The 2022 Mr. Olympia field looks like one of the more impressive ones in recent history. You’ve got Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay looking to score a three-peat while perennial top-three talent like Hadi Choopan and Brandon Curry both eye the upset. Then there’s the younger crop of talent like Hunter Labrada and Nick Walker, who both aim to improve upon their respective fourth- and fifth-place finishes from 2021.
And if anyone understands how stiff the competition is, it’s Big Ramy himself. During a recent episode of Dennis James’s The Menace Podcast (in the video above), Ramy was asked who he thinks are the top three competitors heading into the show, other than himself. His response was immediate: William Bonac, Brandon Curry, and Hadi Choopan.
A Familiar Top Three
Ramy isn’t alone in thinking that Choopan and Curry will place near the top this year. Four-time Mr. O Jay Cutler recently predicted the two will be somewhere in the top five, while seven-time winner Phil Heath went so far as to say Choopan could win it all if Ramy were to “slip.”
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James also agreed with Ramy, saying he believes 2019 Mr. O Brandon Curry, in particular, will be more motivated than ever to win back the Olympia title after losing out to Ramy in 2020 and 2021.
“I believe Brandon will put everything he has into it, to give this another shot, because there’s no way you’re going to lose the Olympia twice and then give half-ass,” James says.
If all these predictions come true, that would make 2022 something of a rematch of 2021, when Choopan came in third and Curry finished in second place behind Ramy.
William the Conqueror
Bonac is a dark horse candidate for a top spot after coming in sixth in 2021. But in early September 2022, the bodybuilder talked about his plan to pack on more muscle than ever for this year’s show, specifically to compete against the likes of Big Ramy.
And a recent physique update from Bonac’s coach, Chad Nicholls, shows a bigger version of Bonac who’s now tipping the scales at 120.3 kilograms (264.6 pounds).
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Bonac’s 2022 has already picked up steam. In March, he came in second behind Brandon Curry at the Arnold Classic and earned $120,000 in prize money in the process.
Then just one week later, he finished first at the Boston Pro, edging out competitors Justin Rodriguez and Steve Kuclo.
We’ll see how all these predictions pan out when the Mr. Olympia competition takes place from December 16-18 in Las Vegas, NV.
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Featured Images: @thedietdoc and @BigRamy on Instagram