Given his low position of attack, I’m surprised that it has taken this long for Ura to fall to a hatakikomi defense but this last couple of days has really exposed this hole in his abilities. Often he takes this stance where his torso is nearly horizontal, arm stretched toward the opponent. *Edit: While he had not lost by hatakikomi in Juryo prior to this tournament, he had lost three times in lower divisions. Twice in makushita and once in sandanme. It’s actually pretty telling that 3 of 4 losses in those lower divisions were hatakikomi (not counting his playoff loss).*
Click on the picture to watch video of today’s match. He actually started off today’s bout with Sadanofuji upright, more-or-less chest to chest. But as soon as he started to lower himself into that horizontal position, Sadanofuji reached out and dropped the hammer on the back of his neck and then wrapped up his arms and pulled him down. This follows on the heels of his hatakikomi loss to Chiyotairyu.
Ura is only 173 cm tall. Sadanofuji, like Osunaarashi, is 189 cm. Chiyotairyu is 182 cm. For tomorrow’s bout, Ura will jump into makuuchi to battle the 179 cm Daieisho. I want to see him take on this (relatively) short opponent ON THE BELT. Yesterday, Satoyama – known by random English-
speaking shouting women in Nagoya as “sexy sugar mountain” – effectively demonstrated how a grip on the mawashi should be used when facing taller opponents. He was paired off against the same Sadanofuji who Ura faced today. It’s a brilliant fight that I’d recommend everyone watch. Satoyama brings it in close, chest-to-chest, and then works the legs. By the end, he’s exhausted but to me it shows how a small opponent can use the belt to prevent being pushed down. This brings into play tripping or throwing attacks that guys like Mainoumi use and that I’d like see from Ura.