News Joey Chestnut banned from Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest over apparent partnership with plant-based brand

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Chestnut has won the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest 16 of the last 17 years

Joey Chestnut, a 16-time winner of the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest, has been banned from the event this year, Major League Eating (MLE) has announced. The ban apparently stems from Chestnut's new partnership with a rival vegan food brand.

Chestnut has become a Fourth of July staple, winning 16 of the last 17 Nathan's Hot Dog Eating contests, including each of the last eight. Chestnut also holds the all-time record with 76 hot dogs and buns eaten, which he set in 2021.

MLE has weighed in on the decision to ban Chestnut from the even, confirming in a statement that Chestnut's partnership with a plant-based food company is the reason for the split. MLE did say that Chestnut would be allowed to compete if he renounces his partnership with the plant-based brand.

Grab your ketchup and mustard, because the mother of all hot dog-eating contests is here.

Joey Chestnut and Takeru Kobayashi, two of the world’s most famous competitive eaters, will participate in the ultimate hot dog-eating contest live on Netflix on Labor Day. The location and specific timing for the Sept. 2 event will be announced at a later date.

Titled “Chestnut vs. Kobayashi: Unfinished Beef,” the two eaters will embark in a rematch “that will determine the ultimate hot-dog-eating champion — in which the competitors will fight to eat the most all-beef hot dogs,” Netflix said in a release Wednesday.

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

The news comes a day after Coney Island’s iconic Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest banned Chestnut from this year’s competition after he signed a deal with vegan hot dog brand Impossible Foods. Chestnut is a 16-time champion at Nathan’s yearly Fourth of July contest and has won the past eight years in a row. He holds the world record after scarfing down 76 hot dogs in 10 minutes. Kobayashi is a six-time Nathan’s champ, winning six years in a row in the early 2000s. Chestnut defeated Kobayashi for the first time in 2007, and they two had a fierce rivalry in the mid 2000s. They last faced off in 2009, when Chestnut emerged victorious.

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