Joey Chestnut Vs Takeru Kobayashi: What We Know About Netflix's Ultimate Hot Dog Eating Contest

In what is slated to be the premier live sporting event of Labor Day weekend, "Chestnut vs. Kobayashi: Unfinished Beef" will be airing Monday, September 2 on Netflix. Competitive eating champion Joey Chestnut (16 wins at Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog-Eating Contest) and the recently retired Takeru Kobayashi (6 Nathan's wins) are facing off to settle their highly publicized rivalry, which at this point has been 15 years in the making. Chestnut and Kobayashi have not competed against each other since 2009, with Chestnut claiming the victory. 

Chestnut holds a formidable 55 world records in the competitive eating sphere, one of which is the coveted "most hot dogs" record (76 dogs in 10 minutes on July 4, 2021). Last baseball season, he also led Toronto Blue Jays fans in a competitive eating victory of their own, breaking the all-time Loonie Dog record. Earlier this week, the 16-time winner was barred from competing in Nathan's for 2024 due to his recent endorsement deal with plant-based Impossible Foods, a competitor hot dog brand. Despite this setback, his eyes remain on the prize. "Through all of my years in competitive eating, Kobayashi stands out as my fiercest rival," Chestnut told Netflix. "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!"

A loaded plate for Labor Day weekend

Takeru Kobayashi announced his retirement last month citing health concerns, but his career has been nothing short of legendary. Pioneer Kobayashi largely ushered in the modern sport, heralded as the "Godfather of Competitive Eating." He broke onto the scene more than two decades ago in 2000 eating 16 bowls of ramen in a single hour. Then, in 2001, he saw his first Nathan's win with 50 dogs in 12 minutes. Kobayashi holds at least 10 world records for competitive eating, and he won Nathan's six times in a row from 2001-2006 before Joey Chestnut broke onto the scene in 2007 and snatched the victory.

In regards to his pro-eating métier, "It's all I have done for the last 20 years," Kobayashi explained earlier this year in the Netflix documentary "Hack Your Health: The Secrets of Your Gut." "I am worried about what my next step will bring, but I'm also excited about my future. I have mixed feelings." Apparently, he's not going out without a bang. As he told Netflix, "Retiring for me will only happen after I take him down one last time. 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." Talk about Mayweather vs. McGregor vibes. Until Labor Day, fans can keep stoking their appetites and get ready to see these foodie giants "squash the beef" once and for all.