Kobayashi Weighs in at 172 Pounds

An extraordinarily buff Takeru Kobayashi weighed in at exactly 172 pounds today in Chattanooga, Tenn., one day before the Krystal Square Off World Hamburger Eating Championship.

After the weigh-in ceremony, Kobayashi was seen working out with fellow Krystal Square Off competitor Hall Hunt in the luxury fitness center of Chattanooga's exclusive Read House hotel.

A half dozen Read House guests peered at Kobayashi through floor-to-ceiling glass walls, and one woman called him "an Asian Arnold Schwarzenegger."

Kobayashi defends his Krystal title tomorrow at 2:30 pm at the First Tennessee Pavilion, following a series of undercard events that include a parade of champions, a college contest and a celebrity contest.

Sonya Thomas and Joey Chestnut both have been singled out by handicappers as potential threats to Kobayashi and break-out performances are expected by Patrick Bertoletti and Chip Simpson.

Meanwhile, Loren “Bubba” Yarbrough and Hall Hunt, who both posted 30 in Square Off qualifiers, will settle a long-running battle for dominance.

Eric “Badlands” Booker, Tim Janus, Ron Koch, Rich LeFevre, Sam Vise and Crazy Legs Conti enter the finals with big numbers -- all topped 30 during the season (Booker reached 44). Bob Shoudt and Jim Reeves both hover just below the 30 mark as they enter the final while newcomer Claudine Ko (sponsor's exemption) hopes to earn her bona fides.