Bodybuilding Icon Lee Haney Compares Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay to Ronnie Coleman at Peak of His Powers


Two-time reigning Mr. Olympia Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay isn’t light on praise these days. With all eyes on the Egyptian athlete seeking a three-peat of titles at the 2022 Mr. Olympia, he’s rapidly becoming the clear center of attention in the bodybuilding world once again. After former titan of the sport Ronnie Coleman recently showered Elssbiay with compliments, another all-time great sees the same in the competitor.

In an Oct. 19, 2022, episode of “The Ronline Report” with Muscular Development, eight-time Mr. Olympia (1984-1991) Lee Haney discussed the upcoming Olympia contest, being held on Dec. 16-18, 2022, in Las Vegas, NV. One the more notable tidbits concerned how Haney sees Elssbiay as a massive (no pun intended) favorite for the prestigious event.

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One of the main reasons that Haney sees Elssbiay performing better than ever on the 2022 Olympia stage is his training. Haney thinks Elssbiay is accumulating mass at a higher level and credits a dedicated coaching staff for pushing the champion. Among that staff is 1989 Mr. Universe Miloš Šarčev, who notably takes a lot of his time coaching many rising bodybuilders.

“I’ve been checking him [Elssbiay] out on Instagram,” Haney said.  “And man, he’s got Dennis James working with him now. Listen, when it comes to training and know-how, it’s hard to get better than Dennis. You got Dennis, [Chris] Cormier, Miloš [Šarčev], and of course, Charles Glass. It’s hard to get beyond them.”

For Haney, Elssbiay’s team of proficient experts is a major potential boon to continued success, even with his past standard of excellence.

“When you got somebody like that working in your corner that’s been there done that, you can’t get around that,” Haney explained. “These are not just coaches. These are seasoned legendary Olympians. When they put a routine to you, put a meal plan to you, it’s right on spot. So, I think Ramy [Elssbiay] will come in better than he was last year.”

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To Haney, Elssbiay’s prospects for another Olympia title appear to be a cut above the rest of his peers. When the legendary bodybuilder discussed other athletes who could potentially dethrone Elssbiay — like 2019 Olympia winner Brandon Curry, for example — he made a lofty comparison to the past exploits of Coleman.

“Well, the one that I see that’s got the shape and mass combination, but he’s got to come in there sliced and diced is Brandon Curry. You gotta be sliced and diced,” Haney clarified. “Nobody out there that is like that. Ramy [Elssbiay] is cut from a different cloth, just like Ronnie [Coleman] was. What you gotta do is out-pretty Ramy.”

For Haney to compare Elssbiay to Coleman, who won eight consecutive Mr. Olympia titles from 1998-2005, is significant. Though, with two Olympia titles and (potentially) counting, Elssbiay very well might live up to such a high standard. If two bodybuilding all-timers like Haney and Coleman think that Elssbiay is at that rare level of performance, then it might only be a matter of time before he’s reaffirming their keen experience on stage.

Featured image: @big_ramy on Instagram

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