2023 Olympia: Men’s 212 Preview & Predictions

Here is a breakdown and predictions for the Men’s 212 division at the 2023 Olympia. 

The biggest bodybuilding show around is finally here, the 2023 Mr. Olympia contest. Back in Orlando Florida from November 2nd through the 5th. Over the last couple of days, we’ve previewed and highlighted top competitors in the Men’s Open and Classic Physique divisions, as those divisions showcase a lot of talent such as Hadi Choopan and Chris Bumstead. Today, we will take a look at the Men’s 212 lineup before the Super Bowl of bodybuilding begins.

This year, you’ll see some past champions on stage, which include the reigning champ Shaun Clarida, the 2019 champ and another top pick, Kamal Elgargni, as well as Hidetada Yamagishi, amongst other competitors. Fortunately for them and other competitors, the previous Men’s 212 champ, Derek Lunsford, won’t compete in the Men’s 212 class again this year. Instead, he is giving the Men’s open title another shot, after receiving the special invitation to compete last year and placing second. And Ronnie Coleman believes that Lunsford has a shot at winning the Mr. Olympia title one day, maybe even this year. 

Now, let’s examine the Men’s 212 roster and predict this weekend’s outcome. 

What is the Men’s 212 Division?

212 mr olympia

The Men’s 212 bodybuilders are the next biggest division besides the Men’s Open. The men in this category hold more muscle mass than the Classic Physique contenders but are not quite as big as the Men’s Open competitors, and they are generally shorter. The Men’s 212 bodybuilding division was originally started as the Men’s 202 class, but eventually was increased as the sport of bodybuilding evolved. 

The 212 division was introduced in 2008 to allow some big but shorter competitors to compete with others with similar builds. Since many athletes were coming in between 205-210 lbs, it switched to 212 in 2011 to give competitors more wiggle room with their weight. It’s very similar to the Men’s Open division, but of course, as the name suggests, competitors have a weight cap of 212 pounds. 

Competitors to Look Out For

There are plenty of talented athletes that will be competing in the 212 Olympia this year,  so we have picked out five of them to look out for.

Shaun Clarida

 It’s hard not to put the 2020 and 2022 champ, Shaun Clarida, at the top of the list. Considering Derek Lunsford won’t be competing in the Men’s 212 division again this year, Clarida was the last Men’s 212 winner in the lineup, and he is favored again this year. Over the last few months we have seen some great workouts from Shaun Clarida in preparation for this year’s Olympia competition, as well as learned about some key supplements and diet regimens. It is clear that he is coming to win.

Kerrith Bajjo


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A post shared by Kerrith Bajjo (@kerrith_bajjo)

Kerrith Bajjo is definitely a 212 competitor to watch out for when heading into the biggest bodybuilding show of the year. He is massive, shredded, and with competitors like Kamal Egargni not competing, there is room for Kerrith to move up in the rankings for this division.

Angel Calderon Frias

 After coming in second place last year to Shaun Clarida, it goes without a doubt that Angel Calderon Frias is returning to this 212 Olympia with winning in mind. Though it was unclear last year if he was competing in Men’s open or Men’s 212, he went with 212 and came in second place. Now, he is qualified again, and it is looking like Frias will be coming for the 212 title, looking to dethrone Clarida. 

Keone Pearson


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A post shared by Keone Pearson (@keone_prodigy)

 A former competitor in the Classic Physique division, Keone Pearson made the move to 212 after deciding it fit his body type a bit more. He is not the tallest on the stage, but packs on a great amount of muscle mass, making the 212 division the way to go. Keone shows off some great proportions, as well as an incredibly small waist, which makes his other features like his lats look ten times bigger than they are. He also demonstrates incredible core control, pulling in his abs for a vacuum like no other. Keone Pearson is definitely a 212 competitor to keep an eye on this time around.

Felipe Fierro


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 The last of our top five competitors to lookout for in the 212 division is Felipe Fierro. Keeping his physique mostly out of the spotlight from social media, Felipe is known for excellent conditioning and could seriously be a threat to other competitors. Felipe also has a great set of legs that could win a show on their own.

Full List of Qualified 212 Athletes

Now, the above names are our top picks for athletes to look out for, but those are not the only competitors. Below is a full list of qualified athletes to compete in the 212 Division at the 2023 Mr. Olympia, but keep in mind that qualified does not mean they will definitely be there.

  • Felipe Fierro (Chile)
  • Shaun Clarida (USA)
  • Angel Calderon Frias (Spain)
  • Kamal Elgargni (Libya)
  • Ahmad Ashkanani (Kuwait)
  • Felipe Moraes (Brazil)
  • Kerrith Bajjo (USA)
  • Piotr Borecki (Poland)
  • Andrei Melnikov (Russia)
  • Roman Iushchenko (Ukraine)
  • John Jewett (USA)
  • Chris Jones (USA)
  • Fabrizio de Souza Moreira (Brazil)
  • Naser Mohamed (Kuwait)
  • Keone Pearson (USA)
  • Hidetada Yamagishi (Japan)
  • Oleh Kryvyi (Ukraine)
  • Hossein Kalateh (Canada)

How the 212 Division is Judged

Now, when it comes to how the 212 Mr. Olympia is judged, it is much like the Men’s Open. When people hear the word “bodybuilding,” their minds automatically divert to and think of the Men’s Open Division, which is composed of the largest and most conditioned athletes. Athletes in that division want to be the biggest and leanest that they can. On the other hand, the 212 division is separate from the Open, but judged fairly similarly. In this division, the athletes are to come in with great muscle mass and shreds, but must weigh less than 212 pounds to compete. However, the criteria and poses are the same as the Men’s Open Bodybuilding division.

Olympia Wrap Up

Overall, the 212 Mr. Olympia is a stacked class with some great talent that will certainly make for an interesting show. Do you think that Shaun Clarida will be taking home a third 212 Mr. Olympia title, or will there be a new winner?

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Dylan Wolf
I work mainly in content writing, focusing my free time on bodybuilding and strength sports. I was introduced to fitness in high school and after watching Generation Iron movies. I love to train. I have competed multiple times, even winning a junior title in classic physique. I have a bachelor's in criminal justice and business obtained through Alvernia University. When I am not focused on work or training, I enjoy watching films or reading about anything and everything.