Bodybuilding veteran Zack ‘King’ Khan is dissecting the results of the 2023 Arnold Classic, won by Samson Dauda. In a Muscular Development interview, Khan took issue with the judges as well as Nick Walker finishing second.
“I’m sorry, it doesn’t matter how many poses you won, you can’t beat the beauty of Samson. You know what I’m saying. You can’t beat a guy six foot tall, compared to a five foot is he four or five or six,” Zack Khan shared.
Last weekend, the 35th annual Arnold Classic took over Columbus, Ohio for a multi-day sporting event. Seven bodybuilding divisions crowned a new Arnold Classic champion. Despite only 10 men competing for gold in the Open class, fans were brimming with excitement following prejudging. During this portion of the contest, three names stood out to the judges including Andrew Jacked, Nick Walker, and Samson Dauda.
When finals concluded, Dauda won his first Arnold Classic title with Nick Walker and Andrew Jacked trailing in second and third, respectively. Plenty of notable voices in the sport have given their thoughts on the surprising outcome. One of which was Dauda’s coach, Milos Sarcev. Looking back at last Saturday, Sarcev said Nick Walker finished second because he lost volume in his legs.
Khan, a retired IFBB Pro from the mid-2000s, was the latest bodybuilder to take a closer look at the results. Additionally, he examined the packages of Walker and former two-time Mr. Olympia Mamdouh ‘Big Ramy’ Elssbiay.
Zack Khan Says Judging ‘Made No Sense’ at Arnold Classic, Believes Walker Deserved 3rd
According to Khan, politics have affected the way in which judges score shows. He argued that his eyes weren’t drawn to Nick when he was standing against Andrew and Samson in the finals.
“He’s not the flavor of the month anymore. This is where politics comes into bodybuilding. You can soon turn your back on a physique that you were giving the nod to, all of a sudden, ‘yeah we don’t like that no more. We want to change the direction. So, we want Samson. We want,’ you know what I mean. The thing about it. You can’t have Samson, Nick, Andrew then Ramy – so you’re going yin yang, yin yang, yin yang. It makes no sense with the judging, you know what I’m saying.
If you’re going pose by pose for each person, then people – then, there’s an argument that Nick should have been first or there’s an argument that Andrew could have been first then, you know what I’m saying. The thing about bodybuilding is, how could you have two aesthetic-looking guys on the side of Nick and expect Nick to come second because my eyes aren’t drawn to Nick then. My eyes are drawn to Samson and Andrew,” Zack Khan said.
Overall, Khan believes Walker should have placed third and criticized the judging in Ohio.
“How can you have that type of judging. This is where judging doesn’t make no sense to me. I’m happy Samson won, he deserved to win, like I said to you. But my argument is, Andrew should have been second. Then, Nick should have been third, then Ramy. They were looking for physiques, you know what I mean. You can’t do it, if you’re going to be consistent, be fully consistent. You can’t be half off; you’re giving people arguments for Nick winning then.”
Khan: Full Ramy ‘Could Have Beat Nick’ at Arnold Classic
Khan said Ramy redeemed himself at the Arnold following his fifth-place showing at last year’s Olympia. He added that Ramy’s stem cell treatment offered him ‘fu** all’ in the end.
“We all know stem cells have done fu** all for Ramy. Listen, what happened at this show is that Ramy came in fuller. He didn’t over-diet, he didn’t rush. They knew exactly when they are going to be on stage. The show wasn’t run late. None of that shit happened. Remember, when you’re working with a guy like Ramy, every coach has a coach with peaking him. At the Olympia, it’s always a pain in the ass for people to compete,” Zack Khan explained.
“He came back and brought a physique that redeemed himself. He redeemed himself. But like I said to you, it’s like how much do you want to abuse your body further to get something that you already won. It’s like I can understand if you had unfinished business but he hasn’t. He’s been the best in the world fuc**ng two years in a row.”
Before wrapping up, Khan explained that Ramy is a bigger version of Nick Walker with better proportions. If judges allowed for more comparisons at the recent Arnold Classic, Khan believes Ramy could have taken Walker’s second place standing.
“Ramy could have beaten Nick. If they allowed them to pose together’ he’s a bigger version of fuc**ng nick, with better proportions,” added Khan. “We know stem cells done fu** all for Ramy.”
While Zack Khan believes Andrew Jacked deserved to defeat Nick Walker, the ‘Mona Lisa of Bodybuilding’ was happy with the outcome. After teaming up with guru Chris Aceto and Chris ‘Psycho’ Lewis for a six-week training camp, Jacked was thrilled with his progress in such a short period of time. Furthermore, Andrew Jacked said he ‘deserved’ third and was satisfied with the execution of his game plan.
Considering Ramy’s latest performance, Khan is optimistic about the former Mr. Olympia’s future. He believes Samson Dauda rightfully earned the Arnold Classic title but would have liked to see Jacked finish second instead of Walker.