Joey Chestnut vs. Takeru Kobayashi: Two heavyweights to square off in Netflix hot dog competition

Joey Chestnut and Takeru Kobayashi

Joey Chestnut may not be competing in Coney Island on July 4, but he will still be facing off with his “fiercest rival” later this year.

Chestnut and opponent Takeru Kobayashi will gorge themselves in a special that will air live on Netflix, the streaming service announced on social media on Wednesday.

Netflix called “Chestnut vs. Kobayashi: Unfinished Beef” “a rivalry simmering for 15 years.”

The two have not competed since 2009 and Kobayashi was said to have retired, but he said he is not, The Associated Press reported.

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

The Athletic reported Kobayashi was banned from Nathan’s contest due to a contract dispute with Major League Eating.

Chestnut was banned from competing in Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest after he signed a deal with competitor Impossible Foods, maker of plant-based hot dogs.

Major League Eating event organizer, George Shea, said that the issue that ultimately removed Chestnut from the annual competition he has taken part in since 2005 centered on “exclusivity,” adding, “He (Chestnut) made the choice.”

But the reigning champion for 16 out of 17 years of competing in the event said that Nathan’s and Major League Eating were the ones to decide whether he could compete.

The AP reported that Impossible Foods hasn’t confirmed a partnership with Chestnut but said, “meat eaters shouldn’t have to be exclusive to just one wiener.”

Even New York City Mayor Eric Adams weighed in on the brouhaha, writing on X, “Stop being such weenies.”

“It would be ‘impossible’ to have this year’s Nathan’s Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest without Joey Chestnut,” he said. “Let’s find a way to squash this beef and bring back the champ for another 4th of July at Coney Island!”

The Netflix special airs live on Sept. 2.

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