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Joey Chestnut Teased Possible Rematch With Former Rival Kobayashi

Joey Chestnut teased a potential upcoming rematch with his longtime competitive eating rival, Takeru Kobayashi, during an appearance on Barstool SportsPardon My Take podcast this week.

Chestnut, fresh off his 15th overall and seventh consecutive Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest championship victory, acknowledged that he could soon face Kobayashi, a former six-time Nathan's champion whose dominance preceded Chestnut's in competitive eating, with his Major League Eating and Nathan's contract set to expire.

"The end of this year's going to be a weird year for me cause my contract with Major League Eating and Nathan's is going to be over, so it'll be my first year in a long long time that I can actually eat against Kobayashi, so me and him could find a way to compete," Chestnut said via Pardon My Take.

Kobayashi dominated competitive eating during the early and mid-2000s, winning the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating contest six consecutive times from 2001-06, before being defeated by Chestnut in 2007.

Chestnut would then go on to win the next eight consecutive contests before being defeated by Matt Stonie in 2015 and winning the next seven consecutive titles from 2016-22.

Kobayashi has been absent from the Nathan's contest since 2010, having initially announced he wouldn't compete due to a contract dispute, which was reported to stem from the hot dog company's insistence that he sign an exclusive contract.

Hosts Dan 'Big CatKatz and PFT Commenter joked that Chestnut could face Kobayashi at Barstool Sports' Rough N' Rowdy boxing event, but with both having to eat hot dogs in between rounds.

"I think this is it," Chestnut said, playing along. "I think we have a plan. This is magic."

Chestnut ate 63 hot dogs and buns during his latest victory earlier this month, doing so while on crutches due to a ruptured tendon in his leg and taking down a protester who rushed him during the competition.

During a July 5 appearance on the Pat McAfee Show, Chestnut discussed the now-viral video of himself tackling a protester in a Darth Vader mask all while continuing to chew en route to eating a contest-winning 63 hot dogs and buns.

"It was reaction, just natural instincts," Chestnut said. "I thought somebody fell into me at first, I didn't know it was a protester until I saw the mask and it just happened and I wanted to get back into eating."

"As soon as I grabbed him I realized he was a kid," Chestnut added. "I was like, 'oh, this is a kid' and, I mean, he was vegan so he was really skinny and, so yeah, he fell to the ground and he curled up and I got to get back into it.

The incident wasn't shown on ESPNNews' live broadcast of the event, however, a clip shared by by Twitter user @JonahBlock05 went viral on social media.