Dexter Jackson – The forgotten Mr Olympia?
When people talk about the all-time greats of the bodybuilding world, names such as Lee Haney, Sergio Olivier, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jay cutler, and Ronnie Coleman are often some of the first names that spring to mind, and for good reason too. These bodybuilders were the epitome of what a champion should be. Not only did they look great on the stage, combining aesthetics, mass, vascularity, conditioning, and symmetry, but what really made them stand out as champions, was the fact that they were considered such fantastic ambassadors for the sport of bodybuilding, helping to make it more mainstream and pull in everyday viewers and fans that weren’t actively involved in bodybuilding, showing that bodybuilding could be healthy, beneficial, and could make you look great. They were characters, everyday human beings that happened to be huge and in fantastic shape, not freak shows like some people thought they were. Over the years there have been some huge names win the Mr Olympia title, the most prestigious title in all of bodybuilding, but recently there seems to be one name that many people seem to forget when talking about Mr Olympia winners, and that name is Dexter ‘The Blade’ Jackson.
At 45 years of age, hailing from Jacksonville, Florida, Dexter Jackson is an IFBB pro bodybuilder with a fantastic contest record and list of achievements under his belt. He has been competing for 22 years at a professional level, since the NPC Southern States lightweight category, in which he placed 3rd. What’s especially impressive however, is that in that time he has competed in around 70 shows, and in each of these shows, he has NOT placed outside of the top 9, typically he tends to place 1st – 3rd. At 5ft 6, and around 235lbs off season, 215lbs contest weight, he isn’t the biggest of competitors, in fact on paper, next to guys like Dennis Wolf, he is dwarfed, but yet when you put him on stage next to the “mass monsters” not only does he hold his own, he actually looks better in some instances. The reason for this is that his conditioning is always insane.Who is Dexter Jackson, and why do people seem to forget about his huge win a few years ago?
There’s a quote by WWE wrestler Triple H, who is a big fan of pro bodybuilding and is actually now in a senior editorial role over on MD, who says something along the line of “Dexter is Dexter, we don’t need to talk about whether or not he’s gonna’ show up in shape (for the contest) because he’s always in shape”. Dexter never seems to lose his insane conditioning, even during the off-season, but some believe this actually works against him, as although he doesn’t get any worse, he also doesn’t seem to get any better, and although some would argue that ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ people do like to see changes and improvements from contest to contest, and if somebody shows up looking the same each year, no matter how great they may be, it can potentially become quite stale. He consistently placed in the top 4 in the Mr O from 2002 – 2007, until 2008, when he actually won the Mr Olympia. The boards should have been going crazy as nobody expected him to win, so surely it was an upset, but instead, the reaction was almost a metaphor for Dexter’s entire Mr Olympia reign: Lackluster. Dexter was criticized for not being a good ambassador for the sport, as he rarely made any media or mainstream appearances, there were no big interviews, photo shoots etc, and we barely heard anything from him for the entire year. 2009 saw Jay Cutler achieve what many considered to be his greatest physique ever and do what no man has done before, reclaim the Mr Olympia title after losing it. Jay beat Dexter, Branch Warren came 3rd, and Dexter once again placed 3rd, and order seemed to have been restored. Dexter’s Olympia win should have propelled him to super stardom, instead it not only didn’t do a great deal for his career, some even argue that it harmed his career. Whatever your opinion of Dexter may be, you cannot deny that not only is he great, he is also consistently great, and rumor has it that he will be competing in the 2015 Arnold Classic, after winning back in 2013, so if you’re looking for a sure thing, a top 3 finish for Dex in February is pretty much already set in stone.
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