Muscle Sport Magazine

Akim Williams To Win Arnold & Olympia

We’re going against two of our ‘usuals,’ if you will, with this article. First of all, we hate predictions for events, albeit it a baseball game or a bodybuilding competition. It’s a guess at best – educated (in some cases) or not – and no one recalls them, anyway. Secondly, it’s a little early to look ahead to the Olympia, especially with such a prestigious show coming up a mere two weeks before the big weekend in Orlando. But we just have a good feeling about this, want to make not one, but two predictions and explain with a caveat. Got it? Good… because we’re not even sure if we do.

Our minds were already made up about the Olympia, surprisingly, and since the cat’s going to be out of the bag, anyway, that choice is Akim Williams. We’ll explain in more detail how we came to that conclusion later in this piece, but we’re getting a bit ahead of ourselves; we’re only revealing that prediction now because of the news coming out of the Arnold Classic.


If you haven’t heard, William Bonac had to drop out due to travel quarantine restrictions; he is currently in Abu Dhabi and will not be able to enter the United States due to the still annoying-as-fuck COVID-19 restrictions. Bonac will be unable to defend his title in Columbus and that left the field open for even more of a chance for someone like the aforementioned Williams to stand in the winner’s circle.


To be quite honest, we had no intention of making a prediction about the Arnold Classic due to what we said above, plus Arnold Schwarzenegger’s infamous “Screw your freedom” remark is one that we felt was fucked up enough to keep us away from a show that we have attended every year since 2008 (minus 2020 with the pandemic and all of the restrictions). Having no expo was also a major contributing factor in our decision and the closeness in dates with the Olympia – a show that we also attend regularly and does have an expo this year – made it an easy call for us, all things considered.

But now with Bonac out, we didn’t want to be viewed as fair weather fans for picking Williams to win the Olympia. Here’s the part we teased earlier…

All along, we felt that Williams would duplicate what Brandon Curry did in 2019 – win both the Arnold Classic and Mr. Olympia. A bit different, of course, since that year, the AC was in its usual March and Olympia in September. So one can look at it two different ways – a bodybuilder has to peak twice in one year and is it easier to do so months or weeks apart? That’s up to the individual.

But for argument’s sake, let’s say that Bonac won his third Arnold this Saturday. Williams should place very high in Ohio and contend for the top spot. Would Bonac be able to maintain that top conditioning from September 25 to October 9? A quick check of his contest history shows that he won the Arnold in 2018 then placed fourth at the Olympia. A year later, he was the runner-up at both. Then last year, he was victorious in Ohio but fell all the way to fifth place at the Olympia.

One can make their own determination if Bonac can duplicate a winning physique in the two biggest shows on the IFBB Pro League calendar and each side would have a good argument. But that’s not the case, and our opinion is that even if Bonac was there, Williams would have slightly edged him.

Now let’s look to the Olympia. A year ago, Williams was easily the biggest surprise and most improved bodybuilder on stage, and that includes the eventual winner Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay. He ended up in sixth, but could have easily jumped up one to even three spots in our opinion; it was that close. In 2019, the man knows as “The Beast” finished ninth in Las Vegas, giving him top-six and top-10 placings the last two years, respectively; he is ready to make a big move.

Being an East Coaster, there will be no issues travel or even time zone-wise for Williams. Such will not be the case if Bonac can make his way to America by Olympia Weekend. He will have a lot on his plate unless he can get into Florida fairly soon.

The 2019 champion and last year’s runner-up Curry will have something to say, of course, but we feel that he has peaked and had a great career. Plus being part of The Oxygen Gym Camel Crew in Kuwait takes its toll on the human body; there is only so much chemical enhancement one can take before things begin to break down health-wise. Word is that Williams has also joined forces with Coach Abdullah of the Camel Crew, but total time in is the relegating factor with our observation.


Elssbiay is another bodybuilder who has pushed his body to the list and even though he left the Camel Crew, the damage has already been done. He actually looked more aesthetic last December and was a deserved winner of the Sandow. But let’s not pretend that there aren’t intangibles involved in any business and having the defending champion – the supposed face of the franchise, if you will – basically disappear for 11 months is not something that went over well. Besides coming out in support of Palestinian terrorists in their never-ending battle with Israel a few months back, Elssbiay was nowhere to be found, seen nor heard. He recently did an interview with Dan Solomon, but too little and way too late.


Phil Heath? The worst-kept secret in the bodybuilding industry was finally revealed today when his coach Hany Rambod announced that the seven-time Olympia winner would not compete and in fact never planned to. Quite the different story that Heath, 41, told himself during an interview with Patrick Bet-David, stating that he was not contacted yet by the promoters when that isn’t even necessary since any former champion can enter the show even at the 11th hour. (See the 1980 Mr. Olympia for a perfect example.) Hopefully Heath just goes away quietly and no one will even miss him in the least bit; he’s not known by the fans as the ‘Most Hated Mr. Olympia’ in history for nothing.


Williams qualified earlier in the year by winning the Puerto Rico Pro and could have simply waited for the Olympia. But he smells blood in the water and capturing an Arnold Classic would put him at another level.

We think it’s his time to shine and saying so eclipses our old habits.


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