Licis edged Shaw by just 1 point, setting up an Arnold Classic showdown with Hafthor Björnsson.
Martins Licis keeps winning—and The King Dragon’s position at the of the strongman world is even more justified. Licis won the 2020 Arnold Strongman USA competition in Santa Monica over the weekend in dramatic fashion, defending his 2019 win at the event in the process and qualifying for the 2020 Arnold Strongman Classic competition later this year.
The reigning World’s Strongest Man came from behind to leapfrog four-time World’s Strongest Man winner Brian Shaw and upstart Max Boudreaux in the final event of the competition, the Bag Carry. Licis wound up edging Shaw for the title by a single point, winning 52 to 51.
The strongman celebrated his win on Instagram, giving credit to his competitors, coaches, and Arnold himself. The Governator responded with just one emoji: 💪.
Shaw, meanwhile, was disappointed with the results, but ultimately stayed humble about his second place finish in his own Instagram post. Due to the loss, Shaw won’t qualify for the 2020 Arnold Strongman Classic, the first time he’ll miss the contest in 11 years, according to Barbend.
Licis walked Men’s Health through his winning training split ahead of the competition, sharing his best tips on a lower body pull workout with his trademark mix of silliness and raw strength. He didn’t wind up winning the deadlift event at the competition like he predicted in the video (Rauno Heinla took the event with 9 reps), but Licis’ prep clearly paid off.