Arnold Classic Europe 2015: Dates, Schedule, Prize Money, Top Bodybuilders, More

Tom SunderlandFeatured ColumnistSeptember 25, 2015

Competitors flex their muscles during the semifinal of the Arnold Classic Europe bodybuilding event in Madrid, Spain, Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)
Andres Kudacki/Associated Press

Some of the biggest and best in the bodybuilding industry descend upon the Spanish capital of Madrid from September 25 to 27 for one of the most anticipated annual events of the fitness calendar.

Named after the seven-time Mr. Olympia himself Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Arnold Classic Europe pits some of the world's elite against one another in women's fitness and men's bodybuilding categories.

Last year saw German powerhouse Dennis Wolf claim the top prize in the men's category, while Russian contender Oksana Grishina replicated that feat in the fitness category, her second time winning the Arnold Classic Europe.

Both champions return to defend their titles in Madrid this Saturday, with a full breakdown of the weekend's schedule and bodybuilders to watch discussed ahead, as "The Big Bad Wolf" goes in search of another $100,000 prize purse.

2015 Arnold Classic Europe Schedule
Friday, September 25Time BST/ET
Expo9 a.m. - 7 p.m./4 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Saturday, September 26Time BST/ET
Semi-Finals4 p.m./11 a.m.
Finals6 p.m./1 p.m.
Sunday, September, 27Time BST/ET
Expo9 a.m. - 7 p.m./4 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Arnold Schwarzenegger Q&A9:50 a.m./4:50 a.m.


Big Bad Wolf on the Prowl

Just a week after placing fourth at Mr. Olympia 2015, Wolf is closer to home turf as he looks to tie up back-to-back Arnold Classic Europe titles.

The 36-year-old may well hope for the judges to be more generous in European territory, too, as some felt Wolf was deserving of a higher place in Las Vegas, including Tiger Fitness head and YouTube personality Marc Lobliner:

It was difficult to spot deficiencies in Wolf's physique compared to that of winner Phil Heath, who raced to a fifth consecutive Mr. Olympia in the absence of rival Kai Greene.

Despite that shortcoming, Wolf may take kindly to the controversial comments earlier this year from Schwarzenegger, who asserted modern bodybuilding has lost its love of aesthetics, ranking size above all else:

Wolf's stage weight of 270 pounds, per his official Instagram page, may not be as earth-shattering as some of his peers, but the German does give off a leaner look and looks particularly menacing with a vacuum pose.

If the European judges are more inclined to agree with competition founder Schwarzenegger and pay more attention to vascularity and definition, Wolf may be closing in on a second successive crown in Madrid.


Dexter Jackson Looking to Break ACE Drought

Jackson (right)
Jackson (right)TAMAS KOVACS/Associated Press

Also present at the Nevada showdown last Saturday was circuit veteran Dexter Jackson, who has claimed more bodybuilding victories than any other participant, with 22 in total, per the official Arnold Classic Europe website.

And how amazing it was to see The Blade finish second to Heath in Greene's absence last Saturday, considering the 2008 Mr. Olympia winner will turn 46 in November:

Some of the industry's biggest faces come and go with alarming frequency in what can tend to be a fairly short-lived career at the very pinnacle, but Jackson stands out as one of its evergreen figures.

Muscle & Fitness deputy editor Matthew Tuthill insisted only the unique form of Heath could have beaten Jackson, who will undoubtedly pose a massive threat to Wolf's crown this weekend:

Despite boasting such a glittering array of titles, the Arnold Classic Europe is one competition in which Jackson is yet to taste victory, although he has won five Arnold Classic gongs.

The most recent of those came about this year, after which The Blade went on to dominate at the Arnold Classic Australia, but will he be able to finally cut his wait for a European win?