The 2023 Arnold Classic (AC) will take place this weekend in Columbus, OH, and it looks like quite the show is in store. With a lucrative $300,000 prize for the Men’s Open division winner, the battle for the headline event figures to be quite a doozy across the board.
On Mar. 2-5, 2023, fans can start centering their energy on one of the biggest shows in bodybuilding. Here’s a look at the Men’s Open roster for the 2023 AC:
2023 Arnold Classic | Men’s Open Roster
With reigning AC champion Brandon Curry sitting out this year’s iteration, 2021 winner Nick Walker figures to be the favorite in the eyes of many fans and experts. Walker is coming off a third-place result in the 2022 Mr. Olympia and will be returning to the AC as an apparent means of redemption during this competitive season. The athlete has tabbed 2022 Olympia runner-up and former 212 Olympia champion (2021) Derek Lunsford as one of his main rivals. Four-time Mr. Olympia champion (2006-2007, 2009-2010) Jay Cutler has picked Walker as the No. 1 contender. Seven-time 212 Olympia champion (2012-2018) Flex Lewis also expects Walker to take the title.
As for who could potentially beat Walker, there is no shortage of worthy opponents. For one, there’s former two-time Mr. Olympia (2020-2021) Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay, who is returning to the competition after a two-year absence. Meanwhile, two-time AC winner (2018, 2020) William Bonac aims to become the fifth bodybuilder to achieve three AC titles. A dark horse competitor could be Chinedu Andrew Obiekea, aka “Andrew Jacked,” who burst onto the scene as an International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (IFBB) Pro League rookie in 2022 with wins in the Texas Pro and Arnold Classic UK.
Five other bodybuilding divisions will be featured at the 2023 AC: Fitness, Classic Physique, Wellness, Men’s Physique, and Bikini.
Here are their respective rosters:
Ariel Khadr (2022 champion)
Ramon Rocha Queiroz
Isabelle Nunes (2022 champion)
Erin Banks (2022 champion)
Juan Manuel Gomez
Edvan Ferriera Palmeira
Lauralie Chapados (2022 champion)
The 2023 AC is one of the biggest competitions in fitness, let alone bodybuilding. Walker and Co. will be expected to put on a show for a spectating crowd and those watching on pay-per-view. Based on precedent, it seems like these superstars will deliver.
Featured image: @nick_walker39 on Instagram