Dorian Yates and Lee Haney Almost Fight?



Patrick Bet-David: So, at this point Arnold has come here. He has won. He’s from Austria. It’s still not an international sport. It’s still mainly US. Weider is running the whole thing. You come out here. Was your first Mr. Olympia with Haney? Was that your first one?

Dorian Yates: First Mr. Olympia.

Patrick Bet-David: How was that experience for you, standing next to Haney?

Dorian Yates: Well, there’s another funny story I was telling my friend the other day, so it comes to mind. Lee Haney is Mr. Olympia when I’m starting out. So, this guy I’m looking at is Mr. Olympia. Plus, he’s a family man and, you know, he’s big. I saw him guest pose in England. It was an inspiration. Big guy, so I’m a fan basically but now I’m gonna go compete against him? So, I realized I can’t be a fan anymore, man. I got to get a little bit ruthless here, yeah? It’s changed my mind, right? Maybe I can beat this guy. Maybe I’m better than him. Why not? Sure, he doesn’t train as hard as you. So, you know, this process is going on until I, like, got into a mind space where I’m gonna go and I’m gonna try and beat this guy. I’m gonna give my best shot.

Dorian Yates: I’m going there with this positive attitude. I’m not gonna there as a fan boy. So, I already was in that frame of mind and when I compete I’m very focused, almost like quiet aggressiveness. So, a guy in New York is telling me a story which I found out later was total bull. Well, he told me the story and he’s the only guy I knew at this point. I don’t know many people in the American bodybuilding community. So, there’s this gym owner in New York that was my contact and he knew everybody, knew all the people in it. I didn’t know anybody. So, he’s telling me stuff. I’m believing him. He was, like, you got to watch out for Haney on stage. He’s a bully. I say ‘what do you mean’? Oh, you know, he’ll try to intimidate you. He’ll bang into you a little bit. He might tread on your toe or something and just wants to, like, bully you on the stage. I’m, like, he’s not doing that to me.

Dorian Yates: Now, I’m getting all psyched up and everything. I’ve gone to Mr. Olympia, my first Mr. Olympia. I’m psyched. I’m on a stage and there’s a call-out. It’s just me and Haney, which is unusual. Two guys, right? So, it’s obvious this is a showdown for first and second. I’ll start to walk out and Lee’s give me the, you know, friendly smile. I give him a stone face. Then I walked out and, you know, you’re coming and going with this kind of relaxed semi relaxed pose. I went into the semi relaxed pose and on purpose I properly banged my elbow into him. And he must have been ‘what the hell is this crazy…?’

Patrick Ben-David: Is this on video?

Dorian Yates: I don’t know, if you get video of the pre-judging. So, I banged into him and I did it a couple of times to let him know, you know. Then in the pose down Lee Haney does this pose where he brings out his arms like this and I was behind him. I know he kind of got me out of corner of his eye and he clipped me with his with his knuckle. I think it was like “Okay have some back”, you know?

Dorian Yates: It was years and years afterwards I sat down with him and got a chance, you know, we don’t see each other that often. I was at a show and I got a chance to sit down and talk one-on one and said I need to talk to about something. Lee’s like “what’s that?” Well, I kind of need to apologize. So, did you remember, you know, that and I came and I’m banging and this…? He’s like, “Yeah, I thought you wanted to fight me or something.” I’m like, ‘yeah, well this happened and you know it’s kind of a BS story and I’m young and I’m psyched up and I’m sorry’. Because he was just a gentleman.

Patrick Ben-David: I hear he was a very much a gentleman.

Dorian Yates: Very cool man, gentleman. So the story was totally BS.

Patrick Ben-David: I loved the fact that a guy from New York told you
this. Was he like your agent or manager?

Dorian Yates: He wanted to be but was just a guy that was full of shit.

About Yegor Khzokhlachev 820 Articles
Gorilla at Large


    • I also remember Lee banged into Rich Gaspari onstage at one of the Olympias and Gaspari stopped posing and looked like he was going to fight him. Lee smiled at him and put his hand on his shoulder…

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