Bonac, who first made a name for himself in bodybuilding when he finished third in the heavyweight division at the 2011 Arnold Amateur, dominated all three rounds of judging in cruising to his first major professional victory. It was the fourth career win for Bonac, who was third at the 2017 Mr. Olympia.
Five-time Arnold Classic champion Dexter Jackson of Jacksonville, Fla., the winningest bodybuilder in history with 28 career wins, finished second and defending champion Cedric McMillan of Heath Springs, South Carolina was third.
Bonac received congratulations from Arnold Schwarzenegger, a check for $130,000, a Tony Nowak Official Champions Jacket and the champion’s trophy from Catherine Colle of Midway Labs USA and Eric Hillman of Optimum Nutrition.
Jackson, 47 received $75,000 and a medal from ROGUE Fitness and Jan Tana.
The popular McMillan was third and received $50,000 from Animal and The Columbus Dispatch.
Roelly Winklaar of the Netherlands finished fourth and received $30,000 from Blackstone Labs and Bodybuilding.com.
Steve Kuclo of Dallas, Texas was fifth in his Arnold Classic debut and received $15,000 from Rule One Proteins and Ricart Automotive.
Lionel Beyeke of France, competing in Columbus for the fourth time, was sixth and received $10,000 from Rivalus and MHP. His previous best finish was fourth in 2017.
Also competed and finished seventh through 13th, respectively, were Justin Rodriquez (New York, New York), Jonathan De La Rosa (White Plains, New York), Lukas Osladil (Czech Republic), Hidetada Yamagishi (Japan), Fred Smalls (Townsend, Delaware), Dennis Wolf (Germany) and Maxx Charles (Huntington, New York). Paul Poloczek of Germany also competed but did not finish.
Lifetime Achievement Award – Dr. Robert Goldman
International Sports Hall of Fame founder and World Hall of Fame of Physical Fitness inductee Dr. Robert Goldman received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger when the Arnold Sports Festival celebrates its 30th anniversary in March 2018.
Goldman founded the International Sports Hall of Fame in 2012 with Arnold Sports Festival co-founders Schwarzenegger and Jim Lorimer among the inaugural class. Induction ceremonies are held each year at the Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus, Ohio. “This is without question the most prestigious honor that I will have received in my lifetime,” Goldman said. “To be on the same stage as my personal heroes and mentors in Arnold and Jim Lorimer and to receive the same honor as Ben & Joe Weider, Jack LaLanne, Reg Park and so many others is such a tremendous honor. It’s the pinnacle!”
The Arnold Classic Lifetime Achievement Award has been presented annually since 2000 to an individual who has made notable contributions to the fitness industry and offered a lifetime of service to the enhancement of sports performance and promotion.