Day 8 matches to watch

Yutakayama’s first two trips to Makuuchi did not go well, each ending with a 4-11 record and a stiff demotion back down to Juryo. He’s trying to earn another chance, but is just visiting tomorrow, and takes on Nishikigi, who seems to be perpetually defending a slot near the bottom of the top division.

One member of the 6-1 chase group, Okinoumi, takes on Daiamami, whose first stay in Makuuchi figures to be short.

I’d really like to see Asanoyama find his sumo from Aki. He gets another chance tomorrow against Takekaze, who shares his 2-5 record. This really should be Asanoyama’s match to lose, though Takekaze is wily and may try one of his patented henkas.

A really intriguing match is Endo vs. Aminishiki. Endo should have the skill, patience, and strength to prevail, but never count out Uncle Sumo.

Aoiyama is back from kyujo for some reason after badly hurting his ankle on Day 2. He takes on a struggling Daishomaru.

Shodai vs. Tochinoshin should be a good yotsu battle. The career record favors the Georgian 3-2.

It’s an even-numbered day, so Chiyomaru is supposed to win, but this pattern might be tough to continue against Arawashi, another member of the 6-1 chase group.

Shohozan and Chiyoshoma have fought better than their matching 3-4 records would indicate. Tomorrow, one of them will even his record in what should be a good battle.

Maegashira 2 has been a tough rank this tournament. Chiyotairyu, who’s actually fought well, and Tochiozan, who hasn’t, have two wins between them, both by Chiyotairyu, who should prevail tomorrow.

The rampaging Tamawashi shouldn’t have much trouble with the struggling Takarafuji, though the latter leads their career series 11-6.

Komusubi has also been a tough rank, and both slots are likely to turn over after this tournament. Kotoshogiku (2-5), who couldn’t beat Yoshikaze even after getting his favorite gaburi attack going, takes on Onosho (1-6), who seems headed for a hard landing after earning double-digit wins in his first three top division tournaments. Onosho should be able to win this one, but he needs to find and maintain his balance.

Normally, I’d be jumping up and down about the Mitakeumi vs. Takakeisho battle for tadpole supremacy, especially when both go into it with 5-2 records, but I’m worried about Mitakeumi’s foot.

After a couple of days in 1.0 mode, Goeido gets a chance to regain his forward momentum against the struggling and overmatched Chiyonokuni. But if the Ozeki comes out backpedaling and pulling again…

Yoshikaze looked solid against Kotoshogiku today, and may not give up his Sekiwake rank easily. Takayasu seems like a tough matchup for him, but their career record is even at 9-9.

*Klaxon* Ichinojo is in the joi! Our favorite boulder/bridge abutment brings his excellent 6-1 record against the struggling Yokozuna Kisenosato. They have actually faced off 11 times previously, with the Yokozuna holding an 8-3 edge. This could be the bout of the day, and if the nearly 800 pounds of rikishi lock up in a mawashi battle, as seems likely, it could last a while.

Hakuho, 7-0, takes on another of the 6-1 pursuers, M3 Hokutofuji. Hakuho prevailed in their only previous meeting. Hokutofuji never gives up and always leaves everything on the dohyo, so the Dai-Yokozuna could be in for quite a battle.

5 thoughts on “Day 8 matches to watch

  1. Given how Shodai is doing this basho, I think Tochinoshin is going to make fairly quick work of him. Shodai seems to mostly be suffering from a broken spirit right now, and I am not sure how he might repair that one. He has acres of talent, but he need to pull himself together.

    The Onosho vs Kotoshogiku is actually fairly pivotal, I am going to guess. I may not be big, glorious or full of great sumo, but I get the feeling that Kotoshogiku has more undercarriage problems this basho that were not present at Aki. Onosho is no less potent than he was at Aki, he just needs to get his confidence back.

    Takayasu is influence by his state of mind more than almost any other rikishi save Terunofuji, and Yoshikaze seems to have him convinced that he’s going to lose. Plus I have been watching Takayasu have problems with his right leg, so it’s clear that if you can get him moving backwards and right he’s an easy(ish) mark.

    Both Yokozuna matches are going to be solid sumo on day 8, I really can’t wait to see how it plays out. Kisenosato is in big trouble from a win/loss standpoint, so I am sure he will be highly motivated. Maybe he and Takayasu went for a few hours Saturday night throwing each other around, before The Great Pumpkin tucked in his teddy bear to snuggle up to his teppo pole.

    Great write up, as always.

  2. I don’t think Goeido was in 1.0 mode in his day 7 match. He came with heat — he just got beat. He fought hard at the edge and repositioned twice but could not make headway.

    • All credit to Shohozan, and Goeido 1.0 (1.5?) still fights hard, but Goeido 2.0 would have blasted forward out of the tachiai, wrapped up the opponent, and swept him off the dohyo.

      • I’m not saying he was in 2.0 mode (1.5 sounds about right) but I feel like 1.0 mode denotes (or ought to denote) the Goeido who loses the tachiai and then fights backing up (even when winning with the slap down) rather than the Goeido who showed up today, who drew the tachiai and, even though outgunned in the tsuppari battle, gave ground *and then reset* a couple of times before finally being overmatched.


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