Joey Chestnut Banned from Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest, James Webb Named New Favorite

  • Major League Eating banned Chestnut for taking a sponsorship with Impossible Foods
  • Impossible Foods said Chestnut can enter any competition he wants
  • James Webb, who placed third last year, is the favorite at -125
Joey Chestnut
16-time champ Joey Chestnut has been banned from Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest for being sponsored by a rival hot dog company. [Image:]

Joey Chestnut has been banned from the 2024 Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest, and with his ouster comes a new favorite to win the most famous eating competition on the planet.

On Tuesday, Major League Eating (MLE) announced on X that Chestnut had “chosen to represent a rival brand that sells plant-based hot dogs” and thus is not welcome in this year’s contest. That brand is Impossible Foods, which told ESPN it is fine with Chestnut competing in an event and that “meat eaters shouldn’t have to be exclusive to just one wiener.”

76 hot dogs and buns in ten minutes in 2021

Joey Chestnut is far and away the greatest competitive eater of all time. He has won 16 of the last 17 Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contests, his only loss in that stretch coming in 2015 to Matt Stone. He has set the hot dog and bun record many times over and currently holds the world record, ingesting 76 hot dogs and buns in ten minutes in 2021.

Chestnut posted about the ban on X, saying he was “gutted” to learn about it from media reports, adding: “I do not have a contract with MLE or Nathans and they are looking to change the rules from past years as it relates to other partners I can work with.”

Chestnut would have been the odds-on favorite to win his 17th Nathan’s title, but now that he is out, BetUS has installed James Webb as the favorite at -125 odds. Webb finished third in last year’s contest, downing 47 hot dogs and buns. According to MLE, the Australian holds six competitive eating records, the latest coming on March 30 of this year, when he stuffed 13.5 pounds of fudge down his gullet in eight minutes.

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