Top 6 Bodybuilding Rivals of All Time

#5. Jay Cutler vs. Ronnie Coleman

Coleman and Cutler’s epic battles have established their rivalry as the best one of the past generation. With eight consecutive Mr. Olympia wins and a total of 26 wins as an IFBB professional, Ronnie Coleman is regarded as one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time.

But the 2001 Mr. Olympia was a scary experience for Ronnie as he clashed with Jay Cutler, who came practically out of nowhere and won the first two rounds. At the end Coleman beat Cutler by six points and took the title home, but it’s a fact that it was the first time he really feared his physique wouldn’t hold up to fend off his rival.


Jay Cutler(right) vs. Ronnie Coleman(left)

Cutler continued to work hard and heavy but consistently came up second to Coleman four years in a row – until he finally defeated King Ronnie and became Mr. Olympia in 2006, getting his well-deserved spotlight.

#6. Sergio Oliva vs. Arnold Schwarzenegger

We’ve saved the best for last. Sergio Oliva, Larry Scott’s successor as the second Mr. Olympia winner ever, was nicknamed ‘The Myth’ because everyone who witnessed his absolutely freaky proportions with his tiny 28 inch waist, massive arms and wide shoulders claimed that he was simply unbelievable. Oliva easily won the 1967 and 1968 Mr. Olympias and felt pretty confident about winning his third title in 1969, when he first clashed with The Austrian Oak, whose sheer size and well-balanced athletic physique stood out among the contestants.

Even though Oliva won the title again that year, the rivalry born between the two world-class athletes was one between a tried and true legend and the greatest bodybuilder ever waiting to happen, and everybody knew it was going to be a spectacular showdown. In 1970, Arnold came back and stole both the Mr. Olympia and the Mr. World titles from Oliva and evened the score.


Sergio Oliva(right) vs. Arnold Schwarzenegger(left)

Finally, at the 1972 Mr. Olympia, when both men appeared in what seemed to be their peak form, Schwarzenegger took the title and sparked up a great deal of controversy in the bodybuilding community. While the young Austrian went on to become a seven-time Mr. Olympia champion and the most famous bodybuilder of all time, Oliva kept publicly criticizing Schwarzenegger’s skills and achievements and claimed that the ’72 title was stolen from him.

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