Joey Chestnut takes on rival challenge after being eliminated from Nathan’s Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest

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Joey Chestnut will not be competing in this year’s Nathan’s Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest.


Nathan’s Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest has one notable omission from the men’s competition this year.

That’s because Joey Chestnut, a dynastic hot dog eating champion, is not participating after inking a deal with plant-based food company Impossible Foods.

The famous competition began in historic fashion with the women’s match on Thursday, where reigning champion Miki Sudo broke a women’s record by eating 51 hot dogs and buns.

She defeated second-place finisher Mayoi Ebihara with 14 hot dogs and buns to win her 10th title at the competition.

“We finally made it to 50, guys,” Sudo told ESPN after her historic performance. “I’ll see you next year.”

Chestnut has now won the “Mustard Yellow Belt” 16 times and in 2021 set a world record of eating 76 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes.

If Chestnut weren’t attending Nathan’s competition, he wouldn’t let Independence Day pass without taking on a food challenge.

The 40-year-old will take part in his own showcase event, taking on four US Army soldiers at Fort Bliss base in El Paso, Texas, in an all-beef hot dog event.

The contest, which raises money for military families, lasts five minutes and Chestnut keeps a close eye on his rivals competing on Coney Island.

Chestnut has reportedly said he hopes to eat more hot dogs in five minutes than the winner of Nathan’s contest did in ten minutes.

“I think 56 is doable,” he said, according to USA Today. “I would love to do that.”

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Chestnut (left) has become synonymous with competition over the years.

Chestnut’s challenge will be streamed live on his YouTube channel and will begin at 5pm Eastern Time.

Meanwhile, Nathan’s match will be broadcast on ESPN. The women’s event will begin at 10:45 a.m. (Eastern Time) and the men’s event will begin at 12:00 p.m. (Eastern Time).

The Major League Eating (MLE) organization, which oversees the world-famous event, has stressed that Chestnut has not been banned for life, citing his 20-year relationship with the competition. The organization said that in order to return, Chestnut would have to relinquish deals with brands that compete with Nathan’s.

“Joey Chestnut is an American hero. We would love nothing more than to have him at Nathan’s Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest, where he has dominated for years. We hope he will return if he is not representing a rival brand,” MLE said in a statement.

An account under Chestnut’s name posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Tuesday that he “does not have a contract with MLE or Nathans and they are looking to change the rules from previous years regarding other partners I can work with.”

CNN has not independently confirmed the authenticity of the X account.

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