda ever win the ‘trifecta’ as Ray has suggested, he could ‘literally retire after that’ as there is nowhere to go but down.
“Not only that, Samson closes the door on any speculation winning the Arnold Ohio, the Arnold UK, and the Olympia trifecta, he can literally retire after that. There’s nowhere to go but down. He doesn’t have to become a multi-Mr. Olympia champion.
He can go on to the next chapter of his life. He’s got two little guys to beat. Samson should never lose to those little guys. I know because I’m a victim of it. I wasn’t going to beat Ronnie, I wasn’t going to beat Dorian, it doesn’t matter if I was five pounds heavier or five pounds lighter,” said Ray.
Taking Lunsford’s and Choopan’s structural deficits into account, Ray believes Samson Dauda has the ‘quality’ to become the number one bodybuilder in the world.
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“If Derek and Hadi are five pounds heavier or five pounds lighter they still should never beat someone as quality as Samson Dauda. He’s our next Mr. Olympia,” said Shawn Ray.
Ray underlined that Dauda only needs to win a single Mr. Olympia title to put a ‘seal’ on his career.
“This is Samson’s contest to lose. Winning the two Arnold Classics will solidify his place as the number-one bodybuilder in 2024. And he only has to win one Mr. Olympia to seal his career. He doesn’t have to go back and back and back. I mean the second win for Big Ramy didn’t prove anything as a bodybuilder right? It was no more impressive than the first win.”
In addition, Ray thinks Dauda’s key challenge ahead is his diet, particularly addressing a timing issue related to water and dryness due to his thicker skin and size.
“Samson, for me, for me, Samson’s only issue is going to be a dietary one. He’s got thicker skin. He needs to make sure when he gets to the stage he doesn’t break out in a sweat because the judges put him through the rounds. For me, it’s not a physical change Samson has to make, it’s literally a timing situation for the water and the dryness, that’s it.”
At this point in his career, Ray doesn’t believe Dauda needs to concern himself with adding size to any body part.
“He doesn’t need bigger arms. He doesn’t need bigger quads. He doesn’t need any more hamstrings,” added Shawn Ray.
“People will be talking about Derek and Hadi but the one that’s going to upset that apple cart and turn this thing upside down on its head, if he’s motivated and focused, it’s going to be big Samson.
But the only way he does that with confidence, is if he goes and wins those two Arnold Classics,” said Ray.
Before wrapping up, Sarcev, who trains ‘The Nigerian Lion,’ shined a light on some of the areas Dauda has improved as of late.
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“Listen, he’s so motivated. I know what you’re saying if he wins next three shows, two Arnolds and Olympia he could retire. He is improving progressing and really just the imagination, ‘If I’m improving what can I look like?’ So, you know how when I started working with him he was quite narrow, there was not so much shoulder pop, not so much in the arms, legs were good but back was really down.
Now shoulders have filled up and nobody talks about his delts anymore. Arms have filled up and back is improving right? So, he is legitimately 300 pounds. And I know that Dorian said ‘Oh he doesn’t look nothing like it.’ It doesn’t matter. He doesn’t look like 300 pounds of Ronnie Coleman, I’m going to say that. He doesn’t. But he is.”
Shawn Ray hasn’t been the only high-profile bodybuilding veteran to open up about Samson Dauda’s massive upside. Olympia judge Terrick El Guindy shared a similar sentiment. He believes Dauda to be the most dangerous man within the IFBB Pro League, adding that he has ‘all the potential’ to go after Choopan and Lunsford next year.
However, it appears Dauda will get the highly anticipated rematch against Choopan sooner than initially thought. Last week, the competitors list for the 2024 Arnold Classic was revealed. Provided there are no visa issues, Hadi Choopan is set to make his first Arnold Classic appearance of his career.
Boasting more size than most of his contemporaries, Dauda will aim to cement himself as a two-time Arnold Classic champion from March 1-3 in Columbus, Ohio. If he manages to also sweep the Arnold Classic UK weeks later, there’s no denying Dauda’s hype would be at an all-time high for 2024 Mr. Olympia.