The 2021 Arnold Classic lineup was expected to be one of the best in the contest’s history. However it is now taking another blow, as reigning Arnold champ William Bonac will not be able to compete.
Bonac was coming into this show on the back of a rather uneventful year, not taking the stage for competition since the 2020 Olympia. The only thing we have seen from him is a few physique updates posted over the last few months, and a relatively recent guest posing.
That is why fans were excited to see him back on the Arnold Classic stage this weekend, looking to defend the title he won in 2020. However according to a report from RxMuscle (and now by the William Bonac himself), travel issues are forcing William to withdrawal from this contest just two days before it goes down.
I am sad to announce that I will not be on the stage of Arnold Classic in Ohio this year due to administrative issues regarding my travels during pandemic. I have to thank the organizers for doing all that they can so we solve this issue together but it seems I will not be able to enter the US before the show.
There are a lot of great athletes in the line up for this year and I was really looking forward to step on stage and being challenged as defending champion. I live for this sport and especially for these great moments, so You might be able to imagine what I feel now.
Today I feel like my heart is broken but tomorrow I will wake up and put all that energy into the final stages of my prep for Mr Olympia. We all fail and we all fall down sometimes but what matters the most is to stand up stronger. So this is what I will do now. Stay tuned! 👑
It is not uncommon for travel issues to derail athletes during this current global pandemic, but it is still disappointing to hear that William Bonac will not be able to compete. He is not the first person to withdraw from the event, with Lionel Beyeke, Cedric McMillan, and Roelly Winklaar all being forced out of the contest. due to various reasons.
With these withdrawals, Nick Walker has gone from dark horse contender, to a favorite to win. He posted to his Instagram Stories to react to this news, expressing how disappointing it is for him to not compete against Bonac onstage.
“I’m really disappointed @william_bonac will not be at the show, I was really looking forward to doing battle with him, and making great memories together onstage and off the stage. Sorry this is happening to you bro, see you at the Olympia!!!!!!!!!!” Walker wrote.
One can only hope that having an extra couple of weeks between the Arnold Classic and the Olympia will give William enough time to sort out his travel issues, whatever they may be. After five straight top five performances, including a second place in 2019, it would be a shame for him to miss this year’s contest.
To be clear, there is still a lot to look forward to with the Arnold Classic, especially as we are now guaranteed to see a new champion. That being said, it is a major blow to see that Bonac will not be able to compete, considering how much of a fan favorite that “The Conqueror” is, and how hard he had been working to prepare for this contest, as well as the Olympia.
With the absence of William, here is the updated Men’s Open roster for the 2021 Arnold Classic:
- Maxx Charles
- Seung Chul Lee
- Mokhamed El Eman
- Steve Kuclo
- Hassan Mostafa
- Sergio Oliva Jr.
- Justin Rodriguez
- Iain Valliere
- Akim Williams
- Nick Walker
It will be interesting to see who takes over the mantle and wins the 2021 Arnold Classic, now that William Bonac is out. That being said, the door is wide open for one of the younger athletes to ascend the rankings and take the win.
William Bonac Bodybuilding History
- 2020 Olympia – 5th place
- 2020 Arnold Classic – 1st place
- 2019 Olympia – 2nd place
- 2019 Arnold Classic Australia – 1st place
- 2019 Arnold Classic – 2nd place
- 2018 Olympia – 4th place
- 2018 Arnold Classic Australia – 2nd place
- 2018 Arnold Classic – 1st place
- 2017 Prague Pro – 2nd place
- 2017 Arnold Classic Europe – 2nd place
- 2017 Olympia – 3rd place
- 2016 Olympia Europe – 3rd place
- 2016 Prague Pro – 1st place
- 2016 Kuwait Pro – 5th place
- 2016 Arnold Classic Europe – 3rd place
- 2016 Olympia – 5th place
- 2016 Nordic Pro – 1st place
- 2015 San Marino Pro – 2nd place
- 2015 Dayana Cadeau Pro – 1st place
- 2015 Nordic Pro – 1st place
- 2015 Prague Pro – 5th place
- 2015 Arnold Classic Europe – 6th place
- 2015 Olympia – 8th place
- 2014 San Marino Pro – 11th place
- 2014 Prague Pro – 8th place
- 2014 Arnold Classic Europe – 6th place
- 2014 Olympia – 15th place
- 2014 Tampa Pro – 2nd place
- 2014 Golden State Pro – 1st place
- 2014 Arnold Classic South America – 7th place
- 2014 Australia Pro Grand Prix – 2nd place
- 2013 Prague Pro – 5th place
- 2011 Arnold Amateur Men’s Bodybuilding Heavy – 3rd place
Stay tuned to Fitness Volt for more updates and coverage of the 2021 Arnold Classic, as the competition approaches.