September 2017, Day 13, Onosho v Shodai

Onosho seems to have this one under control – he’s got Shodai on the defensive and moving backwards with both arms around his midsection. But Shodai turns as he approaches the edge, trying for an arm lock throw on Onosho’s right arm. He doesn’t have the lock secured, and Onosho starts to slip out behind him, so Shodai lets go of the arm and spins away from the edge rather than pursue a quickly deteriorating position. It’s a good decision, and he’s able to skirt along the straw bales as Onosho plops to the clay.

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September 2017, Day 10, Shodai v Yoshikaze

It’s feast or famine with Yoshikaze this tournament, and right now he’s feasting. After dropping the first four days in a row, he’s roared back with six consecutive wins. Notable today against Shodai is his excellent footwork, keeping his hips low and his weight centered over his feet. No chance for Shodai to pull him down or divert the pressure, and Shodai crashes out to his sixth loss.

September 2017, Day 9, Shodai v Harumafuji

Considering his size, Yokozuna Harumafuji can sure hit hard at the tachiai. Shodai recoils from the shock of the impact, and is immediately on the defensive. One relatively light grip on the belt with his right hand is all Harumafuji needs to spin Shodai around, and he keeps his head and shoulders close, reaching in with his left hand to cause trouble with Shodai’s left leg. Shodai is sideways and cross-footed and can’t prevent Harumafuji from ushering him out of the ring in a hurry. Harumafuji is in a five-way tie for third place, two losses behind tournament leader Ozeki Goeido.

September 2017, Day 7, Shodai v Goeido

This is the Goeido we’ve been waiting for. Aggressive, no hint of pulling or trickery, just laser-focused the entire bout. Watch how he keeps his face centered on Shodai’s chest, and charges forward with solid thrusts until Shodai steps out. Shodai has no answer for Goeido’s determination. Goeido is tied for the tournament lead with three other wrestlers at 6-1.

September 2017, Day 5, Shodai v Kotoshogiku

Shodai solves the Kotoshogiku puzzle, meeting hard in the center before quickly jumping sideways, pulling ‘Giku off-balance. ‘Giku turns and recovers before Shodai can charge in, but now Shodai has both arms underneath and is able to lift up on ‘Giku’s torso, giving him a taste of his own medicine and marching him out of the ring to his first loss.

September 2017, Day 3, Shodai v Takakeisho

No fuss, no muss. Takakeisho turns in a solid performance against Shodai, charging straight ahead with a good mix of pushes, shoves, and stiff-arms to various locations on Shodai’s torso. Shodai is kept guessing where the next blow will land until he finds himself on the floor below the dohyo. Takakeisho improves to 3-0.

September 2017, Day 1, Shodai v Ura

Ura looks just as surprised as everyone else that he managed to pull off the win against Shodai. Shodai hits him with a right forearm at the tachiai, but Ura grabs onto Shodai’s left arm and uses it as a lever to pull him out. Ura’s flexibility with his toes balanced on the edge gives him the win by tottari (arm bar throw).