Can Kai Greene defend his title at the 2010 Arnold Classic?
March 2, 2010
By Dave Lee
We love the underdog. We're suckers for triumphant "against all the odds" stories. Last year we were treated to just such a story when Kai L. Greene upset heavy favorite Victor Martinez to capture the Arnold Classic and become bodybuilding's Cinderella Man. Now, four days out from the 2010 Arnold, the defending champ will have to pull off another show-stopping performance against a field that includes Dexter Jackson, Phil Heath and Branch Warren.
After a rocky start in the IFBB [two 14th place finishes and two DNP's over two years], Greene showed up at the '07 New York Pro with a much-improved physique that garnered sixth place. Two weeks later at the Keystone Pro, he jumped to third, setting up his first IFBB win the following week at the Colorado Pro. Sitting out that year's Mr. Olympia, Greene unveiled a bigger, albeit slightly less-sharp physique at the '08 Arnold, finishing third behind runner-up Heath and winner Jackson. Later that year, after collecting his second New York Pro title, Green again sat out the Olympia.
Heading into last year's Arnold, rumors swirled that Greene, who, at 5'8" and an offseason bodyweight of 300 pounds, was having trouble getting in shape. By Saturday's prejudging, those rumors were laid to rest as Greene's 255 pounds of dense, striated muscle with the show's best legs commanded the stage to pull ahead of Martinez and Warren. Greene closed out the '09 season by taking fourth at the Olympia.
Though a repeat is within Greene's grasp, he will need to be every bit as sharp if not sharper than he was last year and show improvements to his upper chest and delts. In career head-to-head meetings, he's 0-2 versus Jackson, 1-3 against Heath and tied at two-a-piece with Warren. Come March 5 in Columbus, Ohio, we'll see if he can beat the odds once more and up his Arnold Classic title count to two.
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