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Olympia Dream Matchup Four: Dennis James versus Gustavo Badell
by Allan Donnelly
September 21, 2008
THE MATCHUP: Dennis James versus Gustavo Badell
Leading up to the 2008 Mr. Olympia on September 26-27 at The Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, we’ll break down some of the most intriguing potential matchups and subplots to the contest.
The fourth in our Olympia Dream Matchup Series: Dennis James vs Gustavo Badell.
TALE OF THE TAPE
NAME: Dennis James
NICKNAME: The Menace
WEIGHT: 245 pounds
OLYMPIA HISTORY: 2000, 11th; 2001, 7th; 2002, 10th; 2003, 4th; 2004, 8th; 2005, 6th; 2006, 9th.
NAME: Gustavo Badell
NICKNAME: The Freakin’ Rican
WEIGHT: 250 pounds
OLYMPIA HISTORY: 2002, DNP, 2004, 3rd; 2005, 3rd; 2006, 6th; 2007, 8th
WHY WE WANT TO SEE IT: The physiques of both James and Badell have undergone makeovers in the last year, as each has attempted to trim down what were once growing waistlines. While neither will be mistaken for Melvin Anthony or Dexter Jackson anytime soon, both have been successful in streamlining their physiques. Badell looked very good when placing second to Phil Heath at the Ironman Pro this year – before slipping a bit at the Arnold two weeks later – while James, after a taking a year off from competition, was rejuvinated this summer when placing second at both the Tampa Pro Bodybuilding Weekly Championships and the Europa Super Show.
WHAT WE WILL SEE: Two very similar physiques, each with impressive upper body thickness, fighting for spots in the top eight and possibly higher. Badell has had time off since the Arnold, and could approach his level of conditioning at the Ironman. How high James places will be determined by how close he can come to matching his conditioning from Dallas.
SEE FOR YOURSELF: The two could grow very familiar with each other over the course of the prejudging. It’s unlikely that both will be in the second callout, but not impossible, so a comparison in the third or fourth callout should carry over to several more and – with very similar physiques – the smallest advantage could be the deciding factor.
OUR TAKE: Badell’s lower lat development will give him the edge in the back shots, so James will have to out-condition Badell and win the side shots in order to edge past Badell in this lineup. The leg development of each has regressed slightly in recent years, so whoever holds the advantage in that department could end up topping the other.