In 2011, the Arnold Classic launched its campaign of global expansion with the addition of the Arnold Classic Europe in Spain. The next step in international conquest came in 2013, with the inaugural Arnold Classic Brazil, held in Rio de Janeiro.

There were two big stories here. This was the first Pro win for Brandon Curry since he had turned pro back at the 2008 USA. In the ten IFBB events he had competed in up to this point, he'd only managed to make the top five once. This was a career-changing win for him, a premonition of the back-to-back wins he would score in New Zealand and Australia four years later.
But many felt that the rightful winner that weekend was a man who never even made it to the stage. Cedric McMillan was disqualified by head judge Lee Thompson for not showing up at the athlete meeting until it was over. Though we will never know for sure, chances are Cedric would indeed have walked away with that show.
1st Brandon Curry
2nd Toney Freeman
3rd Johnnie Jackson
4th Ed Nunn
5th Fred Smalls

The event moved just west of Rio proper to the beach town of Barra, where it would remain for three years.
This would be only the fourth pro show for Steve Kuclo, and his second pro win. Unfortunately, his victory was marred by controversy. Steve’s condition was outstanding, however; he was flat and had no ‘pop’ to his muscles. Strong cases were made by fans that Juan Morel, Jonathan Delarosa, and even Lionel Beyeke were all more deserving of the win. Harsh accusations were leveled against head judge Lee Thompson, known to have a friendly relationship with Kuclo, for somehow ‘fixing’ the show for Steve. On the flight home, Steve, a firefighter/paramedic, administered CPR to a fellow passenger on the plane who had suffered cardiac arrest. Sadly, the man did not survive. As for Thompson, he resigned from the IFBB the following year to start his own organization.
1st Steve Kuclo
2nd Juan Morel
3rd Jonathan Delarosa
4th Lionel Beyeke
5th Toney Freeman

Mamdough ‘Big Ramy’ Elssbiay became the heaviest man to ever win a pro bodybuilding contest, weighing in at an even 300 pounds. In terms of condition, this was nowhere near his best. Yet his overwhelming mass was enough to thwart a ripped-up Cedric McMillan. Fans of shape and aesthetics, as well as those who valued superior condition, were none too pleased about the decision. But for those who celebrate the freaks, Ramy’s win was a day to celebrate.
1st Big Ramy
2nd Cedric McMillan
3rd Juan Morel
4th Victor Martinez
5th Brandon Curry

Nobody argued about the winner this year. Kai Greene was coming off strong victories at both the Arnold Classic in Ohio and the Arnold event in Australia. Having sat out the 2015 Mr. Olympia and also missing the 2016 edition, Kai seemed to be making a statement that perhaps he preferred the Arnold Classic events. They were, after all, the only contests he has competed in since taking second place for the third year in a row at the 2014 Mr. Olympia.
1st Kai Greene
2nd Juan Morel
3rd Lionel Beyeke
4th Vitaly Fateev
5th Ronny Rockel

For 2017, the event has been renamed the Arnold Classic South America, both to more accurately encompass the territory it covers; and to be more inviting to the many Latin American athletes who come to support the show as spectators, competitors, and vendors. It’s also moved to the city of Sao Paolo, which has a stronger economic market than Rio, as well as what has been promised to be a bigger and better venue. IFBB Pro Men’s judging kicks off this Saturday night at 6 PM Eastern, be sure to visit here for our play by play of the show!
Juan Morel
Michael Lockett
Johnnie Jackson
Guy Cisternino
Earl Abraham
Lukas Osladil
Derek Upshaw
Tomas Kaspar