Wednesday, July 21, 2010


In part one, I outlined in detail why I thought I needed to voice out my opinion regarding obese characters in fighting games. In this follow up article, I just want to clarify a few thoughts on characters, persons, and ideas that may run contrary to my thoughts, but actually don’t.


What about E. Honda,though? The famous sumo wrestler that first appeared in the granddaddy of all fighting games, Street Fighter II, way back in 1991? Well, first of all, my specific complaint was about characters who are obese, and not just fat. There are plenty of people all over the world that some may categorize as fat for whatever aesthetic reasons, but when physically examined, they wind up to be perfectly healthy. E. Honda pretty much fits this description. If you actually look at his design, you’ll notice that much of his torso is meant to actually be muscle, and not fat. His character design in the classic, Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie, is even more evident of this.


But what about a lot of the other sumo wrestlerswho are truly mostly fat and not muscle? Well, there’s plenty of controversy right now regarding this. Sumo is a sport where one opponent has to push the other outside the ring, and mass obviously plays a huge aspect of that. In this case, sumo wrestlers often pack on extra mass in order to gain an upper hand against their opponents. Of course, a lot of this mass is muscle, as sumo wrestlers typically engage in very rigorous physical training every day, like any other fighter. The problem is when they gain too much body fat in order to increase their weight even more. There have been numerous occasions when champion sumo wrestlers have died because of cardiovascular diseases related to high amounts of body fat. 

Sumo wrestlers that value technique over mass have been emerging, and these are much lighter competitors who have a tremendous amount of lean mass, and use their skills as the primary form of winning. This is obviously a better form of sumo wrestler.


Okay, but what about Big Country Roy Nelson, the recent winner of The Ultimate Fighter Season 10who is currently tearing through opponents in the UFC? Well, first of all, “Big Country” Roy Nelson has a big belly, but I really don’t think he can be classified as obese (compare his picture to that of Bob’s or Rufus’ in part one). He pretty much has a ton of muscle underneath all that flab, and he has the cardiovascular endurance of a champion. He works hard in the gym, and it shows in the Octagon. In this case, I don’t think his fa├žade is something young people should emulate, but his work ethic sure is.

Also, if you notice, from his time on The Ultimate Fighter to his more recent fight against Stefan Struve, you can actually notice Big Country slim down quite a bit. This is because of his increased training to prepare for higher level competitors. The higher he climbs the ranks of the UFC, the fitter he’ll get.

And if you want to emulate a UFC heavyweight fighter, there are plenty of bigger names out there hyped even more than Big Country. People like champion Brock Lesnar, top contender Cain Velasquez, Shane Carwin, and Minotauro Nogueira are hyped way more than Nelson, and have slimmer, more muscular physiques, which is something that better represents the current Heavyweight division of the UFC.

Any more thoughts on “fat” or obese people being represented in popular culture? Drop me a comment below as I’d like to read your thoughts!

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Hello, I'm Noel Blanco and I write Fitness Philippines. I have been involved in physical fitness for more than 10 years now and am currently taking up graduate studies on Exercise and Sports Science at the University of the Philippines. You can contact me at
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