Our NPC USA Preview series kicks off with the bantem, light, welter, and middleweight classes!

July 21, 2011


The lightest four divisions at the USA are a 202 proving ground. Four competitors in the top 10 of last year’s Olympia 202 Showdown were previously victorious in a USA lightweight, welterweight or middleweight class: Tricky Jackson, Daryl Gee, Stan McQuay and Jose Raymond. In fact, Raymond, one of the favorites to take the 202 O title this year, pulled off a USA hat trick, winning three different classes: lightweight (‘01), welterweight (‘04) and middleweight (‘07). And, as for the bantamweights, don’t sleep on them. Marvin Ward made his name as a dominating bantam, and he’ll be flexing in this year’s Olympia 202 Showdown.

With four pro cards up for grabs in men’s bodybuilding, one of them, at a minimum, will go to one of the four lightest USA class winners. After his victories in the welterweight division at the past two USA’s, Luis Santa is returning as a pro-card favorite. Whether he’s in the welters or middles, Santa will bring the gifts. Only the last of these four was officially committed when we checked earlier this week, but we expect to see most or all of these welter and middle veterans back again: Jesse Sabater, Danny Hester, Neko Roberson and Steve Karnya. Whoever flexes next weekend, at least one of the guys who weighs in at under 176 is going to be moving up from the NPC lighter classes to the IFBB big league.

jesse-sabater.jpg luis-santa.jpg

Danny Hester
neko_roberson.jpg steve-karnya.jpg

Check out FLEXonline all week for the most in-depth coverage of the NPC USA Championships on July 29-30 in Las Vegas! FLEXonline is the only place you’ll see backstage coverage during the entire contest. Stay tuned for the figure & bikini “5 to Watch” tomorrow and the light-heavyweight men on Monday! The previews will continue all week until we are live from Las Vegas (next Thursday) with exclusive weigh-in photos!

WHAT: 2011 NPC USA Championships
WHERE: Artemus W. Ham Concert Hall at UNLV, Las Vegas, NV
WHEN: Friday & Saturday, July 29-30, 2011
TIME: Prejudging at 4:30pm on Friday & 9:00am on Saturday; All Finals at 6:00pm Saturday!!!