July 2016, Day 14, Ichinojo v Kitaharima

Kitaharima already has his eighth loss and most likely will have to regroup down in the Juryo division after only one tournament with the big guys, but he’s shown the ability to succeed in the top division using speed and good technique to overcome his lack of size. Case in point, he shows great tenacity and strength today against Ichinojo, who outweighs him by almost 140 pounds. Ichinojo catches him with a left hand to the face right at the tachiai, but that doesn’t prevent Kitaharima from dodging sideways. Some good hand-fighting to keep Ichinojo off his belt leads into a charge that takes the larger wrestler all the way to the edge. Then Ichinojo sets his feet and shoves Kitaharima back like a rhino shrugging off a fly, but Kitaharima circles the dohyo, biding his time and finding just the right moment to charge back in and catch the rhino off balance. Hope to see more of Kitaharima in the top division soon.

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