The 2022 Mr. Olympia was supposed to be the competition that further cemented Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay as the most dominant athlete in the Men’s Open division. Instead, Iranian bodybuilder Hadi Choopan put a stop to Ramy’s reign by pulling off the upset win for his first Sandow trophy.
And Ramy didn’t just lose his title — he dropped all the way down to fifth place. A fall like that for a reigning champion is nearly unheard of, but there’s still hope that he can come back and win it all again in 2023. Well, according to some fans, anyway.
Who Is Going to Win the 2023 Mr. Olympia?
In the December 20, 2022, edition of BarBend‘s bodybuilding-centric newsletter, The Ripped Report, fans were asked to vote on who they think will win the Mr. Olympia title in 2023: Hadi Choopan, Big Ramy, Derek Lunsford, or Nick Walker. A generic “Other” option was also available for readers to provide a write-in candidate.
Of the 53 readers who chimed in, Big Ramy took a commanding lead with 30.19% of the vote as of December 22. Lunsford came in second place with 22.6%, while Walker and Choopan tied for third with 20.7%. (“Other” snagged 5% of the vote, but no write-ins were provided as of this article’s publication.)
“It’s going to come down to Hadi, Derek, and Nick, but I believe Hadi will win again,” one voter wrote. “[But] Nick may nose out Derek for 2nd.”
What Are Big Ramy’s Chances of Winning in 2023?
As fans saw at the 2022 Mr. Olympia, anything can happen in bodybuilding. So, yes, Big Ramy can always come back better than ever in 2023 and reclaim his crown. But history has not been kind to champs coming off a loss.
Samir Bannout never appeared in the top three again after winning the Olympia in 1983. And after Ronnie Coleman‘s eight-year reign ended with a second-place finish in 2006, he wrapped up his career with a disappointing fourth-place effort in 2007.
As of 2022, Jay Cutler is the only competitor to regain the Mr. Olympia title after losing it. He won in 2006 and 2007 before losing to Dexter Jackson in ’08. He then returned bigger than ever in 2009 and won two more consecutive Sandows.
For his part, Ramy seems to know he has work to do if he wants to be on top again.
“I promise you guys, I will do my best to get back again stronger than ever,” Ramy said in an Instagram video after the loss. “I don’t promise to win or to lose; I respect other people. But I will say I will do my best like I have done my whole life to be No. 1 again.”
Only time will tell whether Ramy can join Cutler in that elite company of Olympia redemption stories.
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