NICHOLS - Matt Stonie will defend his World Chicken Spiedie-Eating Championship at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Tioga Downs Casino Resort.

Stonie, the No. 2 ranked competitive eater in the world, downed 20 of the half-pound sandwiches in 10 minutes in 2016. The effort was a world record.

Joey Chestnut, the world's No. 1 competitive eater, finished second with 16.75 spiedies, while Carmen Cincotti, the fourth-ranked eater, was a close third with 16.5 sandwiches.

The 2017 event will be the fourth time Tioga Downs has hosted the popular contest, presented by Lupo's.

The chicken spiedie is renowned throughout New York’s Southern Tier and claims Endicott as its birthplace. The spiedie sandwich is comprised of grilled, marinated chicken cubes on a bun and the term “spiedie” comes from the Italian spiedo, meaning spit or spiedini, referring to cubes or balls of meat cooked on a skewer.

“We wanted to put a local spin on our competition, so we decided to go with chicken spiedies instead of hot dogs,” said Scott Freeman, president and general manager of Tioga Downs. “The contest has been a lot of fun the last three years.” 

Along with the title, eaters will battle for their share of the $4,000 cash purse.

Other Major League Eaters expected to compete will include fifth-ranked Gideon Oji. and seventh-ranked Geoffrey Esper.