She is shooting for her seventh straight title and, quite frankly (no pun intended), she still isn’t a household name. On the men’s side, it’s Joey Chestnut. For the women, it’s Miki Sudo. Chestnut, of course, is the reigning champion of Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest. So is Sudo.
Who is Miki Sudo?
While eating hot dogs competitively is mainly associated with Joey ‘Jaws’ Chestnut, Miki Sudo is certainly making a name for herself. While Chestnut is shooting for his fifth straight championship in Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest on Saturday, Sudo is shooting for her seventh title in a row.
Ever since Sudo knocked off Sonya ‘The Black Widow’ Thomas in 2014 by earing 34 hot dogs, she has retained her title each year. When she defeated Thomas, she also became the first champion in 25 years to not have a nickname. In a 2015 Twitter post, she wrote “So, I never want a nickname in (Competitive Eating). Never have, never will. BUT, if I were to have one, it would be HOTdogTOPdog.”
During Sudo’s six-year reign as the top dog, she has never finished below 31 hot dogs. And that came last year. Her biggest total as champion came in 2017 when she finished 41. When she knocked off Thomas in 2014, it was the first time since there was a women’s division (2011) that Thomas was defeated.
Sudo and Chestnut are huge favorites to retain their titles
Why would you bet against Miki Sudo – or Joey Chestnut, for that matter? Las Vegas is thinking the same thing as the sportsbooks have made them extremely heavy favorites for Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest which will be televised on ESPN on Saturday.
According to The Sporting News, Sudo is a huge favorite at -1500, meaning one would have to be $1,500 to make $100 if they picked her to win. While Sudo is the clear favorite for the women, Chestnut is even a bigger favorite on the men’s side. Chestnut, looking for his 13th overall championship, comes in as a -1750 favorite.
“This year, I feel like I’m going in more prepared,” Sudo told WGN Radio. “I’m in better shape than ever. Despite everything that’s going on around us, I feel very calm going into this.”
Sudo said she wasn’t even sure if there would be a contest
With everything being shut down because of the pandemic, Miki Sudo wasn’t even sure there was going to be a 2020 version of Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest. She told WGN Radio that she recently found out it was still on, although there will be no fans in attendance.
“As gyms opened in Connecticut as part of Phase 2, I got back in the gym and am getting my endurance and energy levels up again,” she said. “I managed to squeeze in three hot dog practices. My boyfriend Nick Wehry is another competitive eater and will be competing on the Fourth as well. He’s done a great job helping me practice.”