2023 Arnold Classic: It’s anyone’s chance to win between Nick Walker, Samson Dauda, and Andrew Jacked – while Big Ramy continues to struggle despite improvements.

The 2023 Arnold Classic Men’s Open prejudging came to a close on a truly exciting note. Nick Walker, Andrew Jacked, and Samson Dauda all impressed. So much so, in fact, that it’s nearly impossible to predict which of these three pros lead the pack for victory later tonight. With a full 24 hours to make slight tweaks and changes – anything is possible. In our GI exclusive recap, Victor Martinez and Brandon Lirio breakdown the 2023 Arnold Classic prejudging shot for shot.

The build up to the 2023 Arnold Classic was intense. So fittingly, the prejudging was an all-out battle in the presumed top three spots for the Men’s Open division. Leading into the show, Nick Walker was the clear favorite to take the win. But something was creeping up behind him. It was Samson Dauda showcasing incredible steady improvement with every physique update he posted. The man impressed at the 2022 Mr. Olympia. His improvements over these three months caused much hype for a potential Arnold Classic victory.

Meanwhile, Andrew Jacked, who placed a bit lower than Walker and Dauda at the 2022 Mr. Olympia, was showing some incredible improvements as well. Once he stepped onto the prejudging comparison lineup – it was clear that he was now a much bigger threat compared to three months earlier.

Even Big Ramy, who dropped five places at the 2022 Mr. Olympia and lost the Sandow trophy, showed incredible improvement. Unfortunately for Ramy, it seems it’s too little, too late for the mass monster. Judges relatively quickly moved him to the outer sides of the top callout. By the last callout, he was no longer in the mix, likely to land a fourth place finish. That’s not to say that Ramy didn’t make improvements. His physique was incredible this time out. But that’s just how impressive everyone’s improvements are – Ramy couldn’t make that extra inch to steal the show. At least so it seems currently.

Victor Martinez & Brandon Lirio’s 2023 Arnold Classic prejudging reactoin

Victor Martinez and Brandon Lirio seem equally confused as to who is the clear leader of the pack going into the 2023 Arnold Classic finals. That’s how close it is. Ultimately, they seem to both lean towards Nick Walker. Martinez thinks that at the end of the day – Walker won more shots of the mandatory poses.

However, each athlete’s strength battled against another’s weakness in the top three callout. Steve Weinberger and the judges placed all three of them into the center for the final top three callout. Weinberger is known to have fun and throw each person in the center to throw off the audience’s predictions. In this case, the physiques are so close that you can make an argument for each to stand in the center of that callout lineup.

With the Arnold Classic changing formats in recent years – the Men’s Open division is similar to the Mr. Olympia. The division’s prejudging and finals are split between two days. That gives the athletes more time to make slight improvements after squaring up against the competition. It also leaves more time for mistakes to be made.

While Nick Walker seems to possible inch ahead as leader of the pack, the distance is so narrow that anything can happen later at tonight’s finals. Even Big Ramy might have a chance to earn his way into the top three if he dries out further today.

You can watch Victor Martinez and Brandon Lirio break down the 2023 Arnold Classic Men’s Open prejudging in detail above. Make sure to check out our full Arnold Classic coverage page to get the latest in updates, exclusive interviews, and results!

2023 Arnold Classic Prejudging Reports & Results

2023 Arnold Classic Schedule & How To Watch


Prejudging (10am-Noon)

Finals (7pm-10pm)

  • Men’s Open
  • Men’s Physique
  • Bikini

How To Watch

You can watch the entire 2023 Arnold Classic Saturday prejudging and finals via PPV on Fanmio right here. Access to the PPV also includes replays to catch up on any action you may have missed.

Derek Dufour
Derek Dufour has been managing all digital operations on the Generation Iron Network for over six years. He currently manages a team of editors, writers, and designers to provide up-to-date content across the GI Network.