On Jan. 10, 2022, IFBB Pro League Men’s Open bodybuilder Blessing Awodibu announced on his Instagram page that he is removing himself as a competitor for the 2023 Arnold Classic, scheduled for the weekend of Mar. 2-5, 2023, at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, OH.
“Huge thanks to the Arnold Sports Festival for the invite, one of my all time favorite show [sic], but unfortunately I will not be doing the Arnold this year.
Awodibu cited traveling and his prep for the 2022 Olympia as reasons he felt he shouldn’t do the 35th edition of the prestigious contest. Check out the full statement announcement in the caption of the post below:
Awodibu said that he is giving his body time to rest before he goes through another prep phase for a bodybuilding contest. He said he would compete in the 2023 season but didn’t indicate what contest he planned to compete in next.
Expect a crazy comeback later this year from the boogieman.
Awodibu started the 2022 season by winning both the Indy Pro and New York Pro contests. He went into the 2022 Olympia weekend with confidence, as shown by his appearance at the press conference on Thursday, Dec. 15, 2022. However, Awodibu finished out of the top 15 in the 2022 Mr. Olympia contest, won by Hadi Choopan of Iran. Awodibu will have to win a show in 2023 if he wants to compete in the 2023 Mr. Olympia contest, which is set to take place in Orlando, FL. The exact dates haven’t been announced as of this writing.
As for the Arnold Classic, Awodibu’s withdrawal leaves six men in the field to compete for the title and the $200,000 prize that comes with first place. Those six men are listed below:
2023 Arnold Classic Roster — Men’s Open
At the time of this article’s publication, BarBend had not received word on if Awodibu’s spot will be filled or if the field will remain at six. We will provide updates if more information becomes available. Besides the Men’s Open, the 2023 Arnold Classic will include competitions for Classic Physique, Men’s Physique, Men’s Wheelchair, Fitness, Bikini, and Wellness.
Fans that want to be in Columbus for the 35th Arnold Classic can purchase tickets on the Arnold Sports Festival website. Viewers who want to watch from home can order the pay-per-view telecast courtesy of Fanmio.
Featured Image: @blessing_awodibu on Instagram