2013 Arnold Classic & Bikini International Results & Galleries

On a night when all of the former champions were honored to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Arnold Classic, none stood taller than Dexter Jackson.

Five years removed from his last win in Columbus, Jackson completed his return to the top of the bodybuilding world by winning his record-tying fourth Arnold Classic after many had written off his chances of ever regaining the form that saw him capture his three previous titles. But the 43-year-old Jackson managed to turn back the clock, starting with his fourth-place finish at last year’s Olympia. Three months later, his win at December’s Masters Olympia made The Blade the first competitor in history to win both Mr. Olympia (2008) and Masters Olympia titles.

Win No. 4 tied him with another all-time great, Flex Wheeler, for the most championships in Arnold Classic history.

Ben Pakulski held his coming out party at last year’s Arnold Classic, then faltered at the Olympia last fall. Here, he was back to where he was a year ago condition-wise, and the combination of some added muscle, razor-sharp conditioning and the best legs in the contest was enough to put him ahead of Toney Freeman and into the runner-up position. Pakulski placed 4th at last year’s Arnold Classic.

Entering the contest, 46-year-old Freeman had placed in the top three in five of his last eight contests. Saturday made it six of nine, as Freeman finished just behind Pakulski in third, the fourth time he has finished in the Arnold’s top three.

Johnnie Jackson, Hidetada Yamagishi and Cedric McMillan rounded out the top six.

Yamagishi broke his left wrist just two weeks out from the contest, but that didn’t stop him from stepping on stage this weekend. The injury was a complete non-factor, as Yamagishi finished fifth, one spot better than his career-best sixth-place at the 2011 Arnold.

McMillan was expected by some to be Jackson’s stiffest challenge en route to making history. The third-year pro displayed perhaps the best combination of size and shape in the lineup but conditioning was once again his achilles heel, as the five competitors who finished ahead of him each were sharper during the prejudging comparison rounds. McMillan tightened up for the finals, but it wasn’t enough move ahead of either Jackson or Yamagishi.



India Paulino had the best night of her young career, coming out on top in the latest three-woman race at the top of the division to win the Bikini International. Paulino edged past reigning Bikini Olympia winner Nathalia Melo and 2011 Bikini International/Bikini Olympia winner Nicole Nagrani. Only two points separated Paulino and runner-up Melo on the final scoresheets, while Melo and third-place Nagrani were four points apart.

Paulino has stormed through the bikini ranks since turning pro at the 2011 NPC Junior Nationals. In 12 IFBB Professional League contests, Paulino has six wins and has never finished lower than sixth.

Go here to see the Arnold Classic and Bikini International contest galleries!