Los Angeles is often referred to as the home of professional bodybuilding. Many recall the days of Arnold Schwarzenegger training at the Mecca of Bodybuilding, Gold’s Gym, in Venice, California. To this day, bodybuilders from all over the world travel to the location to train at the Mecca and to take in the city where bodybuilding is king.
It has been a few years since a professional contest has taken place in Los Angeles. But all of that changed on Saturday with the first IFBB contest to take place since the 2010 Mr. Olympia in September.
The FLEX Pro Bodybuilding Championships took place in the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. The contest has been hyped for months and features some of the top pros in the industry today.
After prejudging, the fight for the top spot appeared to be between veteran Dexter Jackson, who is also the 2008 Mr. Olympia, and one of the newest pros out there, Evan Centopani.
Jackson is one of the most consistent bodybuilders on the planet with amazing conditioning and fantastic symmetry and proportions.
Centopani has only been a pro for two years, but is already showing signs of greatness. And at the beginning of the FLEX Pro, he was already giving an all-time great a run for the top spot.
The fight for third place is looking to be between Dennis Wolf and Fouad Abiad.
Wolf is a young competitor, but has already seen highs and lows. When he first burst onto the scene, he was touted as the next big thing, then with a DNP at the 2009 Olympia, he was relegated to the bottom of the crop before resurging in 2010.
At the end of finals, the winner of the first ever FLEX Pro was decided.
Dexter Jackson wanted to be the first man to ever claim the crown, but unfortunately he was not at his peak condition on this day.
Instead, the victory belonged to Evan Centopani. After winning the New York Pro in his first pro contest in 2009, Centopani now enters the 2011 competitive season 2-0 in his pro contests.
Jackson did manage to gain the number two spot after the judges gave in their scores.
Third place went to Abiad and Dennis Wolf grabbed the number four spot. Ben Pakulski, who also trained at the Mecca, rounded out the top five.
Centopani, Jackson, and Abiad are all now going to set their sights on the 2011 Mr. Olympia to see if any of them can knock off Jay Cutler and fend off other top stars like Phil Heath and Kai Greene.