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Joey Chestnut and Takeru Kobayashi, champions of hot dog eating, will compete against each other in a Netflix special

Joey Chestnut, defending champion of the Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July hot dog eating contest (Via Netflix)

After Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July hot dog-eating contest organizers said Joey Chestnut wouldn’t participate this year due to a deal with a rival brand, Netflix quickly announced a new hot dog-eating competition featuring Chestnut and his longtime competitor.

Chestnut, who has won the hot dog-eating championship 16 times, will compete against Takeru Kobayashi in a live Netflix special on September 2, the streaming service revealed on Wednesday.

The event, titled “Chestnut vs. Kobayashi: Unfinished Beef,” will showcase the two eating all-beef hot dogs, possibly in response to reports that Chestnut’s deal is with Impossible Foods, known for their plant-based hot dogs.

Major League Eating, which oversees the Nathan’s contest, stated on Tuesday that Chestnut’s decision stemmed from an exclusivity issue with his sponsorship. George Shea, an organizer for Major League Eating, expressed admiration for Chestnut but confirmed it was his choice to step back from the event he had participated in since 2005. Shea emphasized, “We love him. The fans love him.”

Electronic stock board (Via Elena Baker/Getty Images)

Chestnut disputed this, asserting on the social media platform X that Nathan’s and Major League Eating made the decision, which he believed would disappoint fans who expect holiday entertainment and joy.

He assured fans that they would see him competing again soon and encouraged them to “STAY HUNGRY!”

Although Impossible Foods has not officially confirmed their association with Chestnut, he stated they support his participation in any competition, emphasizing inclusivity in food choices.

Following Netflix’s announcement, Shea remarked that while the streaming service aims to recreate aspects of the Nathan’s contest, it’s a unique event that can’t be replicated.

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