Way to take it to the big guy! Chiyonokuni uses a barrage of attacks to the neck and chin with excellent accuracy to wear down Kaisei until he can knock him down.
Great recovery and reversal by Kaisei, who first falls victim to a pull-down/sideswipe before stopping his momentum and turning in time to greet the hard-charging Ikioi. Ikioi hits him square, but Kaisei is able to grab Ikioi’s left arm and turn his hips to execute the opportunistic kotenage (arm lock throw). Kaisei earns his eighth win, while Ikioi falls to seven losses.
It’s nice to see Chiyomaru back up in the top division, and performing pretty well. He’s good buddies with Osunaarashi and features prominently in the Egyptian wrestler’s social media feed, usually good-naturedly getting his plump cheeks squished. Seems like a nice guy. Anyway, nothing spectacular about today’s bout with Kaisei, just good determination and second effort getting the force out win. Also, please note that you can see Kaisei and Chiyomaru’s bellies in perfect profile, heaving in and out with each breath. Somebody should make a close-up gif of that.
Man, I love a good kirikaeshi, and Ura executes it flawlessly. Getting Kaisei stumbling forward with the katasukashi (under-shoulder swing down), Ura then charges into the side of Kaisei, who defends with a right-side armlock throw. But Ura quickly catches himself by hooking his left leg behind Kaisei’s right, and leaning into his big opponent to drop him with the kirikaeshi (twisting backwards knee trip). Ura gets his second consecutive top-division kachikoshi (winning record), improving to 8-2, while Kaisei picks up his fourth loss.
Ishiura gives up 185 pounds to Kaisei. That’s the size of a large human being, just in the negative space between them. So I guess it’s no surprise that Ishiura, trying to fight back from the edge of the ring, bounces off Kaisei like a ping pong ball. Kaisei holds his ground and gets a two-handed shove on Ishiura’s hips, sending him spinning out of the ring to his fourth loss. Kaisei improves to 5-3.
Chiyoshoma stays active against the much larger Kaisei, never settling into any kind of predictable rhythm and keeping Kaisei from getting any traction. Hands to the throat at the tachiai, circle left for a deep overarm grip, back to the face and throat with some slaps, then a left hand inside that slips off the belt. Kaisei finally gets a chance to show some offense, and cranks on Chiyoshoma’s left arm with an armlock throw. Chiyoshoma defends nicely, using the outside leg hook on the left side to keep from going over. Chiyoshoma then charges forward, but gets a little too upright, letting Kaisei get a left-handed grip on his belt and actually coming off the ground for a split second. But when Kaisei moves forward to grab the belt with his right hand, Chiyoshoma retreats with perfect timing, setting his feet and using a quickly-secured right-handed grip to take advantage of Kaisei’s momentum and drop the big guy with an uwatenage (overarm throw).
Takekaze provides a real treat on Day 8, winning by one of the rarest kimarite (winning techniques) seen in sumo. Ipponzeoi (one-armed shoulder throw) is used by wrestlers only .02% of the time (for contrast, 26% of all bouts are decided by yorikiri), and the last time Takekaze performed it was almost twelve-and-a-half years ago. After a solid tachiai against Kaisei, Takekaze starts off trying to pull his opponent down by the back of the head. When that doesn’t work he transitions quickly into a double-underarm morozashi position, looking for the front of the belt with his left hand to equalize the left-handed overarm grip Kaisei has already secured. Kaisei does a good job clamping down on Takekaze’s left arm and making it hard to get a solid grip, so Takekaze jumps backward. He lands and sets his feet sideways, with Kaisei following closely. The momentum is in Takekaze’s favor if he can pull it off, so he grabs onto Kaisei’s right arm with both hands, turns his back, hoists Kaisei onto his shoulder and cranks on that arm. Kaisei goes over like a 400-pound bag of mulch, and Takekaze gets the win. The crowd is all a-twitter from the action, but listen to the reaction when the announcer calls the official decision as “ipponzeoi.” They know they’ve seen something special.