2007 WNBF Worlds
November 10, 2007
Having finished 2nd in the lightweight class at the WNBF World Championships a year earlier, I spent the entire year prepping for this same show. I took 6 months to try and add size in my weak areas, notably quads, arms, and calves, and then 6 months dieting back down into contest shape.
The World Championships continued to grow in size, with over 50 pro men competing in 2007. Once again there were 3 classes, and again I fell into the lightweight class - in fact weighing slightly less than I had a year earlier (162 lbs). Although I weighed less, I was confident I had made productive changes to my physique, as weight is not always an indicator of progress. The defending lightweight world champion, Louis Santiago, was in the lightweight class again seeking to defend his title, and I knew I would face stiff competition from the likes of Shaun Clarida, who won the overall amateur title at this show a year earlier, and Tiger Wilson, a former WNBF Universe Overall winner.
This time around I was fortunate enough to have my friend Kurt Weidner around to help with my tan and offer words of encouragement / advice from the audience. I felt my condition was spot on, and my posing had improved from the previous year due to some enlightening feedback from several people involved in the sport. Prejudging went smoothly and I was in the middle during each of my callouts, but I knew the other competitors were pushing me hard.
After my class I once again threw on some clothes and ran out to the theater to watch the remaining pros. The middleweights were fantastic, with the top 3 quickly distinguishing themselves from the rest of the field. Jim Cordova had already won 2 overall titles in the WNBF in 2007, and although he didn't stand out to me during the symmetry round, as they posed his incredible thickness became impossible to ignore. The defending World champ, Jon Harris, once again showed up in great shape and appeared to have added a bit of size to his back and arms. Brandon Greenwood was perhaps the most conditioned of the middleweights, but was hurt by his color, which appeared to be too light. Those three all fought for the top spot, with Jim's fantastic delt, arm, and chest size giving him a clear advantage in most side shots. Jon had a better presence and better balance, and Brandon pushed them both hard with great condition, although he may still need to add a little upper body mass to match his awesome legs. It was tough to call, but Jim's size made him the winner in my eyes. The heavyweights contenders were the same as in 2006, with Ben Tennessen and Rodney Helaire fighting for the top spot. Ben looked a little softer than in 2006 in the upper body, and Rodney was in the best shape I had ever seen him in, which led me to think Rodney might take the class.
Once again I lined up for the results, just as nervous as I had been the year before. As the results were read, Tiger Wilson ended up in 5th, with the massive thickness of Joe Valentino in 4th. Last year's champion Louis had to settle for 3rd, and as Shaun Clarida's name was read for 2nd I was ecstatic to learn that I was a lightweight World Champ in the WNBF.
In the other classes, my predictions once again turned out correct as Jim beat out Jon and Brandon for the middleweight title and Rodney edged Ben (for the first time I believe) to take the heavies.
Thus I found myself in a posedown with Jim Cordova and Rodney Helaire, two of the most dominant forces in the WNBF in recent years, for the World Overall Title. The overall round went quite quickly, and Jim's muscle density and shape propelled him to a well-deserved World Champion Title.