Well it's certainly a déjà vu moment as just 2 weeks ago I was in pretty much the same surroundings as I am today!
I'm currently well and truly on my way to the USA' Vegas bound as I sit here and type this.
It is kinda strange to think I was more or less in the same seat on the same plane as I am today writing my latest Gaspari blog. If you remember last time I went to put Flex through his paces for 5 days to make sure he was on track' by the time I left he was!
Moving on' it's Sunday the 23rd of September and your right' it's only 6 days before the biggest and best Bodybuilding event in the World! In less than a week in Las Vegas the doors will open to thousands of fans and Pro athletes as they fight on stage to see who really is the best this year!
Personally this is how I see the top 6 in the open class going.
I really can't see any one taking out Heath as he stands on stage this year' I feel his lines and muscle bellies are just to clean and crisp to see anyone surpassing him.
In second place I see it being a fight between Kai and Branch; however with Kai's attachment points and freaky muscle bellies I feel he will be a little too much for Branch!! However Kai is gonna have to bring his "A game" to the stage this year because I feel he is losing some of his strengths slowly as he continues to play the size game. Kai has more mass than anyone on the stage; I personally feel he needs to be around 255-260lbs to be at his best.
With that said' in 3rd place I feel it has to be Branch. If' like always Branch comes in dry and hard I see no reason why he will not be different this year in what he will bring come show day. With his crazy dense thickness and dry grainy muscle I feel Branch will be a strong contender for the 3rd place spot. I think what everyone has to take into account is this; Branch has had 6 months of rest and growth since he last took the stage where he won that Arnold title yet again. Not only that' he has had 6 months where he has been able to allow his leg to catch up after he tore it 13 1/2 months ago. So I see Branch being at his best for this show personally.
4th place' I see Dennis Wolf cleaning up! Dennis is the biggest guy on stage when it comes down to frame and height. Dennis is slowly bringing more and more thickness and condition to his frame since he started working with Dennis James. Dennis James is a great friend of mine and I have an endless amount of respect for the guy. I feel in another year or two Dennis Wolf will be an extremely strong contender for that 2nd or 3rd spot. I was extremely impressed with Dennis Wolf's improvements he brought to the stage at this year's Arnold Classic in Ohio. The thing with Wolf is he only needs to hit his condition bang on and he could certainly bring an upset to the top 3 places.
So in 5th place where is that gonna go? I see Evan taking that spot! This will be Evan's first time on that Mr O stage and I see it being a great year for him to go toe to toe with the big guys yet again' this time in Las Vegas. Evan has that frame where you know once he fills it he is gonna be crazy dangerous!! Evan really needs to fill his out to really push the top 3 in this show. Slowly but surely he is doing that and once he has achieved that he will be a handful' no doubt about it.
6th place I see being a real battle' between the new kid on the block Shawn Rhoden and the thick frame of Packman - two completely different body types. Shawn has some of the best attachment points and smallest joints in the IFBB Pro League circuit. With those strengths alone I see this as a very dangerous and beautiful physique! However from the new improvements I saw that Packman brought to the Arnold's this year; he is certainly gonna be no easy competitor to take out. With a new rock hard look and more thickness added to his frame he is going to extremely hard to beat. When Packman walked out on stage at the Arnold's only 6 months ago he looked incredible which is why I see him being a real threat for the 6th spot.
You may very well be saying "what about Dexter???" Well your right' Dexter is gonna be knocking at that door anywhere from 5th to 8th from where I am sitting.
So!!! Who really is gonna take that 212 Mr O title this year?
I wish I knew' but it's been the best pre-contest prep ever that Flew Lewis has ever had. I'm certainly not going to lie and say I wasn't concerned at one point as with all his travel commitments a lot of time passed before we could start his off season. I can't remember when we did start his off season but it was only a 4-5 week off season at the most but we really made the most of it' milking every second.
So what is Flex gonna bring to the stage this year you may well ask? A new fuller rounder look for sure with the same kinda condition he brought last year' but about 8lbs up since he last hit the stage.
We have been working hard on keeping Flex fuller and adding more thickness to his chest. This is something I feel we have done for sure. To be honest he really does look like the best athlete with his new thickness he's gained and I'm confident he is going to be a strong contender for the first spot in Vegas' I really am!
I am not going to predict the 212 class as I did with the open class because I don't want to come across biased. There are 4 athletes who could easily win this title and deserve it. What I will say is that there will be much blood spilt as these guys go toe to toe for the probably the most contested 202-212 Mr O title to date. What I will say is I think Flex has a very strong chance of standing on that stage all the way until the final spot is awarded.
So everyone I hope your all excited and I'm sure many of you have your own ideas on who's gonna place where. This is just my opinion but whatever the places' I wish ALL the athletes the very best as they grace the stage for this year's Mr O.
Good luck' Yoda