November 11, 2006
This show was a bit different for me as I had not initially planned on competing in it. After a good pro debut 8 weeks earlier at the WNBF International, I debated whether or not to see how I fared in the highest level of competition for the WNBF, their World Championships.
I continued to diet over the next 2 weeks after the International, but treated myself to 3-4 cheat meals. 6 weeks out of the WNBF Worlds, I booked my flight to New York and was commited to doing the show. This was to be the largest World Championships to date, with over 40 pro men competing. Due to the size of the show, the pros were split evenly into 3 weight classes. I fell into the lightweight class, weighing in only slightly less than I had at the International (around 163 lbs). The cutoff for the middleweight class was around 172 lbs, and the cutoff for the heavyweight class was around 190 lbs.
Arriving at the venue early Saturday morning, I was pretty happy with how I looked and thought that I matched up fairly well against the other lightweights. As we walked out for prejudging, there were so many competitors in the class that we had callouts of 6-7 competitors at a time. I managed to make the first callout, and was again placed in the middle for most of the comparisons as we went through the symmetry and mandatory rounds. I knew I was being pushed hard by the likes of Wendell Webb, with huge legs and good symmetry, Tony Ruffin, with great lats and insane hamstrings, and Louis Santiago, with great thickness and shape on his smaller frame.
After my class was done I rushed backstage to throw on my sweats and watch the other pro classes. The middleweights were arguably the best of the bunch, with WNBF Overall title holders Jon Harris, Clarence McGill, and Brandon Greenwood all looking fantastic. In my opinion the top 2 were Jon and Clarence, with Jon having the slight edge due to his incredible posing presence. The heavyweights were just as impressive, with Ben Tennessen and Rodney Helaire fighting for the top spot. I had Ben winning the class due to his perfect symmetry. The fact that both of these guys are shorter than me and compete as heavyweights should tell you how much muscle they hold!
As the results were announced for my class at the night show, Tony Ruffin ended up in 4th; Wendell Webb in 3rd, and I took 2nd. Louis Santiago won the 2006 WNBF Lightweight World Championship with his combination of size, condition, and symmetry. It was a hard fought victory for Louis and I congratulated him, although I was a bit disappointed. Thus my pro rookie season came to a close with a 2nd place finish at the World Championships.
In the other classes, my predictions turned out correct as Jon bested Clarence for the middleweight title and Ben beat out Rodney for the heavies. In the overall, Jon's balance, condition, and posing presence carried him to the overall title.