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Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay Will Compete in 2023 Arnold Classic


Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay entered the 2022 Mr. Olympia with aspirations of becoming only the eighth athlete to win the event on three consecutive occasions. He has hype behind him, endorsements from living legends, and appears “destined” to enter exclusive bodybuilding lore. Then the contest took place in Las Vegas, NV, Hadi Choopan successfully knocked down the Egyptian dynamo for the win, and Elssbiay failed to finish in fifth place surprising many bodybuilding fans.

Now, after a heated early January 2023 reflection on what’s next, and with a new season of fitness ahead of him, it appears that Elssbiay is aiming for a big rebound before he thought of trying again at Olympia.

On January 20, 2023, the Arnold Sports Festival announced that Elssbiay will take the stage at the upcoming 2023 Arnold Classic (AC) on Mar. 2-5, 2023.

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“Making his first appearance on the Columbus stage since 2020, ‘Ramy’ will look to re-establish his position as the most dominant competitor in the world of bodybuilding!”

The Columbus, OH, contest will mark the former two-time Mr. Olympia in AC’s second appearance as he looks for a significant notch to add to his resume. In 2020, Elssbiay placed third in his first and only appearance on the show.

For some, the revelation of Elssbiay’s AC will come as a surprise. The superstar has spent most of his recent years training and preparing almost exclusively for his appearance at the Olympia in an approximate calendar year, rarely appearing in other competitions. It’s a calculated approach that many elite bodybuilders, especially in the Men’s Open division, often choose to have in the interest of maximizing their performance in the sport’s biggest competition.

For Elssbiay, since he is no longer the defending Mr. Olympia, he may now be asking for more momentum before diving back into full throttle in Olympia prep. At the same time, a new lucrative prize money can also motivate the athlete to finally compete in AC. In mid-January 2023, the Arnold Sports Festival announced the first place prize for winning the 2023 AC Men’s Open of $300,000. That’s a $100,000 increase from the 2022 iteration of the competition. Surprisingly, also in January 2023, the former champion of AC (2021) Nick Walker maintained this high financial incentive regarding his own decision to return to AC.

Elssbiay will join other established stars at the 2023 AC as he tries to beat past winners such as Walker and William Bonac (2018, 2020), and two-time 212 Olympia champion (2020, 2022) who Shaun Clarida. Other confirmed names include Samson Dauda, ​​Kamal Elgargni, Justin Rodriguez, and Akim Williams. Elssbiay may be a newcomer to the competition, but given her Olympia precedent, this field is likely ready for whatever she brings to the stage in Columbus.

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2023 AC is shaping up to be a barnburner in a bodybuilding contest. If top-level competitors like Elssbiay and Walker choose to participate before tackling any higher Olympia plans, it could be an incredibly interesting show to watch in early March. .

Featured Image: @arnoldsports / Instagram

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