After years of near-victories, Hadi Choopan finally scored bodybuilding’s greatest accomplishment when he won the 2022 Mr. Olympia. According to one of Choopan’s elite peers, the Iranian athlete will add another Olympia notch to his belt in November 2023 in Orlando, FL.
On Apr. 30, 2023, fellow professional bodybuilder William Bonac appeared on a podcast with Muscle and Fitness. After Bonac discussed his goals concerning a rest-of-year pause in competition plans, the two-time Arnold Classic champion (AC) made clear that he believes Choopan is a shoo-in to repeat and win the 2023 Mr. Olympia.
Bonac’s primary rationale behind backing Choopan for another Olympia victory is that he thinks the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (IFBB) Pro League is veering away from a size focus for its top athletes. With a greater aim on a chiseled physique and overall symmetry, it’s here that Bonac explains such criteria could potentially be beneficial to Choopan’s repeat chances.
In fact, with former 212 competitors like Derek Lunsford starting to thrive in the heavier Men’s Open class, Bonac (who began his own competitive career in the 212 division) maintains that’s because aesthetic is becoming more vital for Mr. Olympia success. Notably, Choopan’s first professional victory was in the 212 division at the 2018 Portugal Pro before transitioning to the Men’s Open division in 2019.
“A lot of 212 guys are doing very good in the [Men’s] Open class,” Bonac said. “That’s something that I’ve noticed. They’re extremely good, maybe because they don’t look as big as Big Ramy [Mamdouh Elssbiay], those ‘mass monsters.’ I think [the judges are] trying to go away from that. Not to say they are little guys, you understand. I also see that they are rewarding the taller guys. The few taller guys we have with beautiful aesthetics, that’s a good thing as well.”
When prompted by legendary trainer Miloš Šarčev, Bonac didn’t mince his words.
The athlete thinks Choopan is the current cream of the bodybuilding crop when it comes to being shredded.
“He’s [Choopan] next level,” Bonac explained. “Even with the pump up, when you stop pumping up, then he will come alive. The more he pumps up, the freakier he gets … I think honestly … last year or the year before the  Olympia that he didn’t win, he looked way better. If he came in with that shape even now, that wasn’t even his best shape and he won it. So, I’m sure he’s going to take another title if he brings the condition that he brought the year before.”
Between Choopan, Lunsford, and Nick Walker, among others, the modern Men’s Open division seems more stacked than ever on paper. If Choopan is going to take home another Olympia title, it won’t come without worthy resistance. Though, if his training and physique are indeed as elite as Bonac professes, an extended reign at the top of bodybuilding might be inevitable.
Featured image: @hadi_choopan on Instagram