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What is your take on the other pros in the 2017 212 Olympia top five?
Ahmad Ashkanani (2nd) is a great guy. He’s a very likable pro with a phenomenal lat spread. He has so much thickness in his upper body. It creates a bit of an imbalance because he needs to bring up his legs, but, like me, he’s pushing against the 212 weight limit. Does he downsize to bring his legs up? It’s a tough place to be.
Jose Raymond (3rd) is a competitor who, despite his age, is as hungry as ever to compete and win. He went back to the drawing board and returned with a new look and new energy, and he came back to win. He has had a lot of injuries over the years, and he just pushes past them. He pushed Ashkanani. Some say it was very close. When Raymond is on, he is one of the fiercest guys on the stage.
David Henry (4th) has a great physique. He’s always a formidable opponent. He’s the hardest guy in the show. He’s always improving. He defines and defies the age brackets. Here’s a guy who stood against some of the best pros in the past, and he is still one of the most unpredictable pros. He’s a massive threat on the stage.
Derek Lunsford (5th) is a young guy who shot to the top fast. I think he’s got a future in 212 as long as he stays humble and doesn’t come across as cocky. It’s a heady thing when you move up that fast. I don’t think he can just jump over the guys ahead of him yet, but he will be a threat to the top of the 212 in the future. For now, he has his foot in the door for the future. It will be interesting to see what he does with that opportunity.