Officially barred from the annual Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest on July 4th in Coney Island, New York, Chestnut was barred from competing in this year’s contest, a contest he has dominated for 16 non-consecutive years. Nathan’s Famous barred Chestnut because of a sponsorship deal Chestnut signed with vegan competitor Impossible Hotdogs. 

16 mustard belts

With 16 mustard belts and the world record of 76 hotdogs in 10 minutes consumed, along with 15 other eating records he has under his belt, Chestnut doesn’t seem too bothered about being barred from this year’s contest. 


Unfinished Beef

In fact, Chestnut is looking ahead to his showdown with competitor Takeru "The Tsunami" Kobayashi of Japan in a winner-take-all hot dog eating contest streaming live on Netflix on Labor Day (Sept. 2). “Chestnut vs. Kobayashi: Unfinished Beef” will determine the ultimate hot dog eating champion. Chestnut, 40, and Kobayashi, 46, last faced off in 2009, when Chestnut defeated Kobayashi — who had won the contest from 2001 to 2006 — in a sudden-death eat-off of five hot dogs. 

  I love competing

"I was very disappointed to learn from the media today that, after nearly 20 years, I am banned from the Nathan's 4th of July Hot Dog Eating Contest. 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," Chestnut wrote on his social media. He goes on to say, "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. This is apparently the basis on which I’m being banned, and it doesn’t impact the July 4th contest. 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 tuned and STAY HUNGRY!"

Now, that training will be put to the test against an old foe. 


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“Through all of my years in competitive eating, Kobayashi stands out as my fiercest rival,” Chestnut said in a release. “Competing against him pushed me to be so much better. 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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