Just Months After Dethroning Hadi Choopan at Olympia, Derek Lunsford Drops Predictions for Arnold Classic 2024

Published 02/12/2024, 8:21 AM EST

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After the fiasco of Mr. Olympia 2023, Derek Lunsford was subject to major hate from the fans of runner-up Hadi Choopan, despite the latter storming off stage during the medal ceremony. While the bodybuilding community might have been divided between Lunsford and Choopan, the bodybuilders themselves never felt that way.

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Now, as the Arnold Classic 2024 approaches, Lunsford has revealed his own predictions for the top three. While his appreciation of Choopan was visible as his first-place prediction, the other two names in his list are definitely people who can give some tough competition to the Persian Wolf. 

Derek Lunsford puts Samson Dauda on the list

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In one of his Instagram Q&A sessions, Derek Lunsford was asked by a fan about his “Top 3 Open for Arnold” In reply, the present Mr. Olympia instantly named his most formidable opponent as the very first prediction. He stated, “Hadi, Samson, Rafa. Top 3. Let’s go,”  revealing how Hadi Choopan, Samson Dauda, and Rafael Brandao were his top picks.  

 

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Given the lineup of the competition which includes the current Arnold Classic title holder Samson Dauda, Choopan, as well as Rafael Brandao, who placed tenth in his Mr. Olympia debut in 2022, the upcoming Arnold Classic is surely going to be one of the most anticipated and exciting shows this year.

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On the other hand, Samson Dauda seems to have many in his corner. It’s not just Lunsford who thought he could make the top three. Former Mr. Olympia Jay Cutler had emphasized Dauda as his choice between two of the most popular contenders. Cutler definitely had his reasons for his predictions for the event.

Jay Cutler chooses Dauda over Hadi Choopan

After being asked by Milos Sarcev to choose between Choopan and Dauda, Cutler showcased his analysis before going with Dauda’s name. The bodybuilder first explained how proportion, shape, symmetry, and height would be a major difference between the bodybuilders, while further adding how if both the participants stand next to each other, people will see a variance in size.

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“I love Hadi, but dude, Samson owns the show right now,” the four-time Mr. Olympia exclaimed.

“Absolutely”: After Winning Mr. Olympia 2023, Derek Lunsford Confirms His Presence at Arnold’s Classic 2024

Even though Lunsford got backlash from several of Choopan’s fans after Mr. Olympia, he has still gone on to mention the Persian Wolf as his top prediction. While only time will tell if it will be Dauda or Choopan who will lift the trophy, one can be assured that the 2024 Arnold Classic will be a must-watch event.

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Who do you have your bets on? Let us know in the comments below.

WATCH THIS STORY | At Mr. Olympia, 2023 Press Conference, Defending Runners-Up Derek Lunsford Reveals Why He Lost To Hadi Choopan Last Year

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Written by:

Pritha Halder

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Pritha Halder is a bodybuilding writer at EssentiallySports. Specializing in covering the off-court life of bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts, she can often be seen scrounging Kali Muscle’s Instagram feed to find the new fruitarian diet the fitness influencer is on. Having completed her Bachelor's in English Language and Literature from a multidisciplinary university, Pritha started her career as a writer for a literary magazine, before delving into the world of fitness.
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