The world of competitive eating has a new champion in the form of Patrick Bertoletti, who recently took home the title at Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest. This annual event, held on July 4th, saw Bertoletti consume an impressive 58 hot dogs in just 10 minutes, earning him the coveted Mustard Yellow Belt in the men’s category. This victory marked the end of an era, as 16-time winner Joey Chestnut had a falling out with Major League Eating (MLE), the event’s organizer.

After the beef between Chestnut and MLE, this year’s hot dog eating contest was considered much more wide open than in previous years. MLE announced that they were parting ways with Chestnut due to his endorsement deal with a rival of hot dog maker Nathan’s, the sponsor of the contest. Chestnut, also known as “Jaws,” denied having a contract with MLE or Nathan’s, stating that the endorsement ban was a departure from the organization’s previous rules.

Despite the controversy, MLE referred to Chestnut as an “American hero” and expressed a desire for him to return in the future, as long as he isn’t representing a Nathan’s competitor. Chestnut, known for his eating records in 55 categories, continues to be celebrated on Nathan’s website, with the company calling him “the king.” ESPN’s coverage of the 2024 contest highlighted Chestnut’s absence and the impact it had on the competition.

Fans of Chestnut can still catch him in action, as he will be livestreaming a hot dog eating contest from the Fort Bliss army base in Texas as a charity fundraiser. Despite the ongoing drama surrounding his banishment from the Nathan’s contest, Chestnut remains dedicated to his craft and his fans, eager to defend his title and celebrate America in the best way he knows how – by eating copious amounts of hot dogs.

The competitive eating world has seen a changing of the guard with Patrick Bertoletti emerging as the new champion, while Joey Chestnut’s future in the sport remains uncertain. The drama and controversy surrounding Chestnut’s banishment from the Nathan’s contest have added a new layer of intrigue to an already intense and competitive sport. As fans eagerly await the next chapter in this ongoing saga, one thing is for certain – the world of competitive eating will never be the same.

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