We saw local Phoenician, Jeff “The Beast Man” Butler, at this year’s Wingstock event in Mesa where he completely destroyed the competition by eating over two pounds worth of wings. Shortly after that he made the jump from amateur eater to professional competitive eater. He recently competed in the 2013 Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest where he placed sixth with an incredible 31 hot dogs eaten in 10 minutes. We spoke with him to learn a little more about him and what it takes to be a professional eater.
We saw you dominate in the wing eating competition at this year’s Wingstock. You were still an amateur competitive eater at this point, right?
Yes, I was still an amateur eater. Wingstock was a lot of fun and I can’t wait to go next year. Unfortunately, I can’t compete next season in the Wingstock wing eating contest because of my current professional contract. I will still show up to eat some tasty wings and hear some music.
After that event, what did it take to make the jump to professional competitive eater?
I always watched the Nathans Hot Dog Eating Competition on ESPN. When I found out the professional eating league, Major League Eating, was having a qualifier for Nathans Hot Dog Eating Competition in Las Vegas I entered the competition to get a chance to eat against Joey Chestnut and the best eaters in the world. At the qualifier in Vegas, I was a non-professional and beat all the Professional Male Eaters and a few select amateurs who were signed with MLE by eating 31 and a half hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes. After the contest the MLE president Sam Barclay signed me to a professional eating contract.