Ferlan Bailey won the over-35 and over-40 heavyweight overall titles yesterday at the 2016 NPC Teen Collegiate and Masters National Championships.
Bailey also captured the over-35 and over-40 classes, while earning his International Federation of Bodybuilding (IFBB Pro) pro tour card.
Melvin Aston and Lejuan Jones finished second and third respectively in the over-35 category, while Jones and Chad Herr finished second and third respectively in the over-40 competition.
“It was physically, mentally and emotionally taxing fighting the demons the day before the show that said you may fail,” Bailey said to MMA Crossfire. “When my name was called, I was in shock and I still can’t believe it. I broke down crying during my interview because so much sacrifice went into this and I lost a few loved ones along the way. I lost my grandmother who was my best friend. I also lost close friends Compton Budhan and Dean New, who wanted this win for me so bad.
“As I write this I’m still in disbelief.”
Bailey writes a bodybuilding column for MMA Crossfire called The
Austin Joel Sims and his fiancee Niki Rose Gutierrez were Bailey’s primary trainers. After finishing second in last year’s championships, Bailey redoubled his efforts for 2016, officially weighing in at 224 pounds. He embraced them backstage in an emotional moment. “There was just a lot of crying and AJ saying, ‘I love you’ and me saying, ‘I love you too and thank you,” Bailey said. “Then my posing coach Kenny Wallach and I had an emotional embrace with zero words and just pure emotion.”
Asked what the difference was from last year, Bailey referred to a methodical training regimen. “I approached my training as a business,” he said. “Every workout was calculated and mapped out. It was do or die.”
And now with his IFBB Pro card firmly in grasp, it’s onward to the professional ranks.
“I really don’t know what to expect,” he said.