Derek Lunsford battles a tough fight against Shaun Clarida and Kamal Elgargni.

Going into the Olympia 2019 Men’s 212 this year many people put their money on Derek Lunsford to take the title. But was it all simply hype this entire time? The prejudging for Men’s 212 has concluded and from the looks of it Lunsford wasn’t the standout that many were hoping for. Don’t get us wrong, Lunsford’s physique was looking strong and he can certainly still take the first place position at tonight’s finals – but it’s now looking like much more of a battle than anyone would have thought.

That’s largely in part due to Shaun Clarida who turned heads when he stepped onto stage and most certainly shocked fans when he went into the comparison rounds. Often held back due to his short height – Clarida has been having somewhat of a renaissance over the past two years with his highlight being his victory at the New York Pro in 2018. Of course, that was two years ago so it still came as a shock to see Clarida bring in what might be his best physique of his career.

While it’s not a guarantee, many fans on social media have already started changing their predictions believing that Clarida has cleared the slate and will lay his stake as the first place victor later tonight.

Also on the stage catching attention was Kamal Elgargni – who isn’t letting Shaun Clarida or Derek Lunsford get away with a 1 vs 1 battle if he can get away with it. All three of these athletes landed in the top 3 callout at the end of the prejudging comparison rounds – and Elgargni was moved to the center by the judges which is usually a strong sign that he is being considered for the first place spot.

At the end of the day – the Men’s 212 may have brought some shake ups that were unexpected – but one thing that held true was that it would be a truly open show without Flex Lewis to come in as returning champion. This is a truly exciting race to the finish and it can be anyone’s game between Derek Lunsford, Shaun Clarida, or Kamal Elgargni.

Weren’t in Vegas for the competition? You can get a sneak peek at the Men’s 212 judging including the top 3 callout in Fazi Fitness‘ compilation video above.

Who do you think will win the Olympia 2019 Men’s 212 competition? Let us know in the comments below.

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