Phil Heath’s Rumored Return Hinges on Jay Cutler’s Decision

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In the world of professional bodybuilding, comeback stories captivate fans and add intriguing new dynamics to the competitive landscape. Recently, chatter has increased around a potential return to the stage by 7x Mr. Olympia Phil Heath. 

However, Phil Heath’s close friend Jay Cutler claims the chances of a comeback hinge on whether Cutler himself competes again.

During a podcast appearance, 4x Mr. Olympia winner Jay Cutler stated that Phil Heath told him outright “If you come back, I’ll come back.” 

This proposed arrangement would add even more fanfare to both competitors resuming their storied careers.

phil heath mr olympia 2023
via phil heath instagram

Jay Cutler and Heath share a long history as rivals dating back to their battles for the Mr. Olympia title in the late 2000s and early 2010s. 

Their renewed matchup on stage would reprise one of bodybuilding’s great rivalries. For now, Jay Cutler has distanced himself from jumping back into competition. 

But he has planted the seed for Phil Heath’s return and stoked anticipation by stating he believes Heath still has that competitive fire within. Phil Heath has not competed since a shock 3rd place finish at the 2020 Mr. Olympia

That ended his epic 7-year reign atop the sport after one of the most dominant stretches in history. Phil Heath has also dealt with significant injuries in recent years.

However, Jay Cutler noted his long-time rival appears healthy and potentially primed to regain his topping standing among today’s elite. 

If Phil Heath captchas another Sanwow trophy, he would tie Arnold Schwarzenegger’s career total of 7. At 47 years old, the window for Jay Cutler to realistically compete again has likely closed. 

phil heath net worth
via phil heath instagram

But Phil Heath is 5 years younger and has been vocal about wanting to exit the sport on his terms following the disappointing 2020 finish. He has teased fans about a possible redemption run over recent years.

If Phil Heath is to return, the 2023 Mr. Olympia would appear as the earliest realistic target. Current champion Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay has hinted 2022 will be his final showing. 

Top rivals Brandon Curry and Hadi Choopan also have not indicated retiring pre-2023. Next year’s open field could be ripe for a legend like Phil Heath to reclaim glory.

Of course, Phil Heath would face doubts about recapturing his past elite form after nearly 3 years absent from competition.

His lineup decision and the qualifying process would also raise questions. But from a fan intrigue and legacy perspective, this comeback story would be monumental.

The bodybuilding community’s collective pulse quickened simply from Jay Cutler suggesting his former adversary is itching for potential redemption. 

Fans know that when these larger-than-life figures start verbalizing comeback desires, there is often serious intention backing it.

phil heath vs jay cutler 2011 olympia
via phil heath instagram

If the stars align and Phil Heath announces a competition return, expect pandemonium within the sport. The storylines and hype around a 7x champion seeking to cement his legacy would be off the charts. 

It would add major main event flavor to a 2023 Olympia which currently lacks a central marquee matchup. For now, fans can only dream and speculate about what a Phil Heath return would look like after his 3-year absence. 

But Jay Cutler has planted the idea that may germinate if he also throws his hat back in the ring. Stay tuned, as bodybuilding could be ripe for a major blast from the past.

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