January 2018, Day 6, Kakuryu v Kotoshogiku

Kakuryu is the only remaining Yokozuna after Kisenosato’s injury withdrawal yesterday, and he gets his toughest test of the tournament against Kotoshogiku. Kotoshogiku starts out strong, moving Kakuryu around the ring and forcing him into a defensive mode before the two settle back in the center of the dohyo. But now Kakuryu has locked up the left-handed underarm grip, bringing the total number of belt grips he’s secured to two. This is a good number of belt grips to have. After a quick breather, Kakuryu marches forward relentlessly, and Kotoshogiku can only squirm in his grip until he finds himself on the wrong side of the straw. Kakuryu stays tied for the tournament lead at 6-0 with Mitakeumi, Tochinoshin, and Asanoyama. Kotoshogiku, at 2-4, is glad to be finished with all his Yokozuna and Ozeki opponents and will be looking forward to some more manageable competition in the coming days.

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January 2018, Day 6, Onosho v Takayasu

Takayasu falls for the second time this tournament, losing his footing and getting slapped down by Onosho. He looks non-plussed afterwards, but tomorrow’s opponent, Ichinojo, better start getting ready for Takayasu’s best. I bet he’s seething inside. Both Ozekis, Takayasu and Goeido, finish the day at 4-2.

January 2018, Day 6, Ichinojo v Tamawashi

Ichinojo knocks Tamawashi off balance with a shoulder hit that sends him stumbling, and follows up nicely with a shove to the throat that puts him on his butt. If Ichinojo could perform consistently with sumo like this, he’d have a better record than 2-4. Oshitaoshi (front push down) for the win.

January 2018, Day 6, Mitakeumi v Hokutofuji

After a bruising tachiai brings both men to a halt in the middle of the ring, Mitakeumi works his way to the lower position, getting the edge he needs to lift Hokutofuji by the left pec and move him backwards. It’s a good enough handhold to get the yorikiri win and stay tied for the tournament lead at 6-0. Hokutofuji falls to a disappointing 1-5.

January 2018, Day 6, Takakeisho v Tochinoshin

Takakeisho puts up a good fight, but Tochinoshin is rock solid. Takakeisho stays busy defending against Tochinoshin’s right arm, trying to prevent a second belt grip, but Tochinoshin moves him steadily backwards without ever landing the right hand and before you know it they’re over the straw.

January 2018, Day 6, Ikioi v Arawashi

Arawashi reaches deep into his bag of techniques, defending against Ikioi’s sukuinage (beltless arm throw) attempt by wrapping his left leg around Ikioi’s right knee. He gets a good hook in and pulls Ikioi’s leg out from under him for the sotogake (outside leg trip) win.

January 2018, Day 6, Shohozan v Kotoyuki

Shohozan goes bowling with Kotoyuki, picking up a strike in the first row as Kotoyuki rolls off the dohyo with a ton of momentum. Kotoyuki falls to 4-2, and Shohozan stays one loss behind the leaders at 5-1.