A look back at the 2008 Arnold Classic
By Dave Lee
February 26, 2009
Last year at the 2008 Arnold Classic, with '07 defending champion Victor Martinez sidelined with a knee injury (torn patellar tendon), the heavy favorites were '05-'06 Arnold champion Dexter Jackson and '06 Colorado Pro and New York Pro winner Phil Heath. The only previous meeting between the two at the '07 Arnold resulted with Heath finishing in fourth behind Gustavo Badell and Jackson getting runner-up to eventual winner Martinez. But Jackson, a solid front-runner in any show he enters, had cause for concern as Heath's spectacular victory at the Ironman Pro just two weeks earlier generated plenty of industry buzz.
In the end, Jackson went on to win his third Arnold title while Heath had to settle for second; but the young blood had clearly closed the gap on the seasoned veteran. Of course, Jackson captured the Olympia that September with Heath finishing in third behind second place finisher and now former Mr. Olympia Jay Cutler.
This year, with both Jackson and Heath focusing on the Olympia in September, all eyes are on Martinez and his return to the competitive stage. Martinez finished second to Jay Cutler at the 2007 Olympia in what many considered to be a controversial decision as he was at or near his all-time best and Cutler was far from his. The aforementioned injury kept him from competing in 2008 but by all reports, he is hungry and eager to take the stage once more. Add Kai Greene, Toney Freeman, Branch Warren (also returning from injury), Silvio Samuel, Dennis James, Moe El Moussawi and Ahmad Haidar among others and you have a stellar lineup for the big spring classic.
But before we raise the curtain on the 2009 Arnold Classic on March 5-7th in Columbus, Ohio, and before we blast off our week-long AC preview right here on Flexonline.com, let's turn back the clock and revisit the 2008 Arnold and see what happened during March Madness, bodybuilding style.