It’s official. Big Ramy will compete in the 2023 Arnold Classic. Will he rise up and get his revenge?

In his first move after placing 5th at the 2022 Mr. Olympia, Big Ramy has officially entered the 2023 Arnold Classic. The event is set to take place in Columbus, Ohio on March 2-5. The news was announced on the official Arnold Sports Festival Instagram page. The news comes after many other major athletes made a late entry into the competition, including Nick Walker, Andrew Jacked, and Patrick Moore.

Big Ramy’s drop from Olympia champion to fifth place finish in 2022 was a shock to many. It’s rare for an Olympia champion to fall so far so fast – so many fans and even fellow athletes were curious what Ramy’s next move would be. Rather than focus his entire training towards the 2023 Mr. Olympia, it seems that Ramy will first focus on the 2023 Arnold Classic.

When the 2023 Arnold Classic lineup was first announced, it was a bit of a let down. There were only 10 Men’s Open competitors on the lineup – and none of the top five Mr. Olympia competitors were present. Shortly after, the Arnold Classic announced that the prize money would be increased to $300,000 for Men’s Open. Almost immediately, new names appeared on the lineup. Most notably was 3rd place Mr. Olympia finisher Nick Walker.

After the first wave of new entrants, including also the likes of Andrew Jacked and Patrick Moore, many speculated that more big names would eventually make announcements. Rumors have been swirling that Derek Lunsford would through his name into the lineup – for a repeat victory over Nick Walker and a shot at $300,000.

And while no one counted Big Ramy out, it comes as a slight surprise to see his name officially announced for the 2023 Arnold Classic. Largely because no one knew exactly what his mindset was after dropping down to fifth place.

Big Ramy enters the 2023 Arnold Classic making for a stacked lineup

While Big Ramy himself has not made an official statement, the news was posted by the Arnold Sports Festival Instagram on January 20, 2023. Much like the past surprise entrants, Ramy’s announcement came with a hype video. You can check it out below:


We are thrilled to announce that 2X Mr. Olympia @big_ramy will be joining the competitor lineup for the 2023 Arnold Classic!

Making his first on-stage appearance in Columbus since 2020, Ramy will be looking to re-establish his position as the most dominant competitor in the world of bodybuilding!

Follow the link in our bio or visit to get your VIP Packages, advanced tickets, or to purchase the PPV TODAY!”

This competition will be a chance at redemption for the 2x Mr. Olympia champion. Ramy’s fifth place finish was largely seen as the right call. Many fans, coaches, experts, and fellow athletes saw a physique that was “less than” compared to previous years. The state of his legs, and a “divot” that many saw in the weeks leading up to the competition also contributed to his lower placing.

With the Mr. Olympia taking place later in December last year, there is far shorter time between it and the Arnold Classic. In one sense this is good, he can take his already conditioned state and tweak it to try and improve for the March competition. However, with his physique needing many improvements, the question will be whether or not he can make those changes in the short amount of time.

Whatever the outcome is – the show will now surely be a much anticipated event. Big Ramy will be facing off against Nick Walker, who placed two spots ahead of him. Samson Dauda is also in the running – who only placed on spot behind Big Ramy at the Mr. Olympia. He will likely be biting at Ramy’s heels come March.

The last time Big Ramy competed at the Arnold Classic was in 2020 – where he placed third. A lot has changed since then but if 2022 taught us anything is that Ramy’s biggest weakness still remains – his inconsistency. For years Big Ramy’s physique teetered back and forth. He nearly beat Phil Heath in 2017, only to bring a more lackluster package the following year.

It seems 2022 was a repeat of that similar notion. Big Ramy was a reigning Mr. Olympia champion for two years. Even only weeks before the 2022 Mr. Olympia, many believed that Ramy was unbeatable.

Perhaps his lower placing at the 2022 Mr. Olympia will be the fire motivating him to rise up, bring his physique back to the champion status we know, and allow him to win the Arnold Classic. Undoubtedly, if he does win the Arnold Classic, this will give him far greater confidence going in the 2023 Mr. Olympia.

Only time will tell – but we now have a truly stacked Arnold Classic on our hands once again. With Nick Walker, Big Ramy, Samson Dauda, and Men’s 212 Olympia champion Shaun Clarida all in the Men’s Open running – there will be exciting moments to be had indeed.

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.