“The Mutant” is hungry for an additional Arnold Basic title.
Nick “The Mutant” Walker wasn’t all the time a hulking phenom — one in every of trendy bodybuilding’s prime opponents. Then he received the 2021 Arnold Basic (AC) throughout his Worldwide Federation of Bodybuilding and Health (IFBB) Professional League rookie yr, and he’s seemingly solely grow to be extra excessive profile by the day ever since. A fifth-place end result on the 2021 Mr. Olympia was a becoming cherry on prime for an athlete who appeared like the following huge factor within the sport. Now, after a podium efficiency on the 2022 Mr. Olympia, Walker will probably be losing no time getting again on the mass warpath. He’ll return to a few of his roots to do it.
On Jan. 12, 2023, the Arnold Sports activities Competition revealed that Walker would compete on the 2023 version of the Arnold Basic. The competition is at present scheduled for Mar. 2-5, 2023, in Columbus, OH, the place, unsurprisingly, a number of different established superstars already plan to assemble. A stacked discipline probably received’t intimidate Walker, who appears to be on a decided mission to make it two vaunted AC titles in three years.
Walker’s AC return announcement got here shortly after the Arnold Sports activities Competition introduced that this yr’s first-place prize cash can be upped to $300,000 for the Males’s Open winner. That compensation is sort of 3 times Walker’s victory winnings of $130,000 in 2021, partly signifying the large speedy progress of the competitors and its significance.
In a fast put up on his Instagram, Walker tersely however effectively elaborated on the information of his return to the AC. He shared an image from his successful efficiency on the 2021 iteration with a caption of “run it again,” with apparent intentions of overcoming his elite friends on the Columbus, OH, stage once more.
Walker will face no scarcity of worthy challengers to etch his title because the Arnold Basic winner for the second time in three years.
For instance, two-time winner William Bonac will search his third profession AC crown (2018, 2022), a feat solely 4 different bodybuilders have completed within the contest’s 33-year historical past. On the identical time, a more moderen ascending star like Samson Dauda may even be vying for the momentous championship. Different notable confirmed names thus far embody Kamal Elgargni and Akim Williams.
Notably, a bunch of relative newcomers in Derek Lunsford, Blessing Awodibu, and Michal “Križo” Križánek introduced plans to skip the tentpole contest. Every of the three athletes made a distinction that they’d favor to get some relaxation earlier than focusing most of their efforts on an improved efficiency on the 2023 Olympia in November. Lunsford, particularly, because the 2022 runner-up in his Males’s Open debut, may need probably the most sensible probability of reaching these lofty objectives.
On the time of this text’s publication, it’s unclear if one other two-time AC victor (2019, 2022) and the reigning champion, Brandon Curry, will come again to defend his title.
The 2023 Arnold Basic is already shaping as much as be a battlefield if bulletins like Walker’s anticipated look imply something. With the brand new yr up and rolling, March’s competitors will probably be a memorable addition to bodybuilding lore.
Featured picture: @nick_walker39 on Instagram