January 2018, Day 6, Takakeisho v Tochinoshin

Takakeisho puts up a good fight, but Tochinoshin is rock solid. Takakeisho stays busy defending against Tochinoshin’s right arm, trying to prevent a second belt grip, but Tochinoshin moves him steadily backwards without ever landing the right hand and before you know it they’re over the straw.

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January 2018, Day 5, Takakeisho v Onosho

Takakeisho falls below .500 with a loss against tough opponent Onosho. After a smashing face-to-face tachiai, Onosho yanks down on Takakeisho’s arms to send him dirtward in a jiffy. Takakeisho finishes in the splits, no small feat for a 330lb man. These two are fairly evenly matched, both relatively new to the top division with quick promotions up to the high rank of komusubi. A string of good performances up here could see an Ozeki rank for one of these guys in the future, but it looks like they’ll need some more experience before that happens.

January 2018, Day 4, Mitakeumi v Takakeisho

This is a marquee matchup the fans have been looking forward to, the relatively young Mitakeumi (my pick for next Ozeki candidate) versus the even younger Takakeisho, both of whom rocketed up the ranks to the sanyaku positions right below Ozeki. Mitakeumi has been holding strong there for about a year, holding his own at Sekiwake against the Yokozuna and Ozeki, while Takakeisho is experiencing his first tournament one position down at Komusubi. The year’s experience tempering in the fire pays off for Mitakeumi, who deals with the youngster fairly handily.

January 2018, Day 3, Takakeisho v Tamawashi

This one wins my vote for most entertaining bout of the day. Both get a couple of good swipes in at the the other guy’s face, but it’s Takakeisho’s final missed slap that leads to a good shove at Tamawashi’s torso, sending him over the edge.

January 2018, Day 2, Kakuryu v Takakeisho

Kakuryu continues to impress with new-found vigor and aggression. So nice to see him on the attack instead of his usual defensive sumo. He and Takakeisho bounce heads at the tachiai, and the Yokozuna fights through Takakeisho’s arms until he can get to the belt and control the midsection. Even without getting a solid belt grip, Kakuryu is able to move Takakeisho steadily back until he’s over the straw.

January 2018, Day 1, Takakeisho v Kisenosato

Speaking of healthy Yokozuna, it’s hard to tell if Kisenosato is operating at 100% yet. Takakeisho is on a roll, so it might just be that Takakeisho would have been too much for anyone to handle today, but it’s disappointing for the Yokozuna to lose on the first day. Their schedule only gets harder as the tournament goes on. Nice work by Takakeisho to grab onto Kisenosato’s arm and throw him down, reversing the position at the edge of the ring with the tottari (arm bar throw). The ring judges call a conference and reverse the referee’s initial decision, giving the win (and a fat stack of cash envelopes) to Takakeisho.

November 2017, Hakuho Yusho Compilation

Yokozuna Hakuho wins the November 2017 Grand Sumo Tournament in Kyushi, earning his fortieth(!) top-division championship with a record of 14-1. Over the course of the tournament he used eight different kimarite (winning techniques): yorikiri (3), uwatenage (3), uwatedashinage (2), oshidashi (2), hatakikomi (1), okuridashi (1), tsukiotoshi (1), and yoritaoshi (1).