Cutler is King: Where He Ranks All-time After 2009 Olympia Win

jay cutler mr olympia

Arnold Schwarzenegger never did it. Lee Haney didn’t. Neither did Ronnie Coleman. In winning the 2009 Mr. Olympia, Jay Cutler became the first man in professional bodybuilding history to relinquish the Sandow and return to reclaim it. For Cutler, it was his third Olympia title to go along with three Arnold Classic titles and five runner-up finishes at the Mr. O. This begs the question; where does Jay stack up when compared to the all-time greats. Let’s take a look.

  1. Arnold Schwarzenegger – As tempting as it is to put Ronnie Coleman atop the rankings, it would just feel wrong to put Arnold anywhere other than number one. The Oak won the Mr. Olympia seven times and battled it out against the likes of Franco Columbo, Lou Ferrigno, Serge Nubret and Sergio Olivia. At 6’2”, Arnold was a giant in comparison to many of the Olympia champions who came after him. Although his contest weight of 235 pounds wouldn’t hold up against today’s mass monsters, his symmetry and detail were nearly perfect. Arnold’s personality can’t be overlooked either. His abilities to play mind games with his competitors and win over the crowd are still legendary.
  2. Ronnie Coleman – Ronnie took being huge to a whole new level. Steeping on stage at 300 pounds Ronnie had a way of overwhelming the competition. His eight Mr. Olympias are tied for the most ever and he held off Jay Cutler for as long as he could. In the prime of his career, Coleman was nearly unbeatable.
  3. Jay Cutler – Ranking Jay ahead of both Dorian Yates and Lee Haney might be questionable in the minds of many bodybuilding fans, but here’s why it makes sense. First, Jay dethroned arguably the greatest Mr. O of all time in Ronnie Coleman and prevented him from becoming the first to win the contest nine times. Second, he was a five-time runner up and if not for the fact that he competed against Coleman, he potentially could have won eight to ten Sandows. History shouldn’t punish him for competing at the same time as one of the all-time greats. Third, although the Arnold Classic has only been around for 20 years, it quickly became the second most prestigious bodybuilding contest and Cutler is a three-time champion. Finally, Cutler is not done. After reclaiming the Mr. O title this year, it seems as though he will continue to compete and have the opportunity to further cement his legacy as one of the greatest in bodybuilding history.
  4. Dorian Yates – His six Mr. Olympias ranks fourth all-time. Yates was the pioneer for today’s mass monsters. He was one of the first bodybuilders to compete at 250 pounds and was the first to be that big and also have outstanding conditioning. During his six year run he fought off the likes of Shawn Ray, Flex Wheeler and Kevin Levrone.
  5. Lee Haney – Although Haney has eight Mr. Olympia titles (tied for first all-time) he doesn’t quite stack up to the top four on the list. At 5’11”, he was the same height as Ronnie Coleman but nowhere near as big. Despite being taller than both Yates and Cutler, he all so was significantly smaller than both men. The other problem for Haney is that his competition was relatively weak. During his eight-year run his top challengers were guys like Lee Labrada and Rich Gaspari, both significantly smaller men.

Just outside the top Five – Franco Columbo, Sergio Oliva, Larry Scott, Frank Zane.

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