In his interview with Vlad Yudin, Yates says he believes that the era he competed in, the 1990s, had the most talent in the history of bodybuilding, including today. He feels that Flex Wheeler, Kevin Levrone, Shawn Ray and Nasser El Sonbaty were his biggest competition. Regarding Shawn Ray’s assertion that he should have beaten Yates in 1994 and 1997, Yates counters by saying that, even though he had injuries those years, Shawn was still no match. Even injured, Yates believes that there was no way that Shawn could have beaten him in 4 out of the 7 mandatory poses. By Yate’s calculations, the math doesn’t make a Shawn Ray win possible. Yates concedes that if, say, Flex Wheeler was at his best in 1994 then he would have had real problems but he claims “a Shawn Ray at 100% could not beat a Dorian Yates at 80%.”
Yates says the biggest change to bodybuilding after he left was Ronnie Coleman winning the Mr. Olympia. Some people may forget that Ronnie used to be a very low level competitor, as Mr. Olympia competitors go. How many people remember that at the 1992 Mr. Olympia Ronnie Coleman didn’t even place! Coleman didn’t compete in 1993 but placed 15th in 1994 and 11th in 1995. Even in 1997, the year before he won his first Mr. Olympia, he placed 9th. Then in 1998 his size changed dramatically and he won some Grand Prix and Night of Champions and seemly out of nowhere in 1998, after Dorian Yates retired, Coleman was Mr. Olympia.
After Ronnie Coleman retired, Yates believes that the whole quality of the sport declined. He says that bodybuilders are trying to achieve his and Ronnie’s size and body weights but the actual quality of the physiques have gone way down.