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Arnold Classic 2022 is down to 10 men.

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  • Arnold Classic 2022 is down to 10 men.

    With two weeks to go before the 2022 Arnold Classic, the contest has lost its fourth competitor. 2021 Puerto Rico Pro champion Men’s Open competitor Akim Williams will not be in Columbus, OH to take part in the Arnold Classic, scheduled to take place Mar. 4-5, 2022 at the Battelle Grand ballroom in the Greater Columbus Convention Center. Now, 10 of the 14 original competitors remain.

    Williams has yet to make a public statement as to why he is out, but the Arnold Sports Festival has confirmed to BarBend that he is no longer competing. Ron Harris of Muscular Development was the first to report the news.

    Williams is the fourth competitor to step out of bodybuilding’s second-biggest contest. 2021 Romania Muscle Fest Pro winner Rafael Brandao withdrew in January of 2022 for undisclosed reasons. On Feb. 7, 2022, Arnold Classic UK winner Nathan De Asha and IFBB Pro Mohamed Shaaban both withdrew from the show due to injuries. De Asha suffered a partially torn biceps while Shaaban announced he was dealing with neck and spinal cord injuries.

    2022 is William’s ninth season as a professional bodybuilder. He’s won three contests — the 2021 Puerto Rico Pro, the 2020 Chicago Pro, and the 2016 Tampa Pro. Had he competed, this would’ve been his fourth Arnold Classic. William’s fifth-place finish in 2021 is his highest AC placing.

    Adding to his prestige, the Grenada native is a four-time Mr. Olympia competitor. In 2020, he placed sixth to champion Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay. He’s also recently begun podcasting as a co-host of the Legends of Iron show with strongman and powerlifter Nick Best and fellow bodybuilder Jon Andersen.

    To qualify for the 2022 Mr. Olympia, Williams must win a show to earn enough OQS (Olympia Qualification System) points. The Olympia is set to occur the weekend of Dec. 16-18 in Las Vegas, NV.

    With the “BK Beast” now out of the lineup, there are 10 men left to compete at the 2022 Arnold Classic. Those athletes are listed below in alphabetical order.

    William Bonac (Netherlands)
    Maxx Charles (USA)
    Brandon Curry (USA)
    Samson Dauda (United Kingdom)
    Regan Grimes (Canada)
    Steve Kuclo (USA)
    Cedric McMillan (USA)
    Fabio Giga Rezende (Brasil)
    Justin Rodriguez (USA)
    Brett Wilkin (USA)