2022 Arnold Classic South America Preview: Rafael Brandao Headlines Roster


The Arnold Classic will move to South America on Saturday.

Back in March, the bodybuilding season began with Brandon Curry winning the 2022 Arnold Classic. Now, nearly a month and a half later, the Arnold Sports Festival will travel to Sao Paulo, Brazil. The 2022 Arnold Classic South America will be held this weekend on April 29-30.

The Men’s Open division highlights bodybuilding shows around the globe but this will be the only competition that is on tap for the weekend. The winner of this division will earn qualification to the 2022 Olympia, which will take place from Dec. 16-18 in Las Vegas.

Pst winners of this event includes Curry, Kai Greene, and Juan Morel. There are currently six competitors on the list looking tp add their names to the history books in Brazil.

2022 Arnold Classic South America Lineup

  • Thiago Lins Adao
  • Alan Ramino Bonadiman
  • Rafael Brandão
  • Marcelo Pedro da Cruz
  • Sibusiso Kotelo
  • Eduardo Rodriguez

Rafael Brandão

Brandão last appeared on stage in this competition in 2019, when he finished as the runner-up to Morel. He has competed sparingly since but is still considered an up-and-coming talent ready to breakout. In 2021, Brandão won the Romania Muscle Fest Pro to secure his first professional victory. He was slated to appear at the Arnold Classic in Columbus, OH but was forced to withdraw his name. Now, Brandão will enter Brazil as the favorite to win this event.

Sibusiso Kotelo

Kotelo won his Pro Card in 2018 after winning the Worldwide Shawn Rhoden Classic. In 2019, he competed three times but has not been on stage since. Kotelo finished ninth at the 2019 Chicago Pro during his debut before stepping on stage during the Vancouver Pro and Monsterzym Pro. Kotelo has built a strong physique with incredible symmetry to this point. It will be difficult to top Brandão but Kotelo has a chance if he shows up at his absolute best.

Eduardo Rodriguez

Rodriguez has appeared in one professional show and it came back in November during the Bigman Weekend Pro. Rodriguez finished fifth in Men’s Open during the event, which is impressive in its own right. He has plenty of experience at the NPC level and is ready to make a big jump in Brazil. With a small field prepared to take the stage, Rodriguez has a chance to make an impact once the show begins.

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