Thumbs up to all the Evan Centopani fans, who insisted the 28-yeaer-old from Connecticut could dull the blade, Dexter Jackson, at the FLEX PRO over the weekend. ‘Cause that’s exactly what the 2007 NPC Nationals Overall champ did in the 2011 pro season opener, held at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. Not only did Centopani pick up the $15,000 first place prize money, but the Italian Batallion suddenly thrust himself among the “favorites” list at the Arnold Classic, to be held in Columbus, Ohio on March 5.
Make sure to view the ASC preview video I did with Dave Palumbo, which should be up on this site by the end of the week. We did the predictions at the end of January, and both Dave and I tabbed Jackson to win in California. Natch, if we were able to wait until the FLEX PRO results were in, Centopani might have ranked a tad higher in our ASC predictions tape.
Centopani’s victory over Jackson wasn’t the only major upset of the day; Fouad Abiad settled into third place (earning a Mr. Olympia qualifying berth in the process), one notch ahead of Dennis Wolf, coming off a fifth place finish at last season’s Mr. 0. Ben Pakulski rounded out the top five.