Joey “Jaws” Chestnut packed his mouth with rib meat one handful at a time without stopping.
His brow was covered in sweat. His T-shirt was soaked with water, and pieces of rib meat clung to his beard and the collar of his shirt.
By the end of the ordeal, Chestnut had consumed 9.6 pounds of rib meat, winning his title back as rib champion from Matt “The Megatoad” Stonie on Wednesday at the 11th Nugget World Rib-Eating Championship.
He held up his trophy in one hand as he hugged Stonie and smiled at the cheering crowd. Stonie took second place at the after eating 7.8 pounds of rib meat. He walked out with $1,200, while Chestnut took $2,500.
Last year, Stonie downed 10.5 pounds of rib meat during the 12-minute contest, unseating Chestnut, who was the longtime champion. Still, Chestnut continues to retain a record, which stands at 13.76 pounds of rib meat. In total, nine men competed for the title on Wednesday.
The Rib-Eating Championship was organized by Major League Eating and the Nugget Casino Resort as part of the annual Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off, according to the event website.
The Rib Cook-Off is expected to last through Monday.