January 2018, Day 6, Ishiura v Asanoyama

Asanoyama keeps up the good work against Ishiura, staying focused on keeping his crafty opponent centered in front of him. Not overextending is the key, and he doesn’t give Ishiura any openings for a pull-down or sidestep. Asanoyama stays perfect at 6-0.

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January 2018, Day 4, Ishiura v Nishikigi

Ishiura drops his first loss of the tournament to Nishikigi, who does a nice job cutting off Ishiura’s escape route with his left arm. Ishiura’s thinking about using that arm for a kainahineri or even an ipponzeioi, but Nishikigi leans into it and shuts that down real quick.

January 2018, Day 3, Ishiura v Daiamami

Ishiura bringing some of that Harumafuji magic back to the dohyo, with the quick sidestep to land the deep overarm grip on the back of Daiamami’s belt. Once in the driver’s seat Ishiura goes for the quick exit, but Daiamami’s size saves him. So Ishiura reattaches with the deep left-side grip, this time underneath Daiamami’s arm, and he puts a right hand on Daiamami’s right leg so the big man can’t catch his balance. In other news, I typed “Daiamami” on the first try today, so that’s a win for me.

January 2018, Day 2, Abi v Ishiura

Abi comes out full-throttle like he did on Day 1, and ends up in the same spot – face down in the dirt. I like the aggression and his tsuppari looks good, but he’s going to have to temper that with some balance and keep his hips underneath him. Ishiura may be smaller and seem like a pushover, but he’ll put you down in a jiffy if you get overeager.

January 2018, Day 1, Ishiura v Yutakayama

So glad to see Ishiura back up in the top division. Always nice to have a quick, strong, unpredictable wrestler to throw a little chaos around. Good work today against Yutakayama, running him around the ring before using a strong left-handed underarm belt grip to swing him around and topple him at the edge with gusto. Ishiura ends up in the crowd as well, but they’re happy to have him.

September 2017, Day 14, Tochinoshin v Ishiura

A whirlwind of a bout! Tochinoshin survives Ishiura’s quasi-henka at the tachiai despite being on only one good leg, and the two lock up in the middle of the ring. Tochinoshin reaches over Ishiura’s back with his left arm for a belt grip, but his arm is on the left side of Ishiura’s head, giving Ishiura a low position on the side and access to a deep right-handed belt grip. Then the fun begins. The two pinwheel wildly across the ring, each trying to throw the other, and when they reach the edge Tochinoshin slings Ishiura past him and out. The winning technique is the exceedingly rare harimanage (backward belt throw), a move which is seen only .02% of the time across all wrestlers.

September 2017, Day 12, Ishiura v Daishomaru

Whew. Ishiura ends a seven-day losing streak, his longest since entering the top Makuuchi division. Staying true to his style, he ducks low at the tachiai and quickly gets both hands on Daishomaru’s belt. Then he puts his head in Daishomaru’s chest and turns on the jets, charging across the dohyo with surprising speed. Ishiura earns his third win, and Chiyomaru sits at 7-5.