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New Age Haidar, USA Favorite Spark LA Championships

Ahmad Haidar has been missing from the pro line-ups to date this year, but I got a chance to take a look at the fella some people are calling the new age Haidar at the Los Angeles Championships in Culver City on Saturday.
And, they’d be half right even if he didn’t have a great physique, since he goes by the name of Ahmad Ahmad. It didn’t take me long to notice Ahmad on stage at the prejudging; shoot, Stevie Wonder might have witnessed his Haidaresque abs of steel from the back of the auditorium.Ahmad Ahmad
I didn’t go to the finals, but let’s just say it was hardly a stunner when I found out the two-time Swedish champion, and the Silver Medal winner at the World Amateur Championships, walked off with the Overall trophy at the always sublime show–one of the biggest, and deepest, by the way, in recent years.
The best news is, of course, that Ahmad, a George Farah look-alike, will be in front of Michael Neveux’s lenses on Tuesday, so look for what has to be a knockout photo shoot in a future issue of IRON MAN.
As always, there were several competitors in the house, both on stage and in the seats, who will be competing in this weekend’s USA Championships. And, per what has become customary, they came up on stage for a mini-USA preview at the finals. Joined by pro Will Harris to boot.
Peter Ciccone, Tamar Elguindy (who was an awfully exhausted looking judge in the morning, which would be expected), Mark Anthony Christiensen, Noel Frias and Alan Watari shed their clothes on stage. And, so did the Swami’s selection to win it all, Brandon Curry.
You have watched our video on the inside look at the USA on this site, correct? Then, of course, you already know I’ve said it will be Curry in a hurry in Sin City come Saturday night.
Brandon, who moved from Tennessee to San Diego a couple of months back, looks good in the photos from the impromptu posing session, not great. But, those in attendance said Curry appeared sharper in person than on the computer screen. And, Brandon had to be carrying at least 10 pounds of fluid a week out that will be shed by the time he hits the Artemas Ham Auditorium stage for the prejudging on Friday night.Brandon Curry
One of the dudes who said he would dwarf anybody who dared to stand next to him at the LA posedown, Sean Allan, wrote me to say he decided to stay home in New Jersey and concentrate on “the Superbowl” instead of trekking cross country for photo shoots and the chance to show off what he’s got for the local fans prior to the real deal. And, I think that was a smart move by Allan. Winning a posedown for fun at the LA does not bring with it a trip to the pro ranks.
Sean says I’m a lunatic for going with Curry, and not him. Sean, at 6’4″ and 275 pounds, ain’t chopped liver, for sure, and is coming off Overall wins at the Atlantic State and the Junior Nationals. But, the aesthetic, 5’9″, 224-poound Curry finished second last year in the Heavyweight class year to DeShaun Grimez, then followed that up with another runner-up slot behind AD Cherry at last years Nationals . I picked Curry from the get go months back, ain’t gonna switch gears now.
And, Sean, there are two pro cards up for grabs and I think the man who might be the second best bodybuilder on stage in Las Vegas, Mike Liberatore, is in the same class at Curry, so one of them ain’t gonna get one–and, in a line-up as strong as the USA, neither one of them is a shoe-in.
Not going over the field again–you need to take another look at the video I shot with Alex Azarian to find out the who we say are the cream of the crop in the Jon Lindsay production.
And, since I’m fortunate enough to be emceeing the contest again (been at the podium for 17 out of last 18 Championships, missing only 1994 in New Orleands), I will be the one to let you all know who the champions are in less than a week.
This time, what happens in Vegas does not stay in Vegas.

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