Hot dog eating champ Joey Chestnut is facing rival Takeru Kobayashi in Netflix competition

Hot dog eating champ Joey Chestnut is facing rival Takeru Kobayashi in Netflix competition

Hot dog eating champions Joey Chestnut and Takeru Kobayashi have “Unfinished Beef” to settle.

On June 12, Netflix announced that the two competitive eaters, who have faced off before at Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest, will battle it out to prove which one of them is the better hot dog eating champion. The live event will be called “Chestnut vs. Kobayashi: Unfinished Beef.”

For the upcoming showdown, Chestnut, a 16-time Nathan's hot dog eating champion, and Kobayashi, a six-time winner, will see which one can scarf down the most hot dogs, the streamer announced in a press release.

The competitors have cooked up an intense rivalry over the years. They became adversaries after facing off at the annual Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest held on July 4. But the two haven’t competed against each other since 2009.

At that time, Chestnut bested Kobayashi in a five hot dog sudden-death event that determined the winner, the press release said.

Chestnut has been victorious at the Nathan’s contest for the past eight years and currently holds a world record for eating 76 hot dogs in 10 minutes. Kobayashi dominated the event from 2001 to 2006, but he was banned in 2010 due to a contract dispute, according to the Netflix press release.

Now, 15 years after their last battle, the two are ready to put their impressive eating skills on display once again. The news of the event comes after Chestnut claimed he has also been “banned” from the Nathan's contest this year and recent reports that Kobayashi retired from competitive eating.

Read on to learn more about the live event below.

When is the “Chestnut vs. Kobayashi: Unfinished Beef” contest?

Netflix will stream the “Chestnut vs. Kobayashi: Unfinished Beef” event live on Labor Day, Sept. 2.

The streamer will reveal where and when the matchup will occur at a later time.

Did Takeru Kobayashi retire from competitive eating?

The announcement about Chestnut and Kobayashi’s head-to-head contest comes less than a month after Kobayashi appeared to retire from competitive eating.

NBC News reported on May 24 that the Japanese competitor spoke about his health issues in the recent Netflix documentary “Hack Your Health: The Secrets of Your Gut.”

“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 shared.

His wife, Maggie James, was also featured in the documentary and revealed that Kobayashi can go days without a meal.

“(He) thinks he might be broken,” James said. “He doesn’t feel hungry or full. He doesn’t feel those things at all.”

Kobayashi later estimated that he has ingested 10,000 hot dogs throughout his career and has considered “what damage I’ve done to my body.”

He implied he was leaving his competitive eating career behind. “It’s all I have done for the last 20 years. I am worried about what my next step will bring, but I’m also excited about my future. I have mixed feelings.”

But on June 12, he confirmed that he isn’t ready to say goodbye just yet.

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

He continued, “His 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.”

What has Joey Chestnut said about his contest with Takeru Kobayashi?

Chestnut referred to Kobayashi as his “fiercest rival” in a statement about their Labor Day event.

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

He said fans have been anticipating a rematch and he is looking forward to facing Kobayashi again.

Fans were initially expecting to see Chestnut compete at this year’s Nathan’s contest, but he will not be involved.

Less than a month before the July 4 contest, Chestnut claimed that he will not be allowed to participate in the competition.

“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,” he wrote on Instagram June 11. “ 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.”

But Major League Eating (MLE) tells TODAY.com that the “ban” is not true.

“There is no ban,” Richard Shea, MLE co-founder, tells TODAY.com. “Major League Eating wants him there. The fans want him there. Nathan’s wants him there.”

A statement from MLE to TODAY.com said the league was “devastated” that 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.”

Chestnut claimed in his Instagram post that a recent rule change prohibits his involvement due to his partnership with the other brand.

“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,” he added. “This is apparently the basis on which I’m being banned, and it doesn’t impact the July 4th contest.”

TODAY.com reached out to MLE for a comment on the alleged rule changes.

This article was originally published on TODAY.com

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