Dexter Jackson has had one of the most successful careers in all of bodybuilding. He won the sport’s highest honor when he took home the Sandow at the 2008 Mr. Olympia and has also been victorious on four different occasions at the Arnold Classic, the second most prestigious show on the IFBB calendar.
This March, he will be vying for a record fifth Arnold win and break the tie that he forged with Flex Wheeler when “The Blade” last tasted victory in Columbus in 2013. He comes in this year as one of the favorites but will be facing a formidable line-up that includes bodybuilders who can shake up the top three if they are in shape, as they have experienced ups and downs in that category. But that has never been the case for Jackson, who is always on top of his game in that category and should be once again, even at 45 years of age.
He will have to beat out the likes of two-time Arnold Classic winner Branch Warren, Even Centopani, Justin Compton, Cedric McMillan, Roelly Winklaar, Lionel Beyeke and more. Although it will not be easy, Jackson should squeak by and be the all-time highest winner of the Arnold Classic.
Here’s a look back at his other victories in Ohio:
This was the ‘Year of the Gut’ in a manner of speaking and even Jackson came in with a distended midsection, something out of the ordinary for him. Arnold Schwarzenegger himself even spoke negatively about it the following morning at his annual seminar. In perhaps the weakest line-up in the show’s history, Jackson didn’t need to even be at his best to defeat the likes of Ben Pakulski (second) and Toney Freeman (third).
The exact opposite was the case five years earlier when one of the deepest line-ups took the stage at the Veterans Memorial. Jackson had it dialed in and that was necessary with Phil Heath, Kai Greene and Branch Warren (second through fourth, respectively) against him.
Another quality win for Jackson that year with runner-up Branch Warren really pushing him, as did Victor Martinez, who placed third but would win it a year later. Gustavo Badell, Melvin Anthony and Lee Priest rounded out the top six.
Talk about earning your first Arnold win! Jackson had to finish atop a list of bodybuilders that included Chris Cormier (second), Badell (third) and Priest (third).