’I Don’t Speak for the Pro League’ – Fitness Volt
Egyptian bodybuilder Mamdouh ‘Big Ramy’ Elssbiay does not seem to have the same pull as he once did with the judges. In a recent Voice of Bodybuilding episode, IFBB Pro League athletes representative Bob Cicherillo fired back at those speculating about the league having a conspiracy against Ramy based on his latest performances.
Former two-time Mr. Olympia Big Ramy first gained attention for his overwhelming muscle mass and size as a Men’s Open competitor. He secured his maiden Sandow trophy by dethroning former champ Brandon Curry at the 2020 Mr. Olympia. He added a successful title defense under his belt the next year at the 2021 Mr. Olympia. Given his sheer size, many believed he was too far ahead of his competition and would continue his dominant run at the top.
Ramy failed to extend his reign at the 2022 Mr. Olympia last December. He came in looking off and suffered a tough loss as a result. The ever-consistent Hadi Choopan knocked him off the throne to become the new champion. Meanwhile, Ramy dropped down to the fifth spot. Some have speculated that Ramy missing a guest posing appearance at last year’s Pittsburgh Pro could have had something to do with his recent string of finishes.
He didn’t let the losses keep him away from competition as he signed up for the 2023 Arnold Classic, which wrapped up earlier this month with Samson Dauda emerging as the winner. He displayed an improved package in Ohio but could not push into the top three.
Following the show, there was a lot of debate surrounding the judging criteria with many calling for Ramy to place higher and the same for fellow standout Nick Walker, who finished runner-up. Some overzealous fans of Walker rallied against the judges and other competitors, leading him to issue a message urging them to be respectful.
Coach Milos Sarcev defended Dauda’s win and ruled out the idea of Ramy not getting a fair chance in the contest. He thought Walker lacked his usual freak factor and lost volume in his quads.
Bodybuilding icon Jay Cutler weighed in with his breakdown of the event. The four-time Mr. Olympia acknowledged the intense battle between the top three participants. While he admitted Dauda looked incredible, he shared the results easily could of swayed in ‘The Mutant’s’ favor.
Walker was confident he would come out on top but plans to come back stronger later this year. He later admitted that Samson Dauda didn’t bring enough firepower to take him out as a former Arnold Classic winner.
On the other hand, Bob Cicherillo criticized those disrespecting the judging/scorecards. Moreover, he believes Walker lost his edge due to a significant reduction in the size of his legs, adding that he could of finished third. A few days later, Cicherillo provided a comprehensive roadmap for assessing a physique while adding to his take on why Walker did not deserve to win.
Earlier this week, Cicherillo recommended Big Ramy revamp his physique in a major overhaul. He has doubts about whether Ramy could pull off a triumphant comeback and win another Olympia title.
Bob Cicherillo dismisses conspiracy against Big Ramy & Nick Walker
In a recent YouTube video, Bob Cicherillo issued a response to those alleging there’s a conspiracy against Big Ramy and Nick Walker.
“Today’s subject is conspiracy theories and they have come out in full swing ever since I put my opinions out on the Arnold,” said Cicherillo. “Nick Walker, Big Ramy, my opinions on what they should do with their careers. These guys come out in full force, the amount of theories, conspiracies, and conjecture, and all these other things everybody brings. It never comes down to just one simple fact, which is could it be that your guy or whoever it is you’re a fan of just weren’t good enough? Could that be possible? Can anybody ever accept the fate that someone else was just better on that day?”
Cicherillo explained that judging is based on comparisons not who brought their personal best.
“I have seen some speculation on various outlets and podcast thinking that just because they feel, and we’ll get into their feelings in a minute, that their guy was a 100 percent, they nailed it or whatever, that doesn’t necessarily mean they were good enough to beat the other guy. The percentages are not equal across the board everybody. Let’s say Nick was a 100 percent. His 100% in this case is not better than Samson’s 95%. Now, we’re just applying arbitrary numbers but you get where I’m going with this.
“Everybody’s got shortfalls in bodybuilding. Nick is very dependent on what the other guys bring to the table. If he brings 100% every time, it’s going to depend on what the others bring in terms of shape, structure, proportion.”
Cicherillo defends Jim Manion & the IFBB Pro League
Bob hit back at the rumors suggesting Jim Manion holds a grudge against Big Ramy after failing to show up for guest posing at the Pittsburgh Pro.
“Conspiracy number one, Big Ramy lost because he didn’t show up in Pittsburgh to do a guest posing at Jim Manion’s Pittsburgh Pro,” said Cicherillo. “This is just laughable. Is this really what you got to cling to? You think Jim, of all people, gives two craps who shows up at his guest posing? A lot of people aren’t able to make it for various reasons. He invites a lot of people, usually top six or seven Olympians, been a tradition for many years.
“To this day, II don’t really know why Ramy couldn’t make it… But to actually think that there is some conspiracy to take him out of position because he didn’t show up for guest posing is ridiculous.”
Cicherillo continued to explain his case and emphasized that judging awards the most ‘perfectly developed’ person on stage.
“The other notion that the judges are looking at a new direction now. Ramy’s a thing of the past now they’re onto a new direction. As if there’s a big meeting that takes place. That there’s a different direction, different vision for bodybuilding. Who’s they? The judges judge whoever shows up on stage. They pick the best bodybuilder on that day whatever division it might be in their opinion.
“The direction’s been the same it’s always been. They want the most perfectly developed person on that stage to meet the criteria and put them in the winner’s circle.”
“The reason that Big Ramy lost is Big Ramy did not bring his best. Anybody who sees anything differently, you need to pick a different sport to follow because you have no idea what you’re looking at.”
Cicherillo says he doesn’t speak for the Pro League
Cicherillo was accused of playing favorites for the Pro League and not the athletes. He issued a response defending his stance on the topic and made it clear he doesn’t speak for anyone else but himself.
“For those who think I’m a company man and all that stuff. First of all, I’m not employed by that company okay. Never to this day has there been a check from the IFBB Pro League written to me or one of my business ventures or anything for that matter. There is no on the payroll or I just suck up to the Pro league or Jim Manion. I don’t work for Jim Manion or the Pro league. Even in my athlete rep capacity, I represent the athletes, not the federation. Some things might benefit the federation as they should benefit mutually.”
“I can assure you the judges got it right at the end of the day. If Big Ramy comes back or not, we’ll see. I’ve given him my recommendations and when I say my recommendations that’s coming from me personally. I know Nick Trigili put out a thing talking about how you feel as though I’m speaking for the Pro league and they’re sending a message to Ramy. Bro, I don’t care what you feel. This ain’t about your feelings. It’s about my facts. I don’t speak for the Pro league I speak for me. That’s my advice to Ramy whether he takes it or not.
“You can continue to feel however you want but I can assure you you’ve got no idea what you’re talking about.”
If history is any indication, the debate is likely far from over and will continue to rage on as other fans chime in with their responses. Hopefully, Cicherillo’s explanation helps add more context to the situation.
You can watch the full video below.
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