Mr. Olympia 2013: Top Contenders for Bodybuilding Championship

Maxwell Ogden@MaxwellOgdenCorrespondent IIISeptember 27, 2013

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 16:  Mr Olympia Phil Heath poses during a media call ahead of the 2012 IFBB Australian Pro Grand Prix XIII on March 16, 2012 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)
Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

Mr. Olympia 2013 is set to commence Sept. 27 at the Orleans Arena at the Orleans Hotel and Casino in Paradise, Nev. The annual bodybuilding competition will crown the top competitor in the world and catapult one man into bodybuilding immortality.

The event Arnold Schwarzenegger helped popularize has a new generation of stars looking to make their names. But while the rising performers may be worth noting, the cream of the crop has established itself in recent years. In 2013, past champions will look to rise again and reclaim the throne atop the bodybuilding world.

So, who are the top contenders at Mr. Olympia 2013?

Jay Cutler

Jay Cutler—no, not the Chicago Bears quarterbackis a 40-year-old bodybuilder from Sterling, Mass. He won his first bodybuilding title in 1993 and has since become one of the most decorated competitors of all time.

In 2013, he'll look to add another trophy to his resume.

Cutler is one of the front-runners in Nevada, having won the event in 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2010. After ending Ronnie Coleman's eight-year reign in 2006, he'll now look to end his two-year drought.

Don't be surprised to see him do so.

Cutler finished second at Mr. Olympia 2011 but missed the event in 2012 after undergoing surgery for a torn left bicep. One year later, Cutler has a chance to join rare company by winning his fifth career Mr. Olympia title.

Cutler is the comeback kid in 2013, and that makes him the ultimate wild card.

Phil Heath

Phil Heath is a 33-year-old bodybuilder from Seattle, Wash. who has taken the bodybuilding world by storm. He is already a two-time champion at Mr. Olympia and has surpassed Jay Cutler as the face of the sport in 2013.

Heath will be in for a battle as he looks to defend his crown.

Heath first won the event in 2011, topping Cutler by 10 points en route to a win in his fourth Mr. Olympia appearance. One year later, with Cutler sidelined by injury, Heath repeated as champion by narrowly defeating Kai Greene.

Heath also owns a second-place finish from 2010 and a third-place finish from 2008.

Heath was once the shooting guard for the University of Denver, but he entered bodybuilding in 2002 and never looked back. The field has struggled to keep pace, as Heath's meteoric rise up the ranks is close to unparalleled.

In 2013, bodybuilding will finally witness head-to-head competition between Heath and Cutler.

Dexter Jackson

The last man not named Heath or Cutler to win Mr. Olympia was 43-year-old Dexter Jackson. Active since 1992, Jackson has earned the nickname "The Blade," and he is one of the most respected men on the circuit.

Jackson will look to win his second career Mr. Olympia title in 2013.

Jackson won Mr. Olympia in 2008, edging out Cutler by seven points after debuting at Mr. Olympia in 1999. In 2011 and 2012, he won the Pro and IFBB Masters Olympia events, respectively, to join Chris Dickerson as the only other man to win both Mr. Olympia and the Masters Olympia.

Fresh off of first-place finishes at the 2013 Arnold Classic and 2013 IFBB Australian Pro Grand Prix, Jackson certainly has momentum.

Jackson has won each of the past three bodybuilding contests he's taken part in. For the rest of the field in Nevada, that spells trouble.

Keep your eye on Jackson to shock the favorites.

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