January 2017, Day 11, Myogiryu v Gagamaru

Rough day for Myogiryu – picks up his eighth loss, meaning guaranteed demotion next tournament, and gets thrown down by the face onto the clay. Go home, get some sake, try to stop the losing slide in the last four days, and reset for March.


November 2016, Day 15, Myogiryu v Gagamaru

Myogiryu toughs out a gutsy eighth win on the final day of the tournament to secure his kachi-koshi and a rise in the ranks next time around. After getting both arms underneath in a morozashi position with deep belt grips on both sides, Myogiryu has to endure the immense pressure of Gagamaru’s double arm lock. Gagamaru lifts Myogiryu off the ground, putting all of Myogiryu’s weight on his upper arms and elbows. But Myogiryu does not relinquish his hold on the belt and maneuvers Gagamaru over the straw. Both men finish in Kyushu with an 8-7 record.

November 2016, Day 10, Sadanoumi v Gagamaru

Gagamaru wrecks Sadanoumi on Day 10, blowing him off the line with a hard shove to the torso before pushing him off the dohyo with a big right paw to the face. Gagamaru improves to 5-5, while Sadanoumi loses for the eighth time, earning a makekoshi (losing record) and demotion for next tournament.

November 2016, Day 5, Gagamaru v Chiyootori

Any time I read that Gagamaru, the 440-pound Georgian, is on the losing end of a tsuridashi (lift out), I perk up a little. Granted, Chiyootori only gets Gagamaru airborne just enough to lift him over the tawara, but come on. That’s a mighty feat. Chiyootori, go get yourself a beer and an icepack.

November 2016, Day 2, Ishiura v Gagamaru

Ishiura, brand-spanking newcomer to the top division, gets his first win against Gagamaru, who outweighs him by over 200 pounds. He holds off the giant’s charge with two hands on the shoulders before diving in and getting the deep underhand grip, dropping Gagamaru like a sack of wet potatoes. Welcome to the big leagues, Ishiura!

September 2016, Day 6, Gagamaru v Tamawashi

Today Tamawashi demonstrates his sensitivity to the subtle decorum of sumo – after tossing Gagamaru with a nice armlock throw, he delicately adjusts his body so as to keep his junk out of Gagamaru’s face. So thoughtful.

September 2016, Day 5, Gagamaru v Toyohibiki

Two round mounds meet in a contest of pure strength, and Gagamaru comes out on top. Gagamaru is relentless with the nodowa (throat push) – just when Toyohibiki fends of one arm, the other one slides in to replace it. Persistence pays off.