January 2018, Day 15, Yoshikaze v Ikioi

Ikioi drops Yoshikaze with a nice kotenage (arm lock throw) on the last day. Both men finish the tournament a disappointing 4-11, and will meet again next tournament down in the lower end of the top division.

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January 2018, Day 13, Aminishiki v Ikioi

Ikioi should know what’s coming, with a weakened and near-elderly Aminishiki resorting to pulling techniques nearly every day, but he still falls into the trap. The judges have a conference to check the dirt and see if Aminishiki’s heel touched the dirt on the far side of the straw, but they determine it did not. I’m always happy to see Ami-chan get a win, but Ikioi has been really disappointing this tournament.

January 2018, Day 11, Shohozan v Ikioi

TSUPPARI BATTLE!!! After a furiously energetic slap-fest from both wrestlers, Ikioi blinks first and tries an ill-advised arm lock throw on Shohozan’s left arm while pedaling backwards. But Shohozan extracts his arm from Ikioi’s grasp and happily uses it to shove Ikioi out to his ninth loss. Shohozan’s looking good at 7-4.

January 2018, Day 10, Chiyomaru v Ikioi

Ikioi is desperate to avoid his eighth loss and subsequent demotion, so he comes out strong against Chiyomaru. But Chiyomaru takes advantage of his over-eagerness with a deftly-timed pull down on Ikioi’s shoulder and a great innate sense of the ring behind him. Ikioi falls to 2-8, and Chiyomaru finishes at 6-4.

January 2018, Day 6, Ikioi v Arawashi

Arawashi reaches deep into his bag of techniques, defending against Ikioi’s sukuinage (beltless arm throw) attempt by wrapping his left leg around Ikioi’s right knee. He gets a good hook in and pulls Ikioi’s leg out from under him for the sotogake (outside leg trip) win.