November 2016, Day 14, Ishiura v Shodai

Ishiura meets Shodai for the third time in their careers, hoping to put an end to his two-day losing streak and build on a 10-3 record going into Day 14. He starts with a feint at the tachiai, ducking under Shodai’s arms and refusing to let Shodai’s left-handed underhook raise him up. He drops his head and holds on to Shodai’s belt, not letting Shodai’s deep right-handed belt grip pull him down. Ishiura’s right hand gets dangerously close to touching the clay, but he slowly works Shodai to the edge of the ring as Shodai leans hard on his back, unable to pull him down. A simultaneous pull by Shodai and leap by Ishiura sends both men crashing out of the ring, and the ring judge on that side wants to talk it over with his peers. The decision is made – it’s a do-over! Back for more salt and more stamping, Ishiura gets his feet set with a second round of pawing the dirt like an angry bull. But he’s unable to hold off Shodai’s attack this time, and the left-hand inside provides enough leverage against Ishiura’s torso to shove the smaller wrestler out of the ring. Shodai improves to an outstanding 11-3, and Ishiura has nothing to be ashamed about going into Day 15 with a 10-4 record his first tournament in the top division.

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