Joey Chestnut to face old rival Takeru Kobayashi in 'ultimate hot dog eating competition' on Netflix

Brooklyn, UNITED STATES: Takeru Kobayashi (L) of Nagano, Japan and Joey Chestnut (R) of San Jose, California compete in the annual International July Fourth Hot Dog Eating Contest, 04 July 2007, at the original Nathan?s Famous restaurant in the Coney Island section of Brooklyn, NY. Chestnut won by eating 66 hot dogs in 12 minutes, a world record, beating defending and six-time champion Kobayashi.  AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP via Getty Images)
Joey Chestnut and Takeru Kobayashi haven't competed in the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest together since 2009. (STAN HONDA/AFP via Getty Images)

Competitive eating fans won't get to watch Joey Chestnut at the 2024 Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest, but it looks like they'll be getting something even more intriguing.

The 16-time Nathan's Contest champion will face his old rival Takeru Kobayashi, a six-time champion himself and the competition's original crossover star, in "Chestnut vs. Kobayashi: Unfinished Beef" live on Netflix on Sept. 2, the streamer announced Wednesday.

The exact timing, location and, perhaps most importantly, brand of hot dogs that will be used was not announced.

The announcement comes only a day after Major League Eating, the organizers behind the Nathan's contest, announced that Chestnut would be banned from the competition this year due to his endorsement deal with Impossible Foods. Nathan's has a rule that competitors may not endorse a rival hot dog brand.

It's probably not a coincidence that Chestnut is now proceeding with what could be seen as a rival event, against a man who was banned from the Nathan's contest under similar circumstances in 2010.

Chestnut's dominance over the past 17 years has made it easy to forget, but Kobayashi was once the only real name in competitive eating. From 2001 to 2006, the Nagano, Japan, native won every Nathan's contest while blowing away the competition and setting a world record multiple times. It was only in 2006 when a young Chestnut started challenging him, finishing 1 3/4 dogs behind him.

From Netflix:

“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!”

Chestnut finally surpassed Kobayashi in 2007 and has since won all but one of the competitions (Matt Stonie's shocking upset in 2015 being the exception). Meanwhile, Kobayashi was banned from the competition a couple years after Chestnut's first win due to a contract dispute.

Kobayashi responded by showing up to the 2010 competition to pressure the organizers into reversing their decision, which ended in an arrest for trespassing. He proceeded to hold counter-events over the next few years in an attempt to retake his crown as the world's preeminent eater, but Chestnut has since become easily the sport's biggest name.

Now 46 years old, Kobayashi announced his retirement just last month, but treated that as a false start in his quote from Netflix:

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

All of that competitive eating contract drama stands to be a boon to Netflix. The streaming company has been trying to find a foothold in live sports recently, most notably with its new NFL and WWE deals as well as the recently rescheduled boxing match between Mike Tyson and Jake Paul on Nov. 15.