The most dominant athlete in competitive sports? That would have to be Joey Chestnut — if, that is, you consider competitive eating a sport. Chestnut, the top-ranked eater in the world, has won seven straight Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contests, and will go for his eighth on Friday at Coney Island.
But Chestnut may have trouble getting that eighth mustard belt. The No. 2 eater in the world has beaten him in four other eating competitions this year alone, and will shoot for his Nathan’s crown on Friday. That challenger would be Matt Stonie — who, like Chestnut, is from San Jose CA. Noteworthy statistics here — Stonie is 22 years old, and weighs only 120 pounds.
— Major League Eating (@eatingcontest) May 18, 2014
Stonie finished second to Chestnut at Nathan’s last year (69 dogs to 51), but the youngster is gaining momentum.
Stonie already set a new world record for birthday cake (5.5 pounds in 8 minutes, 59 seconds) before the 2013 competition, and in the months that followed he set new world records for slugburgers (31 in 10 minutes), gyoza (268 in 10 minutes), frozen yogurt (10.5 pounds in 6 minutes), Creek Indian tacos (32.5 in 8 minutes), and gyros (24 in 10 minutes).
The slugburger, gyoza, taco and gyro world records were set while Stonie defeated Chestnut in each of those respective competitions.
“For me, this year has been a monumental year,” he said.
Stonie trains by eating more than 50 hot dogs every other day. His nickname is “Megatoad.”
6 interviews in bed (in PJs), entire Starbucks venti coffee, & cut my hair w/ wire cutters. Off to shoot for ESPN. All before noon, I NYC!
— Matt Stonie (@MattStonie) July 2, 2014
Meanwhile, Takeru Kobayashi, who was the last person to hold the Nathan’s Hot Dog title before Chestnut (Kobayashi was booted from the Competitive Eating league in 2009 due to a contract dispute), is once again competing in a separate hot dog eating competition in New York on Friday. According to his Facebook page, Kobayashi will compete at July 4th Hot Dog Insanity beginning at noon (ET) at 230 Fifth: the rooftop bar/club/restaurant.