No, the brothers John and Matt Liot haven't been able to summon fireballs so far. But when the Mixed Martial Arts aficionados are out in the gym in their native Jersey (UK), launching at each other with abandon as we can see in the videos they share online, Street Fighter is never far from their minds. "On the one hand I'd say the fighting we do today has nothing to do with what games we played as kids," the older brother Matt says when we meet online. "But there's no denying two men training intensively and kicking each other's butts whenever they can has a strong analogy in Ryu and Ken, haha."
The fighting hobby stands in stark contrast to the personalities of the two brothers, who come over as lighthearted, smart, and compassionate siblings, with day jobs in IT (Matt) and as youth counselor and mental coach (John)-his podcast I'm Glad You Exist is the polar opposite of what you'd expect from a mixed martial artist. We meet to discuss the Akuma art print John gifted Matt for his birthday. "Or for Christmas, I don't remember really," says John. "The important thing is the image strongly reminds us of our youth, when we grinded away at Street Fighter EX Plus Alpha for days on end. Even though this specific title was panned by critics for being too slow and clunky, we loved that game to bits."