Former hot dog speed-eating champion Takeru Kobayashi has been arrested at this year's event in New York.
The six-time champion, who did not compete in this year's event, was arrested as he tried to get on the stage after the competition.
Mr Kobayashi had refused to sign a contract with the speed-eating body Major League Eating and was barred from the event at Coney Island.
Joey "Jaws" Chestnut won the contest for the fourth year running.
Mr Kobayashi, the thin Japanese contender who smashed all previous US records in 2001, jumped a barrier and tried to get up on the stage while the crowd chanted: "Let him eat!"
He briefly resisted police attempts to eject him from the stage, grabbing a barrier as they pulled him away.
The 32-year-old has been charged with resisting arrest, trespass and obstructing governmental administration.
Mr Kobayashi, nicknamed "The Tsunami", had written on his Japanese-languange blog that he didn't want to sign a contract that would prevent him from entering speed eating competitions run by other federations.
Mr Chestnut, 26, won this year's annual Nathan's Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest, winning a mustard yellow belt and the $20,000 first prize.
But his winning score of 58 hot dogs failed to beat his previous record of 68.
In a post-eat interview he reportedly said "if [Kobayashi] was a man he'd be up on stage", provoking Mr Kobayashi, who has been his main rival for the best part of a decade, the news agency Agence-France Presse reported.
The competition has become an Independence Day tradition.