Watch out world! Miki Sudo, the 28-year-old competitive eater from Las Vegas, Nevada, is making waves within the competitive eating circuit and with a #4 ranking with the MLE, Sudo is a force to be reckoned with.
Sudo did her first challenge, which was originally a dare, in 2011 and signed signed as a professional eater in April 2013. She’s eaten everything from pizza to steaks to pho to wings, and Tailgate Fan was able to interview Sudo and ask her about her life as a professional competitive eater.
Tailgate Fan: On your Facebook page, it says you were dared into your first eating challenge in which you took down Phozilla in less than 87 minutes. Had you always had a curiosity about competitive eating prior to that day in December 2011?
Miki Sudo: Not at all. I’m just extremely competitive. On that day, it could have been a basket weaving competition for all I cared. It was only after I experienced a few events, that I became passionate about competitive eating.
TGF: How would you describe your first non-MLE competition at Village Pub Rib Championship in 2012?
MS: I was a nervous wreck and almost withdrew at the 11th hour, but my friends stuck by me. It was absolutely surreal when I won, given that the finalists were all current or former professionals.
TGF: What do your family and friends think about your professional eating career?
MS: My sister and cousins are incredibly supportive — they never miss a chance to tell her friends. My biggest supporter, however, has to be my grandma. She knows my schedule better than I do!
TGF: What do you do when you’re not eating competitively?
MS: I work to stay busy, and I also volunteer with a local organization that assists and empowers the intellectually challenged. Other than that, I enjoy hiking. We’ve got some great trails here in Vegas.
TGF: Any foods you would never consider eating competitively? Or for that matter, at all?
MS: On the pro circuit, I never have to eat anything I don’t want to. But before I joined, I ate 12 pounds of pizza sprinkled with crickets. That was pretty gross. I’ll never eat crawfish, head-on shrimp, oysters, or sea urchin.
TGF: When you debuted with MLE at the Nathan’s Famous Las Vegas qualifier last year, how did you feel after eating 40 hot dogs in 10 minutes?
MS: Relieved. I flew in from LA that morning after filming an internet series, so I was pretty drained from the start. I was just happy that I was able to put up a decent number.
TGF: Is there any award or number one title you are most proud of and why?
MS: No competitor has ever risen in the ranks as fast as me, and that’s pretty crazy. Still, I’m most proud of overcoming stage fright through CE. The rest is just icing.
TGF: What about this year’s Nathan’s Famous World Hot Dog Eating Contest are you most excited about?
MS: It’s the Super Bowl of competitive eating. There’s simply no event like it.
TGF: Why did you decide to become a competitive eater?
MS: I’m rather adventurous — my idea of fun includes skydiving, riding elephants, and getting lost halfway around the world. I love pushing the boundaries of my comfort zone, so I’m typically down for a challenge. Entering an eating competition was just something new I tried on a dare. I never meant to pursue it, but I discovered that I happen to be pretty good at it.
TGF: Do you have a full-time or part-time job?
MS: I have a BSBA in International Business and Finance. I work because I like to stay busy.
TGF: How much have you earned from competitive eating?
MS: Up to $5,000 per event.
TGF: What are your routines in days leading up to the competition?
MS: I juice all my meals because it allows me to stay healthy and energized while not blocking my system. I also read up on past records, watch contest videos, and get plenty of rest.
TGF: What is your proudest moment so far in a food competition?
MS: I’m the top-ranked female competitive eater in the world and #4 with men included. That’s pretty cool.
TGF: What is your next goal?
MS: I want to be the female Anthony Bourdain.
TGF: Are you close with any competitive eaters?
MS: Yes! Some of my best friends are competitive eaters. We’re an odd bunch, so I guess it’s only natural for us to get along.
TGF: Do you plan on ever retiring from food competitions?
MS: Of course. The body isn’t built to do Competitive Eating forever, but I just started. I’m having a blast, and getting paid to eat ice cream isn’t a bad deal. I’ll continue for as long as it’s fun, and I can’t imagine that ending any time soon.