Paul Dillett reflects on what it was like to compete against 6x Olympia champion Dorian Yates.
While Dorian Yates is often referred to as The Original Mass Monster, Paul Dillett was also a massive force to be reckoned with. A combination of his taller height (6’3″) and mass monster size made him a titan on stage. When Paul Dillett would clash with Dorian Yates, it was an epic moment indeed. But what was it like behind the scenes? In our latest GI Exclusive interview, Paul Dillett reflects on the most memorable moments facing off against Dorian Yates.
Starting unofficially with Dorian Yates – the mass monster era of bodybuilding exploded throughout the 90s. While there were still incredible athletes on the smaller end like Shawn Ray and Kevin Levrone. Monsters like Dorian Yates and Paul Dillett truly brought the “freak factor” into the sport. Or at the very least, brought it to levels previously unseen.
During our video conversation with Paul Dillett, we got on the topic of Dorian Yates and what it was like to compete against the eventual 6x Olympia champion. Dillett had nothing but amazing memories and stories to tell. The rivalry between these two athletes was fierce – but it was also filled with respect.
“I think we all had mutual respect for each other. Even though we talked a lot of shit, you know?” Paul Dillett stated when reflecting on competing against Dorian Yates. He continued:
“But that’s just a part of the game right? We still – we talked shit about each other but not in a disrespectful way. We talked shit because we all wanted to win. At the end of the day, the chips are going to fall where they may. But we all wanted to win. We all think we’re better than the next guy. But we never disrespected each other.”
Paul Dillett continues to look fondly back on the European tour. A period of time after the Olympia when nearly all top bodybuilders traveled the world participating in major competitions in Europe. It’s one of the most exciting periods of time during the bodybuilding season. It seems that Dillett felt that very excitement competing against Dorian throughout the European tour.
Today, bodybuilders are able to post all of their progress, updates, and behind the scenes moments via social media. This can be a blessing and a curse. It’s amazing to get more content from our favorite athletes in the sport – but it also takes away some of the mystique.
Dorian Yates was a notoriously quiet bodybuilder. He focused on himself until the day of a competition. Hearing Paul Dillett talk about the European tour and the back and forth battle between these two competitors is thrilling. This is mostly because there was no social media to capture it as it was happening. All we saw was what as on stage and in magazines.
This bit of oral history showcasing the epic moments between two epic bodybuilders are important to filling in the gaps of our bodybuilding history. It’s even more exciting to know that their rivalry was full of fire and respect.
You can watch Paul Dillett’s comments on Dorian Yates in our latest GI Exclusive interview segment above!