2022 Arnold Classic: Men’s Open Preview & Predictions

Here is our breakdown and predictions for the Men’s Open division at the 2022 Arnold Classic.

The 2022 Arnold Classic is just two weeks away. It is scheduled to take place on March 3-6 in Columbus, OH. This competition will once again mark the beginning of the bodybuilding season after one year in September due to the pandemic.

The show will be headlined by the big boys competing for the Men’s Open title. There has been some overhaul in the Men’s Open lineup in recent weeks with competitors pulling out due to different reasons. It began when Rafael Brandão pulled his name out of the competition in January. Nathan De Asha and Mohamed Shaaban also withdrew with different injuries.

Most recently, it was Akim Williams who reportedly took his name out of the competition. Williams had a chance to finish as a top five competitor but will have to wait  to take the stage.

The competition lineup is down to 10 athletes but it is still a stacked group that will put on quite a show. Below, you can find a complete and current list of competitors along with some of the tp to watch during the first weekend in March.

2022 Arnold Classic List Of Competitors

  • William Bonac (Netherlands)
  • Maxx Charles (USA)
  • Brandon Curry (USA)
  • Samson Dauda (United Kingdom)
  • Regan Grimes (Canada)
  • Steve Kuclo (USA)
  • Cedric McMillan (USA)
  • Fabio Giga Rezende (Brasil)
  • Justin Rodriguez (USA)
  • Brett Wilkin (USA)

Honorable Mentions

Cedric McMillan

Cedric McMillan enters the 2022 Arnold Classic as one of three former champions in the lineup. After not competing at the KO Egypt Pro and missing the finals of the Legion Sports Fest, McMillan could be primed and ready for a big event in Columbus. At 44 years old, McMillan still is a threat because of the pure size of his upper body.

With the recent drop outs, McMillan has a chance to creep into the top four or five of this contest. It would be a bit surprising to see him in the top three but anything is possible. By the looks of his physique updates, McMillan is ready to make a splash on stage.

Justin Rodriguez

Justin Rodriguez has a chance to make that jump into the top three. He finished eighth during the 2021 Olympia and has been impressive over the last year. During his physique updates, Rodriguez has been able to keep weight on but remains shredded with a ton of muscle mass.

The overall conditioning of Rodriguez will keep him in contention and could shot him into the top three. This is still an impressive list despite some recent names dropping out so it will not be an easy task. With that being said, do not be surprised to see Rodriguez up there competing for a high finish when it is all said and done.

Men’s Open Top 3

3. Steve Kuclo

Steve Kuclo went head-to-head with Nick Walker in the first callouts during the Arnold Classic last year. In the finals, he was jumped by Iain Valliere and finished in third place. This year, he has a chance to be in the top three once again.

Kuclo has not won a professional show since 2019 but he continues to show major improvements upon his physique. He has posted updates and features incredible size and vascularity. Recently, Kuclo shared an update performing dumbbell curls and his arms look ready for the stage. He has finished in the top five at the Arnold Classic three times and could be in for his second consecutive top three.

 

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A post shared by Steve Kuclo (@stevekuclo)

2. William Bonac

William Bonac is another previous winner of the Arnold Classic and it was as recently as 2020. In September, Bonac was unable to defend his title because he could not make it to the event. Bonac had a chance to defeat Walker and make it back-to-back titles. In 2022, he will have a chance to bring it back.

Bonac saw his Olympia finish slip to sixth in October. This has raised some eyebrows and brought his status at the Arnold Classic into question. Bonac remains an elite bodybuilder who shows it all on stage. In this field and on stage at an event he is comfortable in, Bonac could finish as the runner-up.

 

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A post shared by William Bonac (@william_bonac)

1. Brandon Curry

Not only is Brandon Curry the third and final Arnold Classic champion, he is the only Olympia champion in the lineup. Curry was Mr. Olympia back in 2019 and has finished as the runner-up in each of the previous two competitions. At the second biggest event of the year, Curry has to be considered the favorite heading into Columbus.

Curry defeated many in this lineup in October at the Olympia. He has continued to progress and make improvements upon a physique that is already championship caliber. Based on his recent success over the last three years, Curry could be ready to make another splash. The Arnold Classic is back in March and there will be one champion who sets the tone for the rest of the season.

 

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A post shared by Brandon Curry (@brandon__curry)

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Greg has covered the four major sports for six years and has been featured on sites such as Sports Illustrated, Fox Sports, SB Nation, NJ.com, and FanSided. Now, he is transitioning into the world of bodybuilding and strength sports.