IFBB PRO 2021 season review.


I have done quick look at NPC 2021 season so time to do the same with Ifbb Pro.

Record breaking numbers in Men’s Open

There was exactly twenty four competitions in the men’s bodybuilding calendar for 2021. 
139 was a number of different competitors who took part in them, which is whooping 50 more than last year. 
The biggest number entered in Europe at Romania Muscle Fest Pro, twenty-four in mens bodybuilding open, for contrast smallest number was at Ben Weider Natural Pro, where Eric Salazar competed against himself. Looking at the average number of entries across all pro shows it was fourteen. The Egyptians bodybuilders were the most active Hassan Mostafa and Mohamed El Emam, stepped on stage seven times, followed by fellow country men Mohamed Shaaban who did six shows just like Roelly Winklaar and Camilo Diaz.

From UK most active was Nathan De Asha with four shows and most importantly three wins (most pro wins in 2021 btw and 9 in his carrier). Samson Dauda did three shows and ticked off from his bucket list first ticket to Mr Olympia winning at EVLS Prague Pro. James Hollinghead stepped only once on his first Olympia where he placed twelve.

Bodybuilding Open winners across 2021
Luis RodriguezUSAIndy Pro
Nick WalkerUSANew York Pro
Patrick MooreUSACalifornia Pro
Akim WilliamsUSAPuerto Rico Pro
Andrea PrestiItalyMr. Big Evolution Pro
Hunter LabradaUSAChicago Pro
Iain ValliereCanadaTampa Pro
Iain ValliereCanadaTexas Pro
Nathan De AshaGreat BritainEuropa Pro
Nick WalkerUSAArnold Classic
Nathan De AshaGreat BritainArnold Classic UK
Mamdouh ElssbiayEgyptMr. Olympia
Nathan De AshaGreat BritainYamamoto Cup San Marino Pro
Shaun ClaridaUSALegion Sports Fest Pro
Regan GrimesCanadaKO Pro
Samson DaudaGreat BritainEVLS Prague Pro
Rafael BrandaoBrazilRomania Muscle Fest Pro
Eric Salazar(Only competitor tho!)USABen Weider Natural Pro
Angel Calderón FriasSpainBigman Weekend Pro
Joel ThomasUSAToronto Pro Supershow

The 2020, was a very difficult year for everyone and perhaps not the best time for professional debuts.
Therefore, only fourteen open decided to do so back then. But 2021 was whole different story as forty-six guys stepped on Pro stage for the first time!
Blessing Awodibu and Behrooz Tabani got the best results among that list, both taking third in their first pro show (technically Eric Salazar’s got the best result, winning professional debut on Ben Weider Natural Pro but he was the only contestant so that doesn’t really count).
Have to mention Brits, Rob Taylor who got eight at Europa Pro, Lewis Breed ninth at Bigman Weekend Pro and from my home country Mariusz Tomczuk who placed twelfth at Europa Pro.
Most occupier spots by those debuting on pro stage was seventh, eighth and sixteenth place.
Nine “newbies” represented US which is the most of all countries, five of them come from Egypt, four from Brazil and three each from Iran and Italy.

2021 Debuts in Open Bodybuilding
Eric SalazarUSA1.Ben Weider Natural Pro
Blessing AwodibuIreland3.Indy Pro
Behrooz TabaniIran3.Romania Muscle Fest Pro
Martin FitzwaterUSA4.Texas Pro
Patrick JohnsonDenmark4.Arnold Classic UK
Sarhan SarhanPalestine5.Europa Pro
Mohamed FodaEgypt5.KO Pro
Eduardo RodriguezParaguay5.Bigman Weekend Pro
Khaled AwnyEgypt6.KO Pro
Emmanuel LongoriaMexico6.Toronto Pro Supershow
William MartinsBrazil7.Puerto Rico Pro
Zach MerkelUSA7.Chicago Pro
Mohammad NsourJordan7.Europa Pro
Ossama AshourEgypt7.KO Pro
Emir OmeragicGermany7.EVLS Prague Pro
Robert TaylorGreat Britain8.Europa Pro
Fabio RomagnoloItaly8.Yamamoto Cup San Marino Pro
Hamada AhmedEgypt8.KO Pro
Bruno Oliveira SantosBrazil8.Romania Muscle Fest Pro
Hassan JamaCanada8.Toronto Pro Supershow
Khaled AlkazemKuwait9.Mr. Big Evolution Pro
Lewis BreedGreat Britain9.Bigman Weekend Pro
Anton ShalUkraine10.Mr. Big Evolution Pro
Jephte CherenfantUSA10.Tampa Pro
Kevin BrucherGermany10.Bigman Weekend Pro
Douglas FrucheyUSA11.Tampa Pro
Babacar NiangItaly11.Yamamoto Cup San Marino Pro
Brandon HattonUSA11.Legion Sports Fest Pro
Mahmoud NegmEgypt11.KO Pro
Seth EngmanUSA12.Indy Pro
Mariusz Tomczuk Poland12.Europa Pro
Jesus Martin HernandezMexico12.Legion Sports Fest Pro
Valeri EnchevBulgaria13.Arnold Classic UK
Aldo MasoloItaly13.Yamamoto Cup San Marino Pro
Thiago LinsBrazil14.Puerto Rico Pro
Christian SalcedoUSA14.Legion Sports Fest Pro
Thierry AfandonougboFrance14.Bigman Weekend Pro
Alan BonadimanBrazil15.Puerto Rico Pro
Ayat BagheriIran15.Europa Pro
Scott LightfootUSA15.Legion Sports Fest Pro
Aivars GrigjānisLatvia15.Romania Muscle Fest Pro
Eiren GauleyCanada16.Tampa Pro
Ahmet KoçakTurkey16.Romania Muscle Fest Pro
Artur KovalevRussia16.Romania Muscle Fest Pro
Pouria PayounIran16.Romania Muscle Fest Pro
Toni KohonenFinland16.Romania Muscle Fest Pro

How was it in 212 pounds

So lets have a look how was it in 212 pounds (or should say 96.2 kg if you’re like me who prefers metrics that actually makes sense, god forbid any cave man who still uses stones ect.)
Just like in open there was significant difference, while in 2020, sixty-one pros appeared in nine competitions, in 2021 there was 118 different athletes at eighteen events (sadly both these years my favorite Muscle Contest didn’t happen in Ireland).
It is interesting that none of them managed to win more than once in this category although technically Angel Calderon did just his second win was in open at Bigman Weekend Pro where he made room for his mate Oleh Kryvyi to win his ticket to 212 Olympia “The beast from the east” came very close to winning two shows but due to very controversial judges decision at ELVS Prague Pro Ahmad Ashkanani won in the final. As for Olympia yet again we have seen new king, Derek Lunsford managed to beat 212 Olympia 2020 champ Shaun Clarida. Future may bring yet another champ as Derek does not rule out that he will not stay in the lightweight forever and may consider move to open.

Most interesting thing in 212 was that few started to play role of true giant killers, Shaun Clarida who confirmed that at the Legion Sports Fest Pro where he entered open and beat the likes of Regan Grimes, Sergio Oliva Jr., Max Charles, Patrick Moore and Cedric McMillan. As a lifelong competitor at the 212 Olympia, the 5`2 (157cm) next year he will have to think about which category he will actually compete at the Olympia. A same dilemma will be at already mentioned Spaniard Angel Calderon.

2021 212 Bodybuilding winners
Tonio BurtonUSAIndy Pro
Nathan EplerUSANew York Pro
Piotr BoreckiPolandPuerto Rico Pro
Lucas CoelhoBrazilMr. Big Evolution Pro
Keone PearsonUSAChicago Pro
Noel AdamMexicoPuerto Vallarta Pro
Kerrith BajjoUSATampa Pro
Ahmed WardanyEgyptTexas Pro
Vladimir YakovlevMoldovaEuropa Pro
Kim Jun HoSouth KoreaMonsterzym Pro
Derek LunsfordUSA212 Olympia
Mohamed Khaled EmbabyEgyptKO Pro
Ahmad AshkananiKuwaitEVLS Prague Pro
Angel Calderón FriasSpainRomania Muscle Fest Pro
Abdullah Al SaifSaudi ArabiaBen Weider Natural Pro
Felipe MoraesBrazilMusclecontest Brazil Pro
Oleh KryvyiUkraineBigman Weekend Pro
Douglas ConnorUSAToronto Pro

So going onto the stats on average, eleven bodybuilders took part in each year’s competition in the 212`s category.
The Tampa Pro was most popular with the pros , where we had twenty-five pros. The most active in 2021 was Samir Troudi from he stepped on stage six times, five times we have seen John Jewett, Nasser Sayed, Pasquale D’Angelo, Ahmed Wardany and Steve Benthin. Thirty-five men made their professional debut in the up to 212 pounds category this year, Tonio Burton, Mohamed Khaled Embaby, Felipe Moraes and Douglas Connor did their best and end up with victory. Piotr Borecki grabbed top spot in Puerto Rico , no Brits to report as Rob Taylor decided to move up to open, Julian-Lee Ramdhari UK`s Ben Weider 2019 winner got eighth at Bigman Weekend.

2021 Debuts in 212 Bodybuilding
Tonio BurtonUSA1.Indy Pro
Mohamed Khaled EmbabyEgypt1.KO Pro
Felipe MoraesBrazil1.Musclecontest Brazil Pro
Douglas ConnorUSA1.Toronto Pro
Nathan EplerUSA2.Indy Pro
Chae SeongminSouth Korea3.Monsterzym Pro
Mohamed SalahEgypt3.KO Pro
Bryan BalzanoUSA4.Indy Pro
Andrey MelnikovRussia4.Mr. Big Evolution Pro
Abdulrahman AlkhashtiKuwait4.EVLS Prague Pro
Andre Luz Dos SantosBrazil4.Musclecontest Brazil Pro
Stephen DidoshakCanada4.Toronto Pro
Christyan GomezHonduras5.Puerto Vallarta Pro
Wael Mohamed AminEgypt5.KO Pro
Peter KováčSlovakia5.EVLS Prague Pro
Ahmed BatEgypt6.Mr. Big Evolution Pro
Casey CastroUSA7.Tampa Pro
Francisco BarriosArgentina7.Europa Pro
Daniel SticcoItaly8.Mr. Big Evolution Pro
Martin GomezUSA8.Chicago Pro
Mirnes HusanovicBosnia and Herzegovina8.Romania Muscle Fest Pro
Julian-Lee RamdhariSouth African Republic8.Bigman Weekend Pro
Mahmoud AdelEgypt9.KO Pro
Ryan WaltersUSA10.Indy Pro
Iman RezaeiIran10.Europa Pro
Hamza JawadLebanon10.KO Pro
Adnan GostoBosnia and Herzegovina10.Romania Muscle Fest Pro
Todd LeeUSA11.Texas Pro
Jesus Fernandez RiveiroSpain11.Bigman Weekend Pro
Charlie WilliamsUSA13.Tampa Pro
Chad MerchantUSA14.Indy Pro
Sealy CruzUSA14.Chicago Pro
Kevin SimpsonUSA15.Chicago Pro
Darius MiltonUSA16.Tampa Pro
Jose SuarezUSA16.Tampa Pro

Browse through other categories

The list could go with with other categories but it would take me too long to write article that only few will see anyway.
So just few quick mentions.

In Classic Darren Ferrell had fantastic start to the season first placing second at Heart of Texas but grabbing ticket to his first Olympia by getting top spot at San Antonio Pro 2021, Michael Dabul will join him at Olympia after winning Arnold Classic in Birmingham.
Men`s Physique – we will see return in 2022 Olympia of the British veteran Ryan Terry as he also got his top spot in Birmingham, close in achieving the same is Emile Walker who has 21 points and leading in that classification.

Moving onto female categories, in fitness we had sensational results with Alix Small winning her Pro Fitness debut at Europa Pro 2021 and went on to her first Olympia within the same year where she placed 12th. Michelle Mensah won pro card and immediately after first Pro show at Arnold`s UK in Birmingham so we will se her at 2022 Olympia.

Leading British Bikini Phoebe Hagan will finally go to Olympia 2022 after winning Arnold UK.

Figure British champ Rhea Gale won Mr Big Evolution Pro back in July 2021 which gave her qualification to second Olympia in 2021.(Unfortunately she did not place, she was 9th in 2020), when it comes to Figure I have to mention new European Pro Tereza Linhartova from Czech Republic, within the same year she won shows in two major federation.
After two wins and placing forth at biggest european Elite Pro event in Arnold Classic in Spain she decided to try join her twin Sister Gabriela in Ifbb Pro (Gabriela also moved to Ifbb Pro from Elite back in 2019) . To no surprise she did just that within first attempt at Fitparade Pro Qualifier in Budapest the very next day she placed third at the Pro show followed by wins at Prague Pro and Bigman Pro.

Tereza`s placingsCategoryCompetition
1.Bodyfitness ELITE PROIFBB Elite Pro Czechia
1.Bodyfitness ELITE PROIFBB Elite Pro Georgia
4.Bodyfitness ELITE PROElite Pro Arnold Classic Europe Spain
1. and OVERALL FIGURENPC Fitparade Budapest
3.FIGURE IFBB PROFitparade Pro
1.FIGURE IFBB PRO Bigman Weekend Pro
2.FIGURE IFBB PRO Romania Muscle Fest Pro

That would be it from, let me know it the comments if I missed anything.


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