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Beyeke Takes FLEX Pro

I think Lionel Beyeke had the most potential of the 17-man line-up that took to the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium stage Saturday for the 2012 IFBB FLEX Pro. But, as much as I like this cat’s big, symmetrical physique, I probably wouldn’t have placed him into the winner’s circle if I had a vote. Fortunately for Lionel, I don’t, ’cause that’s exactly where he finished to start off the new season with a bang.

Beyeke has the size and shape, with full, round muscle bellies, to be a great pro down the road, but at this point he needs to be better conditioned, and bring up his calves and back to be a title contender at the larger shows. Still, it’s what the judges say that counts, and Beyeke was good enough for him to top a best-ever Ben Pakulski (2nd) and Fouad Abiad (3rd), to be the first to earn a qualifying berth at this season’s Mr. Olympia in September.

Big Ben was the thickest dude on stage, with huge, shredded wheels, and his calves could be the best in the game. Pakulski also presented an improved chest and back, and a lot of folks had him winning the show after prejudging. A larger version of Branch Warren, to some degree. Abiad has great structure, and looked to be a tad sharper than last year when he finished third. Fouad actually had his supporters, like Pakulski, who thought he should take top honors.

On the subject of having supporters who thought he should win the show, Eduardo Correa was, as I predicted on the contest preview video on this site, the best conditioned competitor on stage. At 5’7″ and 217 pounds (yes, I saw the scale!), Correa looked great from every angle. So, why didn’t the eventual fifth place finisher battle for the title? Am not sure, but assume it’s because Eduardo’s not as “big” as some of his fellow competitors. And, he can use a bit more leg thickness. Also, Correa’s color was off at the prejudging…..I still would have had him in the top three.

Correa finished one slot behind Shawn Rhoden, the modern day Flex Wheeler, with that beautiful shape and tiny joints. Rhoden wasn’t at his best; he had a tooth extracted a week before the contest and that might have played a role in not being as sharp as he was in shows last year.

The top five will get a chance to do it over again in less than two weeks, since all will be on the Vets Memorial Auditorium stage in Columbus, Ohio, for the Arnold Classic. Look for my preview prediction video up this week, and blogs with more info about the show, and the huge weekend.

2012 FLEX Pro Results
1. Lionel Beyeke
2. Ben Pakulski
3. Fouad Abiad
4. Shawn Rhoden
5. Eduardo Correa
6. Grigori Atoyan
7. Mark Dugdale
8. Vladimir Sizov
9. Constantinos Demetriou
10. Omar Deckard
11.DeShaun Grimez
12. Stan Efferding
13. Lionel Brown
14. Oleg Emelianov
15. Rusty Jeffers
16. Jojo Ntiforo
17. Mehmet Yildirim

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