The 2023 Arnold Classic roster looked seemingly anemic three weeks ago to what it does now on Jan. 20, 2023. The roster for bodybuilding’s second-biggest show just scored another massive addition to its roster. Former two-time Mr. Olympia Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay will compete at the 2023 Arnold Classic in Columbus, OH, on March 2-5, 2023.
Big Ramy is the latest addition to a roster that, at one point, was down to six competitors following the withdrawals of Charles Griffen and Blessing Awodibu, which prompted the IFBB to announce future disciplinary action against bodybuilders who pull out of invitation-only contests.
The announcement of Big Ramy’s inclusion was made via the Arnold Sports Festival’s (ASF) Instagram page, which can be seen below:
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“Making his first on-stage appearance in Columbus since 2020, Ramy will be looking to re-establish his position as the most dominant competitor in the world of bodybuilding,” reads ASF’s caption.
Big Ramy has some substantial obstacles in his way from reclaiming his bodybuilding throne. While his fire for competition might be reignited after falling to fifth place at the 2022 Mr. Olympia in Las Vegas, NV, in December 2022, the 2023 ASF recently added Nick Walker to the roster as well. Roster won the Arnold Classic in 2021 and beat Big Ramy by two ranks at the 2022 Mr. Olympia contest to claim the bronze.
Similarly, two-time Arnold Classic champion William Bonac (2018, 2020) will be in Columbus, though Big Ramy did oust Bonac by one rank at the 2022 Mr. Olympia. The full 2023 Arnold Classic roster at the time of this article’s publication is below:
2023 Arnold Classic Roster | Men’s Open
- William Bonac
- Shaun Clarida
- Samson Dauda
- Kamal Elgargni
- Chinedu Andrew Obiekea (Andrew Jacked)
- Patrick Moore
- Justin Rodriguez
- Nick Walker
- Akim Williams
- Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay
Big Ramy’s most recent appearance at the Arnold Classic was in 2020, where he claimed the bronze. That year was Bonac’s second Arnold Classic title, and the silver went to 2008 Mr. Olympia Dexter Jackson. Williams was also in that lineup and ranked seventh overall, as was Moore, who finished in 13th place.
We’ll see in Columbus if Big Ramy’s trajectory at the top echelons of the sport can be reversed from his slip at the 2022 Mr. Olympia. The winner of the 2023 Arnold Classic will receive a staggering $300,000 prize.
Featured image: @arnoldsports on Instagram