Joey Chestnut, banned from the famous Nathan’s Coney Island Hot Dog Eating Contest, won Ft. Bliss Contest

The former champ of Nathan’s Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest competed in Fort Bliss, Texas, this year and ate twice as many hot dogs as Nathan’s Winner Patrick Bertoletti in half the time.

In June, Chestnut said on social media that he would not be participating in the Nathan’s Famous event this year, but he never said he was going to spend Independence Day glizzy free. The day before the Fort Bliss event, Chestnut told USA Today he hoped to beat this year’s Nathan’s winner in half the time — he nearly did it more than 2,000 miles away.

NPR reports “Chestnut, the 16-time winner of Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest, was officially banned from the annual event by Major League Eating in mid-June. Their beef? He had signed an endorsement deal with Impossible Foods, which makes plant-based proteins.

While Major League Eating has since said it walked back its ban, according to the Associated Press, Chestnut has said he won’t return to their stage at the corner of Surf and Stillwell avenues without an apology.

Impossible Foods — which officially announced its partnership with Chestnut earlier this week — pledged to donate $1,000 for every hot dog eaten to Operation Homefront, a nonprofit that supports military families. That added up to $106,000. Chestnut, who said onstage that his grandfather, uncles, father and brother all served in the U.S. Army, faced off against four soldiers competing as a team.

Today reported some don’t think Chestnut’s feat of feasting is as impressive as it may sound.

“Comparing the results from a five-minute contest and 10-minute contest would be like comparing the fastest times for running the mile and the marathon, and then concluding that the marathoners are slow because the miler could—if you extrapolate with no sense of reality—run the marathon in half the time,” George Shea, announcer for the annual Nathan’s contest and commissioner of Major League Eating (MLE), tells over email.

Those who want another chance to watch Chestnut at work can tune into Netflix on Sept. 2, when Chestnut will go head-to-head with his archrival Takeru Kobayashi for the first time in 15 years. Kobayashi, 46, is often called the “Godfather of Competitive Eating,” and credited with popularizing the sport in the U.S. He first brought his talents to the Coney Island stage in 2001. He ate 50 hot dogs in 12 minutes, doubling the existing record and breaking a world record of his own. (NPR, June 13)