Calorielab.com has just posted a new piece on the contract issues between Kobayashi and Major League Eating (MLE). The article gives more details on the potential contract issues involved, raising issues that test the legality of the arrangements. To get a background, read my earlier piece here.
The article sums up the contracts signed between competitions and an MLE-related organization, the World League of Competitive Eating (WLOCE). They restricted any competitive eater from appearing in non-sanctioned events (no surprise there), but also requires that the sanctioning body be appointed the competitor's agent with regarding to any paid appearances, endorsements or merchandising, giving the WLOCE 20 percent of the gross for any such activities. Additionally his image can only be licensed by the WLOCE.
If this is true (and we do not know for sure), I would be counting the days before litigation begins.