Two more rikishi picked up their kachi-koshi today, as the bulk of the top division remains somewhere between 4-6 and 6-4. Solid sumo today, with the standout fights being Tamawashi’s win over Wakamotoharu, and Ura finally finding his second white star.
At the end of act 2, we can now say that Mitakeumi will not be Ozeki in January. He was unable to handle Midorifuji, and hit the clay in under 15 seconds during the second half of sumo in Fukuoka. I had always thought that Mitakeumi would hold Ozeki for a good while, as his performance had been rather consistent for over 2 years. But then came July of 2022, and he went kyujo in the middle of the COVID disrupted Nagoya basho, and he has not been the same since. His Ozeki tenure was only 4 tournaments long. To further the Ozekipocalypse story line, Shodai lost his 6th match today when he could find no answer to Horshoryu’s overwhelming initial attack. All around, a rough day in the named ranks.
Azumaryu defeats Kotoeko – Kotoeko had a tough time setting up offense today, Azumaryu kept him moving, which it turns out is the right thing to do. A pull attempt by Azumaryu fails, but gets Kotoeko off balance enough that he can shove him out. Azumaryu now 6-4.
Onosho defeats Ichiyamamoto – Onosho gets a good attack from below against Ichiyamamoto’s arms, breaking his double arm pushing attack train. In response it seems Ichiyamamoto loses his cool and pulls against Onosho. Many times this is a safe play, but Onosho had contact, and following Ichiyamamoto, running him out in a hurry to pick up the win. Both end the day 6-4.
Hiradoumi defeats Kotoshoho – Hiradoumi continues to over perform, he deflects Kotoshoho’s tachiai, then boosts Kotoshoho’s forward momentum with a grab on Kotoshoho’s right arm and a swift rotation. They called it tsukiotoshi, but maybe that was not quite right. Any way you call it, Hiradoumi now 7-3.
Oho defeats Aoiyama – Oho was able to avoid the opening blows from Aoiyama, and immediately went into a right hand outside yotsu position. Within moments Oho had both hands on Aoiyama’s belt, and the proceeded to take advantage of Big Dan’s bad knees, walking him back and quickly out. Oho improves to an impressive 9-0.
Okinoumi defeats Takanosho – Takanosho had a great start. He was able to get inside hand placement, he was pushing well and moving Okinoumi back. But his feet were aligned, and a quick pivot by Okinoumi was all it took to drop Takanosho to the clay for his 7th loss. Okinoumi up to 5-5.
Chiyoshoma defeats Takarafuji – Not sure if that was a henka, or a flying mawashi grab by Chiyoshoma to start the match. He gets his deep right hand hold on Takarafuji’s mawashi, and the two go chest to chest. The two exchange probing attacks, and frankly this is a second day in a row where things are trying to line up to give him a win. But Chiyoshoma gets him off balance, rotates and throws him to the clay. Chiyoshoma now 4-6 as Takarafuji is 0-10.
Tochinoshin defeats Terutsuyoshi – The second half of the daily Isegahama defeat double header. Tochinoshin traps him low at the tachiai, and he’s more or less done at that point. He tries to grab Tochinoshin’s leg, but it’s only a matter of time before Tochinoshin picks him and carries him out for the win. Tochinoshin at 4-6.
Endo defeats Atamifuji – For all of the fan enthusiasm around Atamifuji, he has turned out to be not quite ready for the top division. Endo gets a right hand inside, and rides that hold all the way to a win, locking in Atamifuji’s arm, lifting with his back and running him out. Endo picks up a much needed win and is 4-6.
Kagayaki defeats Myogiryu – A simple match that featured Myogiryu getting too far in front of his feet, and Kagayaki reading the situation and letting him fall. My compliments to Kagayaki for keeping his eyes on his opponents, and he is now 7-3.
Ryuden defeats Abi – Abi’s sumo is quite potent, but its very narrow. As soon as his double arm thrusting train is disrupted, he’s an easy mark. Ryuden is able to get off axis against Abi’s attacks, and returns the favor from Abi’s left side. A quick turn and push out from behind, and Ryuden picks up his 7th win. Both are now 7-3.
Ura defeats Nishikigi – I am delighted to see Ura get his second win. It came down to his right hand outside grip that gave him enough control of Nishikigi’s body to prevent Nishikigi from setting up any offense. A quick forward, turn and throw, and Nishikigi hits the clay. Ura advances to 2-8.
Meisei defeats Hokutofuji – Hokutofuji does not maintain contact with Meisei, allowing him to back off and rush forward multiple times. This was the key to disrupting Hokutofuji’s balance, and opened the door to the hikkake that won the match. Both men end the day at 6-4.
Nishikifuji defeats Ichinojo – Ichinojo tries to leverage his height advantage to attack Nishikifuji from above, but Nishikifuji seems to not care one bit. He puts the pressure on against Ichinojo’s chest and moves him back. A last minute attempt to pull Nishikifuji falls short, and Ichinojo is out. Nishikifuji takes his 8th win and is kachi-koshi, while Ichinojo is now make-koshi at 2-8.
Tamawashi defeats Wakamotoharu – It looks to me that Wakamotoharu was so disrupted by Tamawashi’s nodowa attack, that he decided to attempt a pull. This was never likely to work, and only served to set his balance to the rear, and Tamawashi escorted him out, advancing to 3-7.
Kotonowaka defeats Daieisho – Daieisho got his massive pushing attack combo, and succeeded in getting Kotonowaka on the move. But he did not mind his location well, and found Kotonowaka stepping to the side as Daieisho moved to finish pushing him out of the ring. Daieisho takes a fall and Kotonowaka picks up his 6th win to finish the day 6-4.
Takayasu defeats Tobizaru – Takayasu’s mission today – keep Tobizaru from getting mobile and starting to launch his combo attacks. In this case, his big forearm hit at the tachiai worked well, and Takayasu launches a combo of his own that ends in a right hand pull down that hits will full effect against Tobizaru’s neck. He’s on the clay and Takayasu is kachi-koshi at 8-2.
Midorifuji defeats Mitakeumi – Mitakeumi put as much as he could muster into today’s fight, but was unable to protect his body from Midorifuji’s reach in grip attempt. Midorifuji eventually was able to get both hands inside and on Mitakeumi’s belt, and the two locked up in the center of the dohyo. Mitakeumi eventually breaks Midorifuji’s grip, but Midorifuji has his hands inside and pushes hard to move Mitakeumi out. That’s the end of Mitakeumi’s Ozeki chances, and he is down to 4-6. Midorifuji improves to 5-5.
Wakatakakage defeats Sadanoumi – Wakatakakage keeps his Ozeki hopes alive, he traps Sadanoumi’s hands at the tachiai, and immediately puts his lower body to work running Sadanoumi out. It’s quick, it’s effective and it’s done. Wakatakakage up to 6-4.
Takakeisho defeats Kiribayama – Kiribayama twice tried to get a hold of Takakeisho’ and missed both times. Each time, Takakeisho gained a bit of advantage, and the match ended with Takakeisho’s hands clear and inside, applying overwhelming force to Kiribayama’s body. Takakeisho improves to 7-3.
Hoshoryu defeats Shodai – Shodai does a solid job of blocking Hoshoryu’s first attempt at hand placement, but Hoshoryu is just too fast, and gets his hands inside, and immediately pushes forward. Shodai is immediately in trouble, and as he is being rushed out of the ring, he tries to rotate into a rescue throw, but it’s too little too late, and Shodai lands next to the dohyo. Hoshoryu now 9-1.