Just a few days into this Jonokuchi yusho race and we’ve got quite a bit of great action, so let’s get to it, shall we?
Though Koga only had one win coming into today, since he was kyujo for Match Day 1, he’s actually undefeated so far. He faced Gaia today. The tachiai wasn’t exactly a Clash of Titans but Gaia flew into Koga with full force. Both rikishi wrapped up the others’ belts and Koga used his size advantage as he started to press forward with a couple of gaburi-yori, “rabbit hops.”
As they neared the edge however, Gaia stopped Koga’s advance by wrapping both hands around the knot of Koga’s mawashi, hefting Koga up, and shuffling himself left, back toward the inside of the ring. Gaia pressed forward a couple of times to try to force Koga out but he lacked the power. This would not be an easy win for either man.
Gaia was determined not to let Koga’s right hand get a firm grip of his mawashi by continually using his left to deflect, parry, and pry his mawashi free. Gaia’s footwork and balance were impressive as he worked to maintain space in the ring, he stayed low, and never got caught too far forward. Instead, as he rotated Koga’s left leg strayed forward and got caught behind Gaia’s right leg for a beat. In that instant, Gaia pounced and used that leg as a fulcrum to topple the larger Koga. Shitatenage, Gaia wins.
Next up is another great bout, this one between Kawamura and Chiyoshishi. It started off as a very evenly matched oshi-tsuki brawl. As the combatants tired, they settled into a grapple at the center of the dohyo. The Little Lion Man, Chiyoshishi, mustered what offensive forces he could and charged forward, forcing both to tumble down the cliff, yoritaoshi.
Lastly, in quick succession, we’ve got the other three bouts in this young yusho race. Daitenshin took a knee against the veteran Inoue. Then Daishojo scored a quick slapdown win over Wakayutaka and Goseiryu walked Mogaminishiki out with ease.