Yokozuna Harumafuji wins the September 2017 Grand Sumo Tournament in Tokyo, earning his ninth top-division championship. He beat front-runner Ozeki Goeido on the last day to tie things up at 11-4, and then beat Goeido again in a single playoff bout to claim the title. Over the course of the tournament he used four different kimarite (winning techniques): yorikiri (8), uwatedashinage (2), uwatenage (1) and shitatenage (1).
Ichinojo is tremendously powerful, but once you get him moving he can’t stop himself. It looks like his knees aren’t strong enough to handle his bulk, and Harumafuji takes advantage of that today. The Yokozuna clamps on with a tight left-handed overarm grip, and uses it to sling Ichinojo in a circle. Once he gets going, he’s like a dump truck with no brakes, and Harumafuji only has to pick the direction of his rumbling mass. Harumafuji wisely picks a direction that points outside the ring, and Ichinojo falls to his fifth loss. The Yokozuna improves to 7-4.
Ichinojo adjusts quickly to his opponent’s changing tactics, first grabbing onto the right arm and then the left as Takanoiwa maneuvers for a belt grip. And Ichinojo has a massively stable base when he sets his hips correctly – with a slight twitch of his body he transfers his bulk into immense pressure on Takanoiwa’s left arm, sending him rolling out of the ring by kotenage (arm lock throw). Both men are having good tournaments, Ichinojo at 6-4 and Takanoiwa at 7-3.
Ichinojo isn’t usually one for subtlety, but today he surprises us with a beautiful display of perfect timing. Locked up in the center of the ring, Kagayaki tries to break the stalemate by reversing his right arm position, sliding it inside Ichinojo’s left. He’s hoping for either an underarm belt grip or at least some leverage to relieve the pressure of Ichinojo’s left-handed overarm grip. But Kagayaki has to lift his right shoulder up to create the space for his arm, and the instant he does this Ichinojo pounces, pulling hard with his left arm when Kagayaki is at his most vulnerable. Kagayaki goes flying and Ichinojo gets the uwatenage (overarm throw) win.
Ichinojo isn’t known for his throws, but he shows off his strength today against Ikioi. After locking up in the middle of the dohyo for what appears to be the start of another of Ichinojo’s patented protracted grappling stalemates, Ichinojo surprises everyone (but no one more than Ikioi) by twisting his hips and lifting Ikioi completely off the ground with a clean uwatenage (overarm throw).
Chiyonokuni: 316 lbs
Ichinojo: 403 lbs
Strategy: Be stronger. Pummel that big dude about the head and shoulders until he goes out.
Result: Why am I sitting in the second row looking up at the big dude?