November 2015, Day 11, Osunaarashi v Myogiryu

Osunaarashi has a terrible tachi-ai and still manages to win. He basically stands straight up and lets Myogiryu get under his center of gravity. But it all comes down to his left hand. Watch how he keeps his left arm tucked in tight against Myogiryu’s right arm. He’s trying to control Myogiryu’s grip, and prevent him from applying strength to that arm and pulling it tight. At the same time, he really wants to reach out with that left arm and get a grip on Myogiryu’s belt which is just within reach. You can see the hesitation in his mind expressed in the twitches in his left hand. “Go for the belt? No, gotta play defense! Go for the belt? Too dangerous!” Myogiryu makes the decision for him when he finally attacks, bringing his hips in close enough for Osunaarashi to get the left-hand overhand grip. And then it’s all over shortly thereafter, as Osunaarashi out-muscles Myogiryu, using his left arm to whirl Myogiryu around and out for the yorikiri win. And I’m going to coin what I think is a new phrase here for Osunaarashi’s self-satisfied-barely-on-the-edge-of-appropriate-emotional-display-for-sumo smirk and strut at the end of the bout, and say he was “feeling his pepper.”

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