Ross Flanigan Wins 2023 California State Pro Bodybuilding Show

Flanigan qualified for the 2023 Olympia and a popular pro returned to the stage.

The California State Pro bodybuilding show was held in Anaheim, CA, on May 27, 2023/. Many IFBB Pro League fans felt Tonio Burton was the favorite to win due to the momentum from his 2023 New York Pro win one week prior.

However, Sergio Oliva Jr. surprised the field as a late entrant, making the show more challenging to predict. In the end, Ross Flanigan scored the upset. Along with the gold, Flanigan qualified for the 2023 Mr. Olympia. Burton and Oliva Jr. finished second and third, respectively. The full results are below:

2023 California State Pro Results — Men’s Open

  1. Ross Flanigan (USA)
  2. Tonio Burton (USA)
  3. Sergio Oliva Jr. (USA)
  4. Stuart Sutherland (USA)
  5. Slavoj Bednar (Czech Republic)
  6. Mike Hulusi (Australia)
  7. Seung Chul Lee (South Korea)
  8. Mariusz Tomczuk (Poland)
  9. Nathan Dandridge (USA)
  10. Thierry Dangea Afandonougbo (France)
  11. Jossue Plascencia (USA)
  12. Rafael Del Real (USA)
  13. Wesley Boxley (USA)

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Winner — Ross Flanigan

This was Flanigan’s first appearance of the 2023 season and his first show since his ninth-place finish at the 2022 Indy Pro. He worked with coach Domenick Cardone leading up to the 2023 California Pro — they proved to be a successful team. Flanigan can compete in another show during the 2023 season, or he could wait until 2023 Olympia.

Second Place — Tonio Burton

Burton attempted to go back-to-back after winning the 2023 New York Pro. Even though he qualified for the 2023 Olympia, had he stood atop the podium instead of Flanigan, Burton could have effectively blocked an Olympia qualification.

Third Place — Sergio Oliva Jr.

In the weeks leading up to the contest, Sergio Oliva Jr. was living in Dubai, UAE, amidst a legal matter involving a car accident. He was unable to leave the country until the matter was resolved. He flew from Dubai to California two days before the contest, which cost him as he held water underneath his skin.


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This was Oliva Jr.’s first contest since his sixth-place finish at the 2021 Arnold Classic. He hasn’t been on the Olympia stage since 2018. The next Men’s Open show on the 2023 IFBB schedule is the Toronto Pro Supershow on Saturday, June 3. The roster for that show has yet to be released as of this article’s publication.

Featured image: @domcardoneifbb on Instagram