March 2017, Day 15, Ichinojo v Ura

Ura meets the giant Ichinojo with his top-division future on the line. Going into the final day with a 7-7 record, a loss could see Ura drop back down to the Juryo division next tournament, while a win will send him higher up the Makuuchi ranks. Ura lines up way behind the white shikiri-sen, wanting a few extra milliseconds at the tachiai to form a plan of attack. He sticks and moves, not wanting to get wrapped up by his much larger opponent. Against Ichinojo’s steady forward pressure, Ura finds himself with his heels on the tawara where so many of his bouts end up. He rotates around to his right, using his right arm underneath Ichinojo’s left and contorting his body out of the way to throw Ichinojo as both men fall outside the ring. The referee calls the bout for Ichinojo, but the judges want to talk it over. After what has to be one of the shortest conferences ever, the head judge explains the decision: Ichinojo’s hand touched down before Ura’s body hit, so the referee’s decision is reversed and the win is given to Ura. If you watch the bout again, you’ll see that Ura leaps into the air, pulling his arms up to his body to try and stay airborne as long as possible, while Ichinojo doesn’t make the same sacrifice, putting his hand down to break his fall and losing the match.


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