Nick Walker has spent the better part of almost the last two years changing. The young bodybuilder won the 2021 Arnold Classic, took home the top-five debut results at the 2021 Mr. Olympia, and followed that performance with a podium finish behind Derek Lunsford (second) and Hadi Choopan (first) at the 2022 Olympia. As he opens the next chapter in his already productive career, Walker will first tackle the 2023 Arnold Classic (AC) in March. This is where an established legend thinks the athlete should be the favorite.
That Jan. 26, 2023, during the podcast episode of The Cutler Cast, four-time champion of Mr. Olympia (2006-2007, 2009-2010) Jay Cutler and respected trainer Miloš Šarčev discuss storylines and potential comparisons for the upcoming AC. One of Cutler’s main points is that he believes Walker has pole position for the Columbus, OH, contest on Mar. 2-5, 2023. This is an endorsement for Walker from a respected competitor who, himself, is one of only four athletes to win the AC three times – Cutler won the title in 2002- 2004.
While the final complete roster for the 2023 AC has not been confirmed at the time of this writing, Cutler expressed to Šarčev that he thinks other athletes do not match Walker’s overall build. Notably, some of the first confirmed competitors include former two-time winner William Bonac (2018, 2020), Samson Dauda, Kamal Elgargni, and Akim Williams.
“Do the big guys have enough of a combination to push Nick [Walker] on the side?” Cutler spoke rhetorically. “I have a hard time believing that.”
The only peer Cutler seems to believe can truly push Walker is the former two-time Mr. Olympia (2020-2021), Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay. The Egyptian athlete previously revealed that he will compete in the 2023 AC in his second career appearance in the competition, placing third in 2020. To Cutler, even with a disappointing fifth place finish in the 2022 Mr. Olympia, if Elssbiay appears. in high form, it will be a battle.
“Ramy [Elssbiay] not full [at the 2022 Mr. Olympia],” Cutler said. “Ramy must be Ramy. His skin should have been tighter. His appearance, everything should be rounder. Listen, Ramy, we’re talking about this. When Ramy is 100 percent, he beats everyone. He’s still Big Ramy.”
That said, Cutler seems to have something special and inherent in Walker’s competitive mindset. He made the point that Walker won’t allow himself to fail easily now that he’s built a bodybuilding superstar. As a result, for Cutler, a second AC title is clearly in the works for Walker.
“ … I only know Nick [Walker] mindset,” explained Cutler. “I know his vision. I know that every night before he goes to sleep, he looks to win this competition. And sometimes, you just can’t outrun someone’s determination. He believes more than anyone else on this planet. We can talk about the confidence of these people leading these shows… I don’t think anyone is more dedicated than Nick Walker. I think in the end, he will be a two-time champ.
From the time of Cutler’s prediction, 2023 AC is still a long way off. A lot can change in the coming weeks before Walker and other athletes take the stage in Columbus. It is possible that another top-tier challenger who can duke it out with Walker on the stage may emerge. Until then, Walker seems to have Cutler’s wholehearted stamp of approval, and that’s no small thing.
Featured image: @nick_walker39 on Instagram
The post Jay Cutler names Nick Walker as His 2023 Arnold Classic Favorite appeared first on Breaking Muscle.