Here are our top six predictions for the 2018 Mr. Olympia and Classic Physique Olympia contests.
The 2018 Olympia festivities will take place this year on the weekend of September 13-16 at the Orleans Hotel in Las Vegas, and two questions reign supreme:
- Will Phil Heath make history by winning the Mr. Olympia an eighth consecutive time, tying the all-time record shared by Lee Haney (1984-1991) and Ronnie Coleman (1998-2005)?
- Will current Classic Physique Olympia champ and Old School Labs ambassador Breon Ansley continue his dominance of the IFBB Classic Physique division by retaining his Olympia title after taking the inaugural 2018 Arnold Classic trophy in February?
If you ask us, the answer to both is yes! While Phil and Breon will face tough challenges in their divisions, they should triumph and retain their titles.
This will be the 53rd rendition of the Mr. Olympia competition, and it’s looking like it will prove to be a memorable one. Here’s how we’re calling the top six in each division.
2018 Classic Physique Olympia Top Six Predictions
As predicted, the Classic Physique division continues to grow in quantity and quality. We see a couple of newcomers making a splash this year behind Breon Ansley.
6th Place: Arash Rahbar—Rahbar has been one of the top names in the professional division of Classic Physique since it began three years ago. He placed second in the inaugural 2016 Classic Physique Olympia to winner Danny Hester after taking the New York Pro earlier that year. However, Rahbar dropped down to fourth place behind Breon Ansley, Chris Bumstead and George Peterson at last year’s 2017 Classic Physique Olympia, and then placed runner-up to Breon later this year at the 2018 Arnold Classic.
The Iranian-American has impressive size and thickness for a Classic Physique competitor. Still, he could use a bit more polish to his symmetry and overall flow, at least compared to his rivals. He’ll have his hands full with new forces like Wesley Vissers, Reagan Grimes, and Germany’s David Hoffman. Despite that, he should survive the onslaught well enough to make the top six.
5th Place: Wesley Vissers—One of the new and exciting contestants in the Classic Physique division this year is Wesley Vissers, who hails from the Netherlands. Wesley has a true Golden Era look in a major way: his physique looks remarkably similar to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s. His resemblance to the Austrian Oak has catapulted him into major popularity on social media. Everyone is looking forward to seeing what Vissers delivers to fans of this Golden Era-inspired division. Is he the new Arnold or a pretender?
Wesley Vissers has already proven himself onstage. He won his first professional Classic Physique show at the 2018 Chicago Pro. Despite not being in top condition, Wesley displayed a superior structure and enough pleasing muscle to win on his debut. With his imposing frame, calm confidence, and dramatic musculature, Vissers should easily make the top five in his Olympia debut. If he peaks perfectly, he may even push for a top-three finish.
4th Place: George Peterson—Always a force to be reckoned with, George “The Bull” Peterson has one of the best backs in bodybuilding. The first-ever overall NPC Classic Physique Nationals winner from 2016, Peterson may not have the symmetry and aesthetic appeal of Breon, but he makes up for these shortcomings with thick, dense muscle mass and remarkable conditioning.
Peterson placed third in his first Classic Physique Olympia in 2017, and he should easily make the top six again this year. He hasn’t competed all year and, like Chris Bumstead, he has been preparing specifically for the 2018 Classic Physique Olympia. He’ll push hard to make the top three callout, but the men in front of him may prove to be too tough for him when it comes to having a complete package.
3rd Place: Regan Grimes—Every year there’s a wild card. This year it’s Grimes. Once a popular Men’s Open Bodybuilder, Grimes surprised the sport by making the transition to Classic this year. It was a wise choice, as he’s got the goods: With his impressive vacuum pose and excellent V-taper, his physique seems well fitted to the Classic Physique division. He proved just that by winning the 2018 New York Pro earlier this year over some excellent competition.
Some criticize Grimes for looking too much like the open class bodybuilder that he recently was. His appearance at the New York Pro featured massive leg development, an incredible V-shape, and overall intimidating size. For the Olympia, Grimes will be under the tutelage of contest prep guru Chris “The Technician” Aceto. If he manages to dial it in, this rising Classic Physique star has an excellent chance of making the top three in his first ever Olympia in 2018. We’re expecting it.
2nd Place: Chris Bumstead—The incredibly talented bodybuilder from Canada surprised everybody last year by finishing runner-up in a close call with Breon Ansley at the 2017 Classic Physique Olympia. He’s the real deal: fantastic leg development topped off with a small waist, and a jaw-dropping vacuum pose. He’ll be Breon’s biggest threat this year.
And an upset is not out of the question. Bumstead has a talent for showing up in peak condition on the day where it counts the most. He sat out on the Arnold Classic this year, gunning for the 2018 Olympia show. He’s been putting in the work, but he’ll have to bring up his arm development to take down the reigning champ. Ansley’s ideal balance is tough to overcome, and Chris Bumstead needs more thickness and density in his back to balance out those massive wheels of his. If he can achieve these improvements to his weak points, it should be an epic battle with Breon for the top spot.
1st Place: Breon Ansley —Breon should be used to this by now: a group of newcomers coming for his crown. Make no mistake, this will be his toughest fight ever. Besides contending against the talented Bumstead and other young competitors, Ansley is facing high expectations to show an improved overall package from his 2018 Arnold Classic triumph last winter. Also, some bodybuilding critics and fans thought Bumstead should have won the Olympia in 2017. Breon will be looking to leave no doubt this year.
An apt student of the game, Breon Ansley is always looking to improve both his presentation and physique, as he takes aim at his second Olympia win. Working with his coach Chris Cormier as well as 1983 Mr. Olympia Samir Bannout, he is looking to create his own style with a posing presentation that will highlight his excellent balance and symmetry. Possessing an engaging stage presence with his trademark smile, Breon should be able to take his diamond-hard muscularity once again to the mountaintop. We see a repeat of last year’s show with a 2018 Classic Physique Olympia title win for him. But it won’t be easy.
2018 Mr. Olympia Top Six Predictions
This could be the most difficult Olympia contest for Phil Heath, but it’s tough to see anybody taking the Sandow away from him if he arrives onstage in peak condition. But upsets become upsets because nobody expects them. Plenty of Heath’s opponents have a shot, like William Bonac who came off with an impressive win at the Arnold Classic 2018. Then there’s Mamdouh (“Big Ramy”) Elssbiay, who just may stun the world. This is how we think it’s going to play out.
6th Place: Roelly Winklaar—The Netherlands native can’t seem to get the peak exactly where it needs to be on contest day. Massive and intimidating, with outrageous size and proportions, Roelly has morphed into a supersize bodybuilder over the last few years. His extreme size and muscularity has carried him to big wins in several pro contests, including the 2018 Arnold Classic Australia, where he defeated both Bonac and Dexter Jackson. Can he dial it in and control his waistline for the 2018 Olympia stage? While he may thrill fans, he probably won’t get much higher than sixth. But if Winklaar can repeat his impressive Arnold Classic Australia condition for the 2018 Mr. Olympia, he might place in the top three alongside Heath and Big Ramy. We’ll see.
5th Place: Dexter Jackson—What can you say about the ageless wonder that is Dexter Jackson? “The Blade” will be 49 years old this year, but he is still a factor at the 2018 Mr. Olympia. This will be Dexter’s 19th Mr. Olympia contest, a title that he won in 2008. What he has accomplished in his career is nothing short of amazing.
At last year’s 2017 Mr. Olympia contest, Jackson finished fourth behind Phil Heath, Big Ramy and William Bonac. At the 2018 Arnold Classic this year, Bonac again defeated The Blade, but Dexter impressed. If Jackson can show up in his trademark ripped condition along with the added size he has brought to the stage over the last few years, he should force himself into the top five in this year’s show. He may not be able to beat the likes of Heath, Bonac, and Ramy, but Dexter Jackson has already defeated Father Time.
4th Place: William Bonac—William “The Conqueror” Bonac has tons of momentum from his 2018 Arnold Classic win earlier this year. William combines dense muscularity with rock-hard conditioning, exhibiting a complete physique with no apparent weaknesses when he’s on. His only flaws are that he is a little shorter than other top bodybuilders, and he doesn’t have the wide structure to complement his thick and massive development. Bonac has a talent for nailing his condition for the perfect moment, so Heath and company should watch their backs. While we see William Bonac in fourth, he could push for a higher spot, maybe even for the title of Mr. Olympia 2018.
3rd Place: Brandon Curry—Every year in the Mr. Olympia, one dark horse comes out of nowhere and unexpectedly surprises everyone. This year, we think it will be Brandon Curry. Curry has always had the genetic shape and proportions to be a show stopper, but he’s never fulfilled his incredible potential. He would often show up to the Mr. Olympia too smooth or just not big enough to place in the top 10.
For the last year, Curry has been training in seclusion in Kuwait and the results have been nothing short of amazing. He has added so much quality muscle that, combined with his genetically ideal shape, he will now be a major threat at the 2018 Mr. Olympia contest. At last year’s Mr. O, William Bonac surprised everyone by going from placing fifth at the 2016 Mr. Olympia to 3rd in the 2017 contest. Look for Brandon Curry to be the surprise at the 2018 Mr. Olympia.
2nd Place: Mamdouh (“Big Ramy”) Elssbiay— This year, Big Ramy will be competing in his sixth consecutive Mr. Olympia. Last year, he pushed Phil Heath very hard and many felt Ramy had a chance to beat the reigning champ. The Egyptian giant has all the materials to win the 2018 Mr. Olympia and is the biggest bodybuilder competing today. No one has the width, size, and thickness of Big Ramy. At last year’s 2017 Olympia, Ramy looked just a little bit flat at the evening finals. If he can show up onstage full, ripped and hard, it’s very possible he can ascend to claim the Sandow trophy.
The history of the Mr. Olympia contest shows that when a competitor takes second in the event one year, they either win the title or their placing begins to drop in later years. Ramy is at the top of his game right now and his destiny is in his hands. If he peaks properly, he might be able to defeat Heath and be the new Mr. Olympia in 2018. However, Phil is not ready to just lay down and give up his title. Fans are itching for an upset, but it’s going to take an epic performance for Big Ramy to pull it off.
1st Place: Phil Heath—Phil “The Gift” Heath just keeps on giving, and this year should be no exception. An enigma as the long-time reigning Mr. Olympia, Heath isn’t quite as popular as previous Mr. Olympia winners like Jay Cutler, Ronnie Coleman, Dorian Yates, and Lee Haney. In fact, both Coleman and Yates have publicly stated that their Mr. Olympia physiques would easily beat Heath if they competed today.
The prevailing sentiment from bodybuilding fans is that Heath is arrogant and self-centered. Some critics believe the only reason he wins every year is because he is competing in an era when top bodybuilders rarely hit peak condition on the day of the Mr. Olympia. In other words, he wins by default, not because he is a great champion.
This is unfair. The truth is that Phil is a fantastic athlete, and he proves it every year. His combination of size, thickness, and the fullness of his muscle bellies—as well as incredible separation and conditioning—make him the best Open bodybuilder in the world today. In addition to his physical gifts, Heath is extremely confident in his abilities as a performer. Every time he hits the stage, he seems to want to win the title more than any of his competitors.
Heath’s biggest weak point is his structure. He was born with narrow shoulders, and his midsection sometimes bulges out. But his posing skills are able to overcompensate for these flaws. Year after year his thick muscularity seems to “pop out” (referred to as a 3D physique), making him the undeniable winner.
The old adage states that “in order to beat the champ, you have to knock him out.” After seven consecutive Mr. Olympia wins, no one else has been able to knock out Phil Heath. They won’t this year either. We predict him to make history and win his eighth consecutive title at the 2018 Mr. Olympia in September.
So did we get it right? Let us know in the comments below who you think will take the top placings at the 2018 Mr. Olympia.