IFBB Pro/NPC Promoter Chris Minnes looks back on how the IFBB Pro vs IFBB Elite Pro split affected the sport – and his thoughts on Michal Krizo.
Promoter Chris Minnes has been quietly at work producing some of the fastest rising bodybuilding competitions and events of recent years. Starting originally with the Tahoe Pro, Minnes has grown his endeavors extensively and now runs some of the sport’s biggest shows such as the Legion Sports Fest Pro. With an extensive behind the scenes knowledge of bodybuilding, we connected with Minnes to talk about the IFBB Pro’s future, it’s past, and how the IFBB Pro and IFBB Elite Pro split changed the directory of the sport. Chris Minnes also touches upon the IFBB Elite Pro superstar Michal Krizo and whether or not he should move (or be even be allowed to move) into the IFBB Pro league.
The IFBB Pro league has long been the number one bodybuilding league in the sport. Home to the Mr. Olympia competition and the biggest names in bodybuilding. But a monopoly this sport is not. There are a wide variety of other leagues across the globe providing events for athletes passionate about bodybuilding. One such league is the IFBB Elite Pro. If the names sound familiar – well, that’s because they were once one united organization.
The IFBB Elite Pro was originally part of the IFBB Pro proper. They organized the international and amateur league (separate from the NPC – which resided largely only in the US). In 2017, it was announced that these two entities would split. This changed the landscape to some degree in terms of qualifications for the Mr Olympia – especially for international competitors. Ultimately we landed on two parallel leagues, the IFBB Pro and the IFBB Elite Pro.
During our conversation with IFBB Pro bodybuilding promoter Chris Minnes, we asked for his reflection on the split and how it looked from behind the scenes. Minnes has been promoting bodybuilding shows for quite some time – and can recall the conversation he had with Jim Maino, president of the NPC and IFBB Pro league, just after the decision of the split.
Chris Minnes points out that the split ultimately led to two different approaches to the sport. The IFBB Elite Pro league now receives funds from the government at each international location. Minnes believes that this, in some respects, limits the possibilities of what a bodybuilding competition could be. On the flip side, it also allows the budges of the events to not be solely based on income from fans and athlete registration fees.
That being said, the IFBB Elite Pro league has been making a bit more headlines over the past year due to a viral rising superstar. Michal Krizo is an IFBB Elite Pro bodybuilder who is turning heads amongst fans of the IFBB Pro. This has led the community to call for Krizo to switch leagues. The logic being that most of the biggest talents in bodybuilding still compete in the IFBB Pro league. For Michal Krizo to really prove himself – he should be able to compete against these talented competitors.
But the IFBB Elite Pro and the IFBB Pro are now separate. Unless Michal Krizo formally switches leagues – he cannot quality to compete against the likes of Big Ramy or Brandon Curry at the Mr. Olympia.
We asked Chris Minnes if he felt that it would be a good move for Michal Krizo to switch leagues – when he’s already found great success in the IFBB Elite Pro. Minnes admits that he had never even heard of Krizo’s name. Which he attributes to proving just how much farther behind the IFBB Elite Pro league is compared to the IFBB Pro.
Of course, there are many others who know his name. He’s gone viral online across the divisions of all leagues. He even won Best Arms in the fan-voted Generation Iron Bodybuilding Awards 2021. Minnes believes that if Krizo were interested – he should be 100% allowed to switch leagues. But this comes with one condition – Minnes doesn’t believe in cutting to the front of the line.
Chris Minnes would be happy to see Michal Krizo enter into the amateur NPC league, compete, earn his pro card, then earn qualification to the Olympia. If he goes through the paces – and still proves himself to be a threatening athlete. Then he will really start to turn heads.
Until then, Chris Minnes points out that photos are very different than the real thing. Until we can see Michal Krizo standing side by side with the best of the IFBB Pro league, there’s no real way of knowing just how threatening his physique really is.
You can watch Chris Minnes’ full comments about Michal Krizo and the aftermath of the IFBB Pro vs IFBB Elite Pro split in our latest GI Exclusive interview segment above!