Flex Flex UK - January 2018 - Page 12

feel like my body did speak for itself. I got a unanimous victory again, against some really good competition. The biggest takeaway from this one is that I was able to learn a lot about my physique that will definitely make 2018 very, very special. If it goes the way I think it will, it will be the most dominant package I’ve brought to the stage yet. Because you get the experience. You know what your body can do, and you know what it can’t do. be whoever dom­inates the post-Olympia schedule. And also, who out of that other four in the top five is going to do the Arnold Classic? Because we have yet to see any of those guys, other than Dexter Jackson, do the Arnold. Those other guys should be doing the Arnold Classic—Ramy, Bonac, and Rhoden—to kind of solidify who’s that top contender. For Dexter, there would be no point in doing the Arnold, but I think everybody else should. You’ve said before that when you’re in the thick of your Olympia prep, you’re not thinking 10 FLEX | JANUARY 2018 about anyone but yourself. That said, how were you this year compared with 2016? Honestly, I did not care about anything someone else was doing. I actually got some good advice from our friend [former longtime FLEX editor in chief] Peter McGough. Peter literally said, “Phil, go into hiding like Dorian Yates used to do. Don’t post anything online, don’t even care about what everyone else is doing. You’re the champ. There’s no point in that. Buckle down and do your job, and if you do that your physique will speak for itself.” I took Peter’s advice, and I truly After the Olympia press conference the day before the competition started, it seemed like you enjoyed the smack talk from other competitors versus being offended by it. Was that just because you think it’s good for the sport, or was it because you thought the smack talk was coming from a place of respect? I think it was a little bit of both. No. 1, I came into bodybuilding as a former athlete in basketball. And who talks more trash than that sport? [Laughs] That’s like part of the game. So when I got into bodybuilding, people would run their mouth a little bit. And, yeah, a lot of guys heard me talk some trash, and it was really just to get people going that pay to watch the event live—to sell the show. As far as the other guys, Shawn Rhoden had a lot to say in the magazine and on YouTube and stuff, and he definitely had to eat those words. He had to really be quiet. I was expecting a full-on, onslaught attack from him, and he was relatively quiet. And that’s probably because he knew he wasn’t on and didn’t want to make a fool of himself. I was cool with every person who had something to say at the press conference. If you have