Recap of storylines and backstage quotes from the Ironman Pro

by Allan Donnelly

February 18, 2008


If you missed it, here's what happened at the Ironman Pro on Saturday - Phil Heath won. Gustavo Badell finished second. Toney Freeman came in off and fell to eighth, and a shredded Mo Elmoussawi turned out to be the surprise of the show, climbing to third and earning an invite to the Arnold Classic in two weeks.

But that's far from everything that happened at the contest. Even if you were there, you likely missed a lot of what happened behind the scenes. So here's a recap of the evening, starting with how our Seven Storylines for the Ironman panned out, and ending with some of the more memorable quotes from the night. As far as the Seven Storylines, we'll spare you the whole story and skip right to the conclusion and the aftermath.

To view the Seven Storylines article CLICK HERE

To view backstage pictures from the Ironman Pro, CLICK HERE.

TITLE: Miller Time (Desmond Miller)
WHAT WE SAID: If he has improved his back, Miller could contend for a spot in the top five.
WHAT WE'RE SAYING: Miller looked like a world-beater in the side shots, but suffered from straight on. He finished just outside the top five in sixth.

TITLE: Swan Song (Troy Alves)
WHAT WE SAID: Unless he has made considerable improvements, it is going to be very difficult for Alves to crack the top five, let alone the top 10, against this stacked lineup.
WHAT WE'RE SAYING: Alves finished 9th. His upper body looked good, but an inability to dial in his hamstrings once again prevented Alves from climbing any higher. Still, this was a stacked lineup, and Alves just may be able to sneak in one more Olympia qualification before it's all said and done.

TITLE: Take Your Pick (Johnnie Jackson, Will Harris, David Henry)
WHAT WE SAID: This lineup is stacked at the top. None of the above are complete enough (Jackson, Harris) or big enough (Henry) to crack the top three. But it is very likely that one - or two - could crack the top five and earn an Olympia qualification.
WHAT WE'RE SAYING: Jackson led the charge from this contingent by finishing 5th, although even he was a bit off. The other two - Henry (12th) and Harris (11th) - missed the mark completely.

TITLE: Sil's Ascent (Silvio Samuel)
WHAT WE SAID: If he has improved his back width and has added some size - as we hear he has - Samuel could crack the top three here.
WHAT WE'RE SAYING: Samuel came thisclose to fulfilling this prediction, but ended up in fourth. If it weren't for the unexpected emergence of Mo Elmoussawi (well, not completely unexpected, since we tabbed Elmoussawi as our darkhorse Top 5 finisher after the weigh-ins on the Flexonline Forums) Samuel would have been in the top three.

TITLE: Walk the Walk (Gustavo Badell)
WHAT WE SAID: Aside from Harris, Badell will likely have the best back in the contest. And, at 5-foot-7 and around 250 pounds, Badell will be one of the thickest. However, a lack of hamstring development in recent outings could prove to be his downfall in terms of repeating his winning performance from 2005. Still, Badell will contend for a spot in the top three.
WHAT WE'RE SAYING: Badell backed up his pre-contest talk by placing second, a much better showing than his previous outing at the '07 Olympia. In the end, Badell fell victim to the superior conditioning and lines of eventual winner Phil Heath.

TITLE: X-Factor (Toney Freeman)
WHAT WE SAID: Provided he regains that form, Freeman is likely the only one in the lineup who can make a run at winning the show other than ...
WHAT WE'RE SAYING: Plain and simple, Freeman missed the mark condition-wise once again and fell to 8th in the order. A major disappointment, but - always the professional - the X-Man seemed unfazed after the contest. With two weeks to get it right until the Arnold, we'll take a wait-and-see approach before deciding whether Freeman's last two outings are aberrations or a sign that the X-Man is slipping.

TITLE: Heath Hype (Phil Heath)
WHAT WE SAID: Word is that Heath will take the stage somewhere in the low 230s, which would be around 15 pounds heavier than he was at the Arnold Classic last year, without sacrificing any of his aesthetics or his trademark razor-sharp conditioning. If that is the case, the future is now, and the Ironman is his.
WHAT WE'RE SAYING: Wow. Just wow.

What they're saying - Some of the more memorable quotes from the Ironman Pro

"Southwest doesn?t fly that far." - 11th-place finisher Will Harris at the weigh-in, on why he won't be competing in the New Zealand Pro

"Right now, Dexter Jackson just left for the gym to do an extra session of cardio." - Pro Bodybuilding Weekly Pep Talk host Larry Pepe after seeing Phil Heath's mandatory poses at the prejudging

"I think I did pretty good. I think from my callout that they liked me." - 15th-place finisher Kenny Jones, after being called out for the first and only time during the final callout of the prejudging

"He is going to be the standard in bodybuilding in a few years, where you are going to see more symmetrical, more aesthetically pleasing physiques." -IFBB Judge John Tuman on Phil Heath

"I can't be more excited, I'll tell you that. The Olympia... Vegas... It's just a beautiful thing." - Third-place finisher Mo Elmoussawi on qualifying for his first Olympia

"The judges are looking for improvement every time you step on stage. Everybody knows Dexter comes in razor sharp and Melvin does a good job as well. However Phil has improved and think that is one thing the judges are going to be noticing once again at the Arnold." - IFBB Pro Joel Stubbs

"Silvio may have been a tad harder but his shape wasn't as good, so again it's the judges choice of sometimes they like someone who has better overall shape compared to muscularity. But they were both very good. At the Arnold it could change either way. As we know, two weeks is a long time with physiques.? - IFBB President Jim Manion on the battle for third and fourth between Mo Elmoussawi and Silvio Samuel

"Sitting at the judges table, there were some chills when he walked out there. I was not expecting what I saw." - IFBB Judge Lee Thompson on Phil Heath

"I don't know where he's gonna go from here in two weeks because it's hard to hold your peak. Either he's gonna have to fill up a little more and sacrifice some conditioning or he's gonna have to drop down two pounds or three pounds or whatever it takes him to sharpen up even more. And that's gonna leave the door open for a lot of people." - IFBB Pro Melvin Anthony, on Phil Heath-s chances at the Arnold Classic on March 1

"I still have to give Dexter the nod. He's the veteran. With those guys being similar - the same type of cuts and stuff - I still see Dexter as a thicker person. If he comes in with all the different striations and the trademark things he has, I still see Dexter ahead." - IFBB Pro Chris Cormier on the looming Dexter Jackson-Phil Heath showdown at the Arnold