Almost halfway through the tournament and bouts are getting really entertaining. It was difficult to decide between this match and Tobizaru vs. Chiyotairyu, but overall, the back and forth style clash of pusher-thruster Daieisho vs. powerhouse grappler Tochinoshin was the most interesting to watch from a technical standpoint.
26 year old Daieisho is fighting at his new personal best rank of East Sekiwake #2 which he achieved after a steady climb over the past year, and an 11-4 in July. Former Ozeki Tochinoshin is coming off a 10-5 record at Shichigatsu Basho and still looks quite capable at times of that brute force sumo that his fans love him for.
Fun fact: this was the first time they’ve faced each other where Tochinoshin is at a lower rank (M4) than Daieisho.
|East||Tale of the Tape||West|
|E. Sekiwake #2||Rank||W. Maegashira #4|
|4 wins||Past Meetings (11)||7 wins|
|2-5||Record this Basho||3-4|
Daieisho hit low at the tachiai and won the first exchange with relentless tsuppari. Tochinoshin circled to the right but wasted no time in seeking the belt, shooting his right hand in. Sensing the intention to close in, Daieisho back-pedaled and circled back to center dohyo, keeping his hips away from Tochinoshin’s long reach. An unbalanced face push from there caused Daieisho to stumble towards the East edge. This may have been Tochinoshin’s chance to rush in and secure a grip, but instead he opted for a shove of his own which gave his nimble opponent a chance to square up and defend.
The two exchanged their best slaps and palm strikes to the face before the Oitekaze wrestler rallied, shoving Tochinoshin to the West once again. The Georgian circled to the right like before, this time continuing to circle while pulling Daieisho in by the back of the neck. The pull was strong enough to cause Daieisho’s left instep to drag. This was not called a touchdown however, and the fight continued.
The pull also allowed Tochinoshin to get a right underhook which ended up being the move that turned the tables in this fight. The right underhook turned into an under-arm belt grip as Daieisho backed up and groped for any type of hold of his own. This was Tochinoshin’s sumo though, as the strong man patiently forced Daieisho to the wrong side of the Southern tawara within the following seconds.