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Joey Chestnut to Face Takeru Kobayashi After Being Barred From Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest

Joey Chestnut Breaks Silence on Being Barred From Hot Dog Eating Contest
Joey Chestnut Bobby Bank/Getty Images

Joey Chestnut is moving his hot dog-eating services to a bigger stage.

On Wednesday, June 12, Netflix announced that Chestnut will face off against rival competitive eater Takeru Kobayashi in a hot dog battle to stream live over Labor Day weekend,” the streaming service shared in a press release. 

Netflix has set the event, dubbed Chestnut vs. Kobayashi: Unfinished Beef, for September 2, with the location and time to be revealed later. It will “determine the ultimate hot-dog-eating champion — in which the competitors will fight to eat the most all-beef hot dogs.”

“Through all of my years in competitive eating, Kobayashi stands out as my fiercest rival,” Chestnut, 40, said in a statement. “Competing against him pushed me to be so much better. I know that fans have waited a long time for another chapter of our rivalry and I can’t wait for our massive showdown live on Netflix! It’s time to give the people what they want!”

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Meanwhile, Kobayashi, 46, said he was delaying his retirement from the sport.

“Retiring for me will only happen after I take him down one last time,” he stated. “This rivalry has been brewing for a long time. Competing against Joey live on Netflix means fans all over the world can watch me knock him out.”

The news was surely vindication for Chestnut, who was barred the day before from competing in the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest this summer. His crime: Endorsing another hot dog brand.

“We are devastated to learn that Joey Chestnut has chosen to represent a rival brand that sells plant-based hot dogs rather than competing in the 2024 Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest,” Major League Eating (MLE) said in a statement to Us Weekly on Tuesday, June 11. 


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Chestnut had allegedly made a deal with Impossible Foods, the company behind plant-based meat alternatives, including hot dogs. 

“To set the record straight, I do not have a contract with MLE or Nathan’s and they are looking to change the rules from past years as it relates to other partners I can work with,” Chestnut wrote via Instagram on Tuesday evening. “This is apparently the basis on which I’m being banned, and it doesn’t impact the July 4th contest.”

Chestnut called MLE’s ruling “very disappointing” and said it “will deprive the great fans of the holiday’s usual joy and entertainment.”

Chestnut triumphed at last year’s competition in Coney Island, downing 62 hot dogs and buns to clinch his eighth consecutive victory. He set a world record in 2021, when he consumed 76 dogs and buns. 

In a statement to Us, MLE suggested it could lift the ban on their biggest star in the future.

“Joey Chestnut is an American hero,” the group said. “We would love nothing more than to have him at the Nathan’s Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest, which he has dominated for years. We hope that he returns when he is not representing a rival brand.”

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