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Joey Chestnut to compete against ‘fiercest rival’ in new hot dog eating contest after Nathan’s ban

Joey Chestnut might be barred from this year’s Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, but he’s already found a different opportunity to consume hot dogs thanks to Netflix. 

Netflix is hosting a live-streamed event this Labor Day (Sept. 2), featuring Chestnut and another competitive eating G.O.A.T. — Takeru Kobayashi. 

The two legends will compete in the special titled “Chestnut vs. Kobayashi: Unfinished Beef,” in which they will be going head-to-head in a hot dog eating contest.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the hot dogs will be all-beef, and the reason that’s significant comes from Chestnut’s partnership with Impossible Foods, which is launching a vegan wiener. That deal didn’t sit well with Major League Eating (MLE) and Nathan’s, who barred him from this year’s competition. 

Chestnut, a 16-time winner of the Hot Dog Eating Contest, has won the last eight competitions.

“I was gutted to learn from the media that after 19 years Im [sic] banned from the Nathan’s July 4th Hot Dog Eating Contest,” Chestnut wrote in a statement. “I love competing in that event, I love celebrating America with my fans all over this great country on the 4th and I have been training to defend my title.

JOEY CHESTNUT’S RIVAL SAYS WINNER OF NATHAN’S HOT DOG EATING CONTEST THIS YEAR WILL HAVE ‘HUGE ASTERISK’

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

“Sadly, this is the decision Nathan’s and Major League Eating are making, and it will deprive the great fans of the holiday’s usual joy and entertainment. To my fans, I love you and appreciate you. Rest assured that you’ll see me eat again soon!! STAY HUNGRY!”

Meanwhile, the MLE said that it was allowing Chestnut to participate in the battle against Kobayashi. 

“MLE and Nathan’s went to great lengths to accommodate Joey and his management team, agreeing to the appearance fee and allowing Joey to compete in a rival, unbranded hot dog eating contest on Labor Day,” their statement read. 

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

As for Kobayashi, he recently revealed on a separate Netflix show, “Hack Your Health: The Secrets of Your Gut,” that he planned to retire from competitive eating altogether. 

“I hear people say they’re hungry, and they look very happy after they’ve eaten. I’m jealous of those people because I no longer feel hunger,” he said. 

However, this battle against Chestnut is one that would wrap up his career if he can come out victorious. 

“Retiring for me will only happen after I take him down one last time,” Kobayashi said in a statement, via The Hollywood Reporter. “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.”

Chestnut added: “Through all of my years in competitive eating, Kobayashi stands out as my fiercest rival, 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!”

Takeru Kobayashi and Joey Chestnut pose for picture

The last time these two went at it over hot dogs was in 2009, when a five-dog sudden death round was needed to determine the winner at Nathan’s. Chestnut ended up being victorious. 

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