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Hot dog champ Chestnut to face former rival Kobayashi in Netflix special

The two champs will compete in "Chestnut vs. Kobayashi: Unfinished Beef."
Joey Chestnut on the left, Takeru Kobayashi on the right, both eating hot dogs.
Posted at 8:00 AM, Jun 13, 2024

Days after the world learned that Joey Chestnut would not be allowed to participate in this year's Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest, Netflix announced a new competition pitting Chestnut against a former rival.

On Labor Day, Chestnut will square off against Takeru Kobayashi, winner of six Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contests. Kobayashi has not competed in the annual July 4 competition in Coney Island, New York, after a 2010 contractual dispute with Major League Eating. Contest officials said earlier this week Chestnut would not be allowed to compete in this year's event as long as the 16-time champion remained a partner with a vegan hot dog company.

The Netflix special, which is set to air live on Labor Day, reunites the two for a hot dog eating contest for the first time in 15 years. At the 2009 Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest, Chestnut defeated Kobayashi after consuming 68 hot dogs against Kobayashi's 64.5.

"Through all of my years in competitive eating, Kobayashi stands out as my fiercest rival,” Chestnut said in a press release. “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!”

Competitive eater Joey Chestnut holds a plate of hotdogs.

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Kobayashi continued to compete in events not sanctioned by Major League Eating in the years following his contract dispute.

“Retiring for me will only happen after I take him down one last time,” Kobayashi said in a Netflix press release. “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.”

Netflix said details such as event location and time are still to be determined.