Every Winner of the Chicago Pro Bodybuilding Show – BarBend

Bodybuilding fans and followers know that the two biggest titles in the sport are the Mr. Olympia and the Arnold Classic. After that, there are a series of titles that rising competitors hope to win to put their name on the proverbial map. Examples of these shows are the New York Pro, the Arnold South America, and the Tampa Pro

Another title on the radar of many competitors is the Chicago Pro. The show has an inconsistent history in the 20th century, but it has been an annual showcase since 2012. The  Men’s Open winners of this contest will be familiar names to many people. Below is every winner of the Chicago Pro bodybuilding show:

Chicago Pro Bodybuilding Show Winners

There are ten champions of this contest going back to 1988. There was an 18-year gap in between, but only three men have won multiple titles so far in its history. One of these winners went on to become an Arnold Classic champion while two more are established names of the 2020s.

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1988: Phil Williams

In 1988, Lee Haney dominated the sport as Mr. Olympia to become a mainstream star. Because of that, many competitors in that era sought to make a name for themselves. The inaugural Chicago Pro featured many of Haney’s competitors of that year, including the legendary Albert Beckles, Gary Strydom, Bob Paris, and even current renowned trainer Charles Glass.

However, Phil Williams was crowned as the first Chicago Pro champion — the only pro win of his career.

  1. Phil Williams
  2. Gary Strydom
  3. John Hnatyschak
  4. Albert Beckles
  5. Bob Paris
  6. Lance Dreher
  7. Ronald Matz
  8. Dan Smith
  9. Hayritten Dinger
  10. Paul Jean-Guillaume
  11. J.J. Marsh
  12. Charles Glass
  13. Bill Grant
  14. Ron Teufel
  15. Luis Freitas

Williams never took to the Olympia stage. Williams retired in 1996 after placing 15th at that year’s San Jose Pro Invitational.

1992-1993: Porter Cottrell

After a four-year gap, professional bodybuilding returned to Chicago in 1992, and it was well-received by the fans. The second rendition of the Chicago Pro would be led by two-time champion Porter Cottrell, who won both the 1992 and 1993 titles.

1992 Chicago Pro

  1. Porter Cottrell
  2. Thierry Pastel
  3. Kevin Levrone
  4. Henderson Thorne
  5. Milos Sarcev
  6. Kevin McGaunn
  7. Mauro Sarni
  8. Ray McNeil
  9. Flavio Baccianini
  10. Bob Paris
  11. Ronnie Coleman
  12. Darrem Charles
  13. Patrick Lynn
  14. Allan Ichinose
  15. J.J. Marsh

1993 Chicago Pro

  1. Porter Cottrell
  2. John Sherman
  3. Milos Sarcev
  4. Mauro Sarni
  5. Henderson Thorne
  6. Ronnie Coleman
  7. Jim Quinn
  8. Chris Duffy
  9. Joe Spinello
  10. Kevin McGaunn
  11. Thierry Pastel
  12. Thomas Varga
  13. Jason Marcovici
  14. Tony Pearson (tie for 13th)
  15. Vernon Gauthier

Like Williams, Chicago was his first pro victory. Unlike Williams, Cottrell went on to win five shows during his career, and he competed at the Olympia twice. His best placing came in 1994 — finishing fifth. Cottrell retired in 1999.

1994: Mike Francois

The 1994 Chicago Pro featured two past Arnold Classic champions and a future Arnold winner. 1989 Arnold winner Rich Gaspari and 1990 winner Mike Ashley hoped to secure a victory in the Windy City, but it was not meant to be. Gaspari finished outside the top 15, while Ashley placed 10th. The champion was Mike Francois, who also won the Night of Champions that same year. 

  1. Mike Francois
  2. John Sherman
  3. Alq Gurley
  4. Nikolai Yasinovsky
  5. Darryl Stafford
  6. Jason Marcovici
  7. Juan Marquez
  8. Ian Harrison
  9. Joe Spinello
  10. Mike Ashley
  11. Kevin McGaunn
  12. Jim Quinn
  13. Thomas Vargo
  14. Sammy Ioannidis
  15. Bob Weatherhill

Francois went go on to win the Arnold in Columbus, OH, in 1995.

2012: Essa Obaid

The Chicago Pro was absent from the pro bodybuilding calendar for 18 years following the 1994 show. It made it’s return in 2012, and nine men competed to become a part of bodybuilding history. Essa Obaid of the United Arab Emirates claimed the win.

  1. Essa Obaid
  2. Fred Smalls
  3. An Nguyen
  4. Grigori Atoyan
  5. Adorthus Cherry
  6. Manuel Lomeli
  7. Erik Fankhouser
  8. Valentine Jabes
  9. Alexandre Nataf

This is the only win of Obaid’s career thus far. As of 2022, he was still an active competitor.

2013-2014: Roelly Winklaar

Obaid hoped to defend his title, but 2009 Arnold Amateur winner Roelly Winklaar made quite a name for himself as the 2013 season came around. Known for his tremendous arm development, Winklaar was considered a future Mr. Olympia contender.

Those who felt as such may have considered Winklaar’s back-to-back victories at the Chicago Pro as validation. He dominated the stage in both 2013 and 2014 and placed third at the Olympia in 2018. Of course, Winklaar has not yet won the grandest title in the sport but has racked up 11 pro victories as of 2022. 

2013 Chicago Pro

  1. Roelly Winklaar
  2. Lionel Beyeke
  3. Bill Wilmore
  4. Essa Obaid
  5. Justin Compton
  6. Lee Banks
  7. Stefan Havlik
  8. Keith Williams
  9. Constantine Demetrious
  10. Jeff Beckham
  11. Craig Richardson
  12. Jonathan Rowe
  13. Ken Jackson
  14. Mike Liberatore
  15. Jojo Ntiforo

2014 Chicago Pro

  1. Roelly Winklaar
  2. Jojo Ntiforo
  3. Essa Obaid
  4. An Nguyen
  5. Akim Williams
  6. Marshel Herman
  7. Jonathan Rowe
  8. Dan Decker
  9. Constantine Demetrious
  10. Bill Wilmore
  11. Maor Zaradez
  12. Keith Williams
  13. Timothy Gallard
  14. Eboni Wilson
  15. Brian Yersky

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2015: Jon Delarosa

The Chicago Pro lineup in 2015 presented established pros and young blood clamoring for the crown. Many insiders predicted that Akim Williams would stand atop the podium, but Jon Delarosa showed up in his best condition ever up to that point. Upstart Michael Lockettt shocked the field, finishing as the runner-up. Williams took third.

  1. Jon Delarosa
  2. Michael Lockett
  3. Akim Williams
  4. Kevin Jordan
  5. Renaldo Hairy
  6. Brad Rowe
  7. Jeff Long
  8. Marshel Herman
  9. Mike Dragna
  10. Timothy Gaillard
  11. Keith Williams
  12. Brad Adams
  13. Eboni Wilson
  14. Michael Ely

2016: Dallas McCarver

Dallas McCarver’s size and charisma captured the hearts of many fans around the world. His immense strength was compared to the great Ronnie Coleman, and there were hopes that he would rack off a string of Olympia wins for himself in the years to come.

The 2016 Chicago Pro was McCarver’s second pro win and there was little doubt that he owned the stage at that contest. Lockett ranked as the runner-up for the second straight year. Unfortunately, the potential that so many had seen in McCarver was left unfulfilled due to his passing in 2017 at the age of 26.

  1. Dallas McCarver
  2. Michael Lockett
  3. Brandon Curry
  4. Johnnie Jackson
  5. Sasan Heirati
  6. Akim Williams
  7. Andrew Hudson
  8. Fred Smalls
  9. Rafael Jaramillo
  10. Paulo Almeida
  11. Timmy Gallard
  12. Ken Jackson
  13. Eddie Bracamontes
  14. Zdenek Voprada

2017-2019: Michael Lockett

After two second-place finishes in the previous two years, Lockett finally claimed his first Chicago Pro title in 2017. There must be something about Michael’s in Chicago — Michael Jordan three-peated with the Chicago Bulls twice and took six NBA championships. Michael Lockett performed his own three-peat by defending the Chicago Pro title in 2018 and going back-to-back-to-back in 2019. He would only win one pro show outside of Illinois — the 2016 Vancouver Pro.

2017 Chicago Pro

  1. Michael Lockett
  2. Luis Rodriguez
  3. Kevin Jordan
  4. Charles Griffen
  5. Regan Grimes
  6. Josh Wade
  7. Henri Pierre Ano
  8. Fred Smalls
  9. Paulo Almeida
  10. Marc Arthur Dautruchee
  11. Lloyd Dollar
  12. Tomas Kaspar
  13. Dusty Hanshaw
  14. Grigori Atoyan
  15. Eddie Bracamontes

2018 Chicago Pro

  1. Michael Lockett
  2. Sergio Oliva Jr.
  3. Justin Rodriguez
  4. Sergey Kulaev
  5. Brad Rowe
  6. Kevin Jordan
  7. Keith Williams
  8. Matt Kouba
  9. Seth Shaw
  10. Jon Delarosa
  11. James Culbertson
  12. Derek Upshaw
  13. Lionel Brown
  14. Marc Arthur Dautruchee
  15. Igor Gostiunin

2019 Chicago Pro

  1. Michael Lockett
  2. Charles Griffen
  3. Essa Obaid
  4. Lucas Osladil
  5. An Nguyen
  6. Sergey Kulaev
  7. Samson Dauda
  8. Josh Wade
  9. Sibusiso Kotelo
  10. Slavoj Bednar
  11. Dorian Haywood
  12. Eddie Bracamontes
  13. Justin Rodriguez
  14. Marc Arthur Dautruchee
  15. Julio Cesar Balestrin Freitas

2020: Akim Williams

The COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns began in March 2020, and many contests were canceled as a result. The Chicago Pro remained but was held in Atlanta, GA, due to Illinois safety restrictions. Several veterans competed with hopes of qualifying for the Olympia, which had been moved to Orlando, FL.

Akim Williams was the last man standing. He carried that momentum into Orlando to a sixth-place finish at the Olympia — his highest placing to date.

  1. Akim Williams
  2. Justin Rodriguez
  3. Maxx Charles
  4. Nick Walker
  5. Eddie Bracamontes
  6. An Nguyen
  7. Mohamed Shaaban
  8. Phil Clahar
  9. Camilo Garzon
  10. Josh Wade
  11. Mohammed El-Emam
  12. Joe Seeman
  13. Shawn Smith
  14. Johnnie Jackson
  15. Ken Jackson

2021: Hunter Labrada

The 2021 Chicago Pro was also held in Atlanta in 2021 due to COVID restrictions. Ten men jumped into the show to attempt to snag the Olympia qualification that came with the win. Many felt that Winklaar would claim victory over upstart Labrada, but Labrada showed superb definition and outlasted the man from Curacao. Labrada went on to finish fourth at the 2021 Olympia.

  1. Hunter Labrada
  2. Brett Wilkin
  3. Maxx Charles
  4. Mohamed Shaaban
  5. Roelly Winklaar
  6. Hassan Mostafa
  7. Zack Merkel
  8. Justin Maki
  9. Matt Kouba
  10. Slavoj Bednar

2022 Chicago Pro Winner?

After two years in A-Town, the Chicago Pro will return to Illinois in 2022. The contest is scheduled to take place on the weekend of July 22-23, 2022 in Tinley Park, IL. As of this writing, the rosters have not been released, but if the past contests are any indication, we may see another competitor score their first victory and add their names to the list of Chicago Pro winners.

Featured Images: @roellywinklaar, @hunterlabrada on Instagram