Kevin Levrone talks about the epic class between Ronnie Coleman and Jay Cutler that shifted the Mr. Olympia into a new era.


Before Jay Cutler defeated Ronnie Coleman, he was stuck at second place. That’s no insult to Cutler, his incredible physique was simply smothered by one of the biggest legends in the sport. Eventually, Cutler finally defeated Ronnie and the future of Mr. Olympia changed. What did he do differently? How did he finally take down an 8x Olympia champion? In our latest GI Exclusive Vault interview, Kevin Levrone shares his thoughts on how Jay Cutler was finally able to defeat Ronnie Coleman.

There was a time when it seemed nearly impossible for Ronnie Coleman to be defeated. After eight wins at the Mr. Olympia, it was almost expected for Ronnie to take the Sandow trophy yet again. Of course, deep down everyone knew that a champion has to eventually fall. But how far could Ronnie take it? Could he have gone into double digits?

This ultimately didn’t happen. Jay Cutler, who had been nipping at Ronnie Coleman’s heels for quite some time, finally earned his champion status in 2006. But what made that year different than previous ones?

That’s the very question we asked Kevin Levrone during our filming of Ronnie Coleman: The King. Like any film, not all of his answers were able to fit into the full movie. That’s why we are pulling footage from the cutting room floor and publishing them as extended interviews. It gives an even deeper look into the legend of Ronnie Coleman – one of the greatest bodybuilders in history.

While Kevin Levrone was no longer competing at this point – he was there to see the entire showdown. As a bodybuilder who had competed at the Olympia multiple times – he slowly saw the writing on the wall. There were two major elements that led to Jay Cutler’s victory.

The first one was simply that Ronnie Coleman looked off. He wasn’t bringing his best physique as seen in years past. More specifically, Kevin Levrone states that it was a “different Ronnie Coleman” seen on stage that day. He didn’t look unstoppable anymore. He looked human. And like any human he had weakness.

But that might not have been enough in and of itself to defeat Ronnie Coleman. The second element came in a renewed Jay Cutler. Kevin Levrone recounts seeing Cutler holding a new level of confidence he didn’t seem to have before. For the first time, Jay Cutler commanded the stage on a new level. His physique was on point. His posing was on point. His confidence was through the roof.

Kevin Levrone believes that the judges saw this and were impressed. Judges often look for a competitor to be better than the year before – especially if they are a returning champion. Ronnie Coleman unfortunately didn’t do that. Add that Jay Cutler improved to a new level that year – and the roles were reversed. The end of an era was suddenly in sight.

Regardless of the outcome, Kevin Levrone also comments on how Ronnie Coleman always had a smile on his face. Certainly the loss was hard on Ronnie, but Levrone never once saw Ronnie complain. Even after all of these years, through the injuries and surgeries, Ronnie still never seems to complain.

Despite the era ending – a legend was solidified. It’s more than just his physique, it was his mindset. Ronnie Coleman ended his reign in grace.

You can watch Kevin Levrone’s full comments from our latest GI Exclusive Vault interview segment above. You can also watch Ronnie Coleman: The King on digital today. Click here or the banner below to stream or download.

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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.