Guy Cisternino: “An Open Olympia Would Never Lose To A Men’s 212 Olympia”

Guy Cisternino talks about Hadi Choopan and the differences between Men’s 212 and Men’s Open.

Hadi Choopan shook up the bodybuilding world in 2019 when he transitioned from Men’s 212 to Men’s Open and competed at the Olympia. Not only that – he ended up finishing third place. This wasn’t a fluke either, in the Mr. Olympia 2020, Choopan competed again in Men’s Open and placed fourth. He’s a serious threat. But he most likely could have been a Men’s 212 champion two years in a row now. In our latest GI Exclusive interview, Guy Cisternino reacts to Hadi Choopan’s decision and also compares the Men’s 212 division to Men’s Open.

Guy Cisternino is convinced if Hadi Choopan stayed in the Men’s 212 division, he’d not only have two Olympia titles under his belt but would go on to be a reigning champion for years to come. Instead, Choopan decided to try his hand at Men’s Open. It paid off with placings in the top five for two years straight. Some even believe he could one day win the whole competition.

That’s nothing to scoff at – but as of now he’s still no champion. So was it a mistake to change divisions? Guy Cisternino doesn’t think so. In fact, he thinks that being third place or fourth place as a Men’s Open is better than being a champion in Men’s 212. Cisternino himself is a Men’s 212 competitor – so it’s interesting to hear him say this so bluntly.

“In my eyes, I think it’s more prestigious to say you’re the third best bodybuilder in the world than the best 212 bodybuilder in the world,” Guy Cisternino says confidently during our interview. This begged us to ask the question – should there be specialty matches that put the Men’s 212 Olympia champion agains the Men’s Open Olympia champion?

Guy Cisternino points out a few times in history where this happened. In some ways, back in the earlier version of the sport, this happened in the form of weight classes. Heavyweights would compete within their weight class – and then ultimately compete in an overall round to determine the ultimate winner.


Ultimately, Guy Cisternino doesn’t see much use in a face-off like that though. In fact, he thinks it’s nearly impossible for a Men’s 212 competitor to ever beat a Men’s Open competitor (if they are evenly placed respectively).

“Honestly, I don’t think it would help because I don’t think an Open Olympia would ever lose to a 212 Olympia,” Guy Cisternino states. He goes on:

“It’s just, there’s just too big of a difference. Too big. It would be like a super heavyweight and a bantam weight… It would be cool to watch but I don’t think you’d be able to judge that.”

Guy Cisternino goes on to just focus on facts. One bodybuilder has no weight limit. The other one does. That limitation makes it too hard to judge on a realistic scale. Perhaps some people have their preferred muscle size and shape – but to do it as objectively as possible would be almost impossible to handle.

You can watch Guy Cisternino go into more detail about Hadi Choopan, Men’s 212, and Men’s Open in our latest GI exclusive interview segment above!

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.