Nagoya 2021 Rikishi Preview
Fantasy Basho is live on Fantasizr for Natsu 2021! You can play now, and use the below previews to select your Day One squad.
白鵬 翔 | Hakuho Sho
Last 3 Basho: 0-0-15, 2-1-12, 0-0-15
Previous Rank: Yokozuna East
Hakuho is the best to ever do it, but he's also not finished a basho since March 2020. He has promised July is decisive, and his entire career suggests he will want to go out on top no matter what he has to do. He won't be the Hakuho of old, but he'll be worth watching the whole time.
照ノ富士 春雄 | Terunofuji Haruo
Ozeki 1 East
Last 3 Basho: 12-3 Y, 12-3 Y, 11-4 J
Previous Rank: Ozeki 2 West
Can he do it? Can he get a third straight yusho and gain the promotion to Yokozuna? The men who have won three straight since 1960 are Taiho, Kitanoumi, Chiyonofuji, Akebono, Takanohana, Asashoryu, and Hakuho. That's a list of legendary Yokozuna, which shows how tough that is. But if his knees hold up, he's been the best around.
貴景勝 光信 | Takakeisho Mitsunobu
Ozeki 1 West
Last 3 Basho: 12-3 J, 2-8-5, 13-2 Y
Previous Rank: Ozeki 1 West
If there's one man who can stop Terunofuji's rope run, it's got to be Takakeisho. In the last four basho, they've had a playoff match twice, and Takakeisho beat him in November. He is also a 24 year old who has been an Ozeki for two years, with two yusho and five jun-yusho to his name. He is just plain good.
正代 直也 | Shodai Naoya
Ozeki 2 East
Last 3 Basho: 9-6, 7-8, 11-4 J
Previous Rank: Ozeki 2 East
Shodai is kind of the "other Ozeki" right now compared to Yokozuna contenders and the banished rikishi (see below). He is extremely talented, with a particular knack at turning around his opponent's best sumo. He also has a knack for taking his opponent's best sumo, which makes his matches among the most interesting each day.
朝乃山 英樹 | Asanoyama Hideki
Ozeki 2 West
Last 3 Basho: 7-5-3, 10-5, 11-4 J
Previous Rank: Ozeki 1 East
Asanoyama, won't be seeing him no more. Or at least for a year. In May, during the Natsu basho, a tabloid revealed Asanoyama had been visiting hostess clubs against COVID rules. He had also been lying to the JSA about it. After he left the basho, the JSA gave him a six-tournament ban. Next time he mounts the doyho, he'll be a year older and likely in Sandanme.
高安 晃 | Takayasu Akira
Last 3 Basho: 10-5, 10-5, 9-6
Previous Rank: Sekiwake East
Takayasu has cemented his place as a Sanyaku mainstay again, although a return to Ozeki-hood feels like it's out of reach. He was in the last two yusho races due to a strong first week, but fell off in the second week. And that's the problem, he is probably about the fifth or sixth best rikishi on the planet right now.
御嶽海 久司 | Mitakeumi Hisashi
Last 3 Basho: 10-5, 8-7, 9-6
Previous Rank: Komusubi East
Mitakeumi hasn't done worse than 6-9 since July 2016, during which he has mostly been in the Sanyaku ranks. He also has 2 yusho and just 5 losing records in that time. Yet there is a feeling that he should have done more and sealed one of the many almost Ozeki runs in that time frame. Still, he's better than most.
若隆景 渥| Wakatakakage Atsushi
Last 3 Basho: 9-6, 10-5, 0-0-15
Previous Rank: Maegashira 1 East
Wakatakakage has slowly, steadily climbed the Banzuke up to the Sanyaku ranks. He is surprisingly strong for an undersized rikishi, while his agility and footwork keep him in a match against anyone. The question now is if he can topple the biggest names in sumo with regularity.
明生 力| Meisei Chikara
Last 3 Basho: 8-7, 10-5, 8-7
Previous Rank: Maegashira 2 East
Meisei will make his Sanyaku debut in Nagoya just like fellow Komusubi Wakatakakage. Meisei fell to Juryo due to injury a year ago, and has simply won more often than he's lost since then. Notably, he has recently added more pushing and thrusting kimarite to his traditional yorikiri-heavy winning attacks.
遠藤 聖大 | Endo Shota
Maegashira 1 East
Last 3 Basho: 11-4, 5-5-5, 7-8
Previous Rank: Maegashira 8 West
Endo was in the yusho race until the final day, although he lost against Shodai on Day Fifteen and didn't even get a jun-yusho. The ultimate tactical chameleon looked as good as he has in a long while, but it still added up to just 11 wins. That could be his high water mark from now on, as he will see a much tougher slate of competitors at Maegashira 1.
大栄翔 勇人 | Daieisho Hayato
Maegashira 1 West
Last 3 Basho: 6-9, 8-7, 13-2 Y
Previous Rank: Komusubi West
Since his January yusho, Daieisho has gone 8-7 and 6-9. That's not terrible, although it also obviously isn't as good as his 13-2 from Hatsu. That rikishi is still there, and he is only 27, so future high win totals aren't out of the question.
隆の勝 伸明 | Takanosho Nobuaki
Maegashira 2 East
Last 3 Basho: 5-10, 8-7, 9-6
Previous Rank: Sekiwake West
After maintaining a Sekiwake rank for three basho, Takanosho stumbled to a 5-10 at Natsu. He has proven over the last year that he can hang with the best of the best, although not stand out. At Maegashira 2, there's no reason he can't get a winning record during the Nagoya basho.
逸ノ城 駿 | Ichinojo Takashi
Maegashira 2 West
Last 3 Basho: 9-6, 7-8, 9-6
Previous Rank: Maegashira 6 West
Ichinojo is slowly creeping back up near the Sanyaku ranks. He no longer looks like the overwhelming force he once was, but he does still have an ability to use his incredible size. The perennial physics problem, for himself and his opponents, is always a threat to do something no one else will do in a basho.
北勝富士 大輝 | Hokutofuji Daiki
Maegashira 3 East
Last 3 Basho: 6-9, 9-6, 7-8
Previous Rank: Maegashira 1 West
Hokutofuji remains the rikishi most likely to have an impressive looking basho with a winning record. He puts his all into each match, thrusting at his opponent's neck and ending up bloody surprisingly often. That still does not lead to a ton of wins enough.
翔猿 正也| Tobizaru Masaya
Maegashira 3 West
Last 3 Basho: 5-10, 10-5, 6-9
Previous Rank: Maegashira 2 West
The Flying Monkey did not do well at Maegashira 2. Unfortunately for him, the rest of Makuuchi had records that meant he didn't get demoted too far from his previous rank. That could be bad news for Tobizaru, who will face a similar slate that he registered a 5-10 against last basho. At least it will be entertaining.
琴恵光 充憲| Kotoeko Mitsunori
Maegashira 4 East
Last 3 Basho: 9-6, 8-7, 6-9
Previous Rank: Maegashira 12 East
Kotoeko has seemingly been all over the Banzuke and now is up to Maegashira 4 after a 9-6 at Maegashira 12. He could do something here, because he is a strong, composed veteran. On the other hand, his success seems to always come at a much lower rank.
千代大龍 秀政 | Chiyotairyu Hidemasa
Maegashira 4 West
Last 3 Basho: 10-5, 6-9, 0-0-15
Previous Rank: Maegashira 14 West
After a series of uninispiring tournaments, Chiyotairyu put up 10 wins from Maegashira 14. Now, he's up at Maegashira 4 for Natsu. His brand of sumo is still running into the other guy as hard as possible and he isn't quite as powerful as he used to be. This could be a problem for him.
隠岐の海 歩 | Okinoumi Ayumi
Maegashira 5 East
Last 3 Basho: 9-6, 3-12, 7-8
Previous Rank: Maegashira 12 West
Okinoumi will turn 36 just after the Nagoya basho. He recently has seemed to alternate between showing his age in a good way and a bad way. He is a crafty veteran who knows exactly what he's doing, but also can't quite handle some opponents athletically.
豊昇龍 智勝 | Hoshoryu Tomokatsu
Maegashira 5 West
Last 3 Basho: 7-8, 8-7, 9-6
Previous Rank: Maegashira 5 East
Hoshoryu hit a small stumbling block at Natsu, but a 7-8 in upper Maegashira from an almost 22 year old is a good indicator overall. The tricky Mongolian is probably unable to rise up into Sanyaku by taking fellow rikishi head on. The good news for him is he has enough trips, switches, and overall peculiarity to take on anyone.
阿武咲 奎也 | Onosho Fumiya
Maegashira 6 East
Last 3 Basho: 7-8, 4-11, 9-6
Previous Rank: Maegashira 5 West
Onosho seems mired in just-off-the-joi-jin-ability. If he has to face all the top ranked rikishi, he'll do poorly. When he sits favorably away from them, he can make some hay. Importantly, he is at Maegashira 6, so he could do well if there aren't serious injuries above him.
霧馬山 鐵雄 | Kiribayama Tetsuo
Maegashira 6 West
Previous 3 Basho: 6-9, 7-8, 8-7
Previous Rank: Maegashira 4 East
Kiribayama is an extremely athletic rikishi, which actually can sometimes be his undoing. There is no match where Kiribayama cannot spin himself or the other rikishi on the dohyo around. That usually leads to a chaos he cannot always manage, but it also surprises the other rikishi.
妙義龍 泰成 | Myogiryu Yasunari
Maegashira 7 East
Last 3 Basho: 6-9, 7-8, 8-7
Previous Rank: Maegashira 4 West
Myogiryu has been showing his age recently, although in a way befitting his athletic style. Some days, he just doesn't have it and loses. Other days, he can still throw his fastball by guys and gets a decisive win.
千代翔馬 富士雄 | Chiyoshoma Fujio
Maegashira 7 West
Last 3 Basho: 8-7, 8-7, 0-0-15
Previous Rank: Maegashira 11 West
Chiyoshoma at Maegashira 7? A solid 8-7 at Maegashira 11 and some Banzuke luck has the Mongolian at his highest rank in three years. Likely, this elevation will make Chiyoshoma pull out even more tricks, oddness, and especially henkas.
宝富士 大輔 | Takarafuji Daisuke
Maegashira 8 East
Last 3 Basho: 7-8, 3-12, 9-6
Previous Rank: Maegashira 7 West
Takarafuji has bounced around the banzuke the last few basho, but Maegashira 8 just might be his true level. The solid veteran is unlikely to be overwhelmed here, and he will never beat himself with poor footwork or silly mistakes.
碧山 亘右 | Aoiyama Kosuke
Maegashira 8 West
Last 3 Basho: 4-3-8, 11-4 J, 6-9
Previous Rank: Maegashira 3 East
Aoiyama followed his March jun-yusho by missing the first week due to injury. He did manage to come back and win more than he lost, but that still just meant 4 wins. The Big Bulgarian is still massive and knows what he's doing, so he can make noise on the dohyo.
英乃海 拓也| Hidenoumi Takuya
Maegashira 9 East
Last 3 Basho: 5-10, 10-5, 11-4 (Juryo)
Previous Rank: Maegashira 6 East
After his surprise 10-5 in March, Hidenoumi got highly elevated and flipped the record. As a long-term Juryo mainstay, he probably isn't really able to keep a mid-Maegashira rank. He is 15-15 since his return to Makuuchi two basho ago, so maybe he'll level out with a small demotion.
志摩ノ海 航洋 | Shimanoumi Koyo
Maegashira 9 West
Last 3 Basho: 7-8, 4-11, 9-6
Previous Rank: Maegashira 9 East
Shimanoumi held steady during Natsu, after a disastrous Haru. His singular brand of sumo, energetic pushing and thrusting at very close range, certainly leads to each match being in his style. Weirdly, that doesn't lead to consistent winning, but it is interesting.
玉鷲 一朗 | Tamawashi Ichiro
Maegashira 10 East
Last 3 Basho: 7-8, 5-10, 6-9
Previous Rank: Maegashira 10 East
Tamawashi is the oldest rikishi in Makuuchi, four months ahead of Hakuho, and he is finally looking like it. Over the last few basho, his second week has been much worse than his first. The strength and force that defines Tamawashi's sumo is apparently no longer up to 15 days.
照強 翔輝 | Terutsuyoshi Shoki
Maegashira 10 West
Last 3 Basho: 7-8, 8-7, 7-8
Previous Rank: Maegashira 10 West
Terutsuyoshi is 22-23 over the last three basho. That consistency in record belies his furious, undersized power sumo. Even when it all comes out in the wash, his individual results vary. At Natsu, he followed a 5 match losing streak with a 4 match winning streak.
魁聖 一郎 | Kaisei Ichiro
Maegashira 11 East
Last 3 Basho: 9-6, 8-7, 6-9
Previous Rank: Maegashira 15 East
Kaisei shows his age and years of sumo when he walks on and off the dohyo these days. Despite that, he's got two straight winning records. No one will out-muscle the Brazilian, and if he gets a hold he will be in good shape.
琴ノ若 傑太 | Kotonowaka Masahiro
Maegashira 11 West
Last 3 Basho: 7-8, 6-9, 10-5
Previous Rank: Maegashira 11 East
Kotonowaka still holds a lot of promise, but he's been slightly found out. For all of his ability, he can get mechanical and is easily found out by opponents. He is also just 23 and smart, which means he can probably figure this out and rise back up the Banzuke.
栃ノ心 剛史 | Tochinoshin Tsuyoshi
Maegashira 12 East
Last 3 Basho: 5-10, 7-8, 4-11
Previous Rank: Maegashira 7 East
Tochinoshin is in a slide down the rankings, which got accelerated with a 5-10 in May. The Tochinoshin that could lift anyone and guide them out of the dohyo appears gone, and his wily veteran act hasn't quite gotten him to consistent winning records. If he can figure it out, he can avoid dropping down to Juryo.
輝 大士 | Kagayaki Taishi
Maegashira 12 West
Last 3 Basho: 6-9, 6-9, 6-9
Previous Rank: Maegashira 9 West
Kagayaki is a model sumo wrestler until the match starts. For some reason, Kagayaki's immense physical gifts and skills don't quite come together for consistent wins. There's no reason he can't work it out, but he hasn't recently.
千代丸 一樹 | Chiyomaru Kazuki
Maegashira 13 East
Last 3 Basho: 8-7, 9-6 (Juryo), 0-0-15 (Juryo)
Previous Rank: Maegashira 16 West
The Eternally Round one managed to keep his Maegashira slot after a bare 8-7. This has been rare for him in recent years, but he also has consistently been in upper Juryo. There's no good reason he can't keep holding his own against lower Maegashira, he just hasn't.
宇良 和輝| Ura Kazuki
Maegashira 13 West
Last 3 Basho: 12-3 (Juryo), 10-4-1 (Juryo), 10-5 (Juryo)
Previous Rank: Juryo 2 West
Once a rising star, Ura had a terrible knee injury in 2017 that dropped him from Makuuchi. Then he had a knee inury that derailed his first comeback. Ura will be one of the most fun Maegashira from Day One, as his brand of sumo is best defined as "entertainingly technical."
大奄美 元規 | Daiamami Genki
Maegashira 14 East
Last 3 Basho: 7-8, 9-6, 8-7 (Juryo)
Previous Rank: Maegashira 13 West
Daiamami is still a Maegashira after a 7-8 during Natsu. This is a specific version of veteran solidity, where he can handle other people around his level most of the time. It won't be spectacular, but it will get the job done about half the time.
千代ノ皇 王代仁 | Chiyonoo Miyohito
Maegashira 14 West
Last 3 Basho: 11-4 (Juryo), 8-7 (Juryo), 0-0-15 (Juryo)
Previous Rank: Juryo 1 West
Chiyonoo is back in Makuuchi for the first time since March 2017, when he was known as Chiyoo. His 11-4 from Juryo 1 in May was also his best record as a Sekitori in his whole career. At 30, he could have found a new level of sumo, but it seems highly unlikely.
剣翔 桃太郎 | Tsurugisho Momotaro
Maegashira 15 East
Last 3 Basho: 4-11, 9-6, 12-3 Y (Juryo)
Previous Rank: Maegashira 8 East
Tsurugisho did not handle Maegashira 8 well, and he got knocked back down to Maegashira 15. That's one rank below where he got 9 wins in March. It's unlikely he can do that much worse than he did in May down in this part of the Banzuke.
徳勝龍 誠 | Tokushoryu Makoto
Maegashira 15 West
Last 3 Basho: 11-4 (Juryo), 7-8 (Juryo), 3-12
Previous Rank: Juryo 2 East
Tokushoryu is back in Makuuchi, and it's worth pointing out he is a fomer yusho winner. He also did it from this area of the Banzuke. Now, it was a year and a half ago and the rest of his career keeps showing that it was a fluke. Still, Tokushoryu is the ultimate representation that anything can happen in a basho.
千代の国 憲輝 | Chiyonokuni Toshiki
Maegashira 16 East
Last 3 Basho: 0-4-11, 8-5-2, 0-0-15
Previous Rank: Maegashira 3 West
No one can doubt Chiyonokuni's spirit, but in his last three tournaments he has not finished all 15 days due to a knee injury, a rib injury, a thumb injury, and a COVID-related sit out. He has proven that when he mounts the dohyo, even if not fully healthy, he can compete with anyone.
石浦 鹿介 | Ishiura Shikonosuke
Maegashira 16 West
Last 3 Basho: 7-8, 9-6 (Juryo), 0-0-15 (Juryo)
Previous Rank: Maegashira 16 East
Ishiura maintained his rank with a 7-8, because there were some disastrous reults around him. He didn't exactly prove he can escape the danger of demotion, but he held on. Whether he can hold on again is dependent on how well he can stay locked into his sumo day to day.
一山本 大生| Ichiyamamoto Daiki
Maegashira 17 East
Last 3 Basho: 10-5 (Juryo), 10-5 (Juryo), 4-3 (Makushita)
Previous Rank: Juryo 8 East
Ichiyamamoto is the only debutant for Nagoya 2021. He makes Makuuchi as a 27 year old with 4 years pro experience, and he hasn't exactly set the lower ranks on fire. Still, he climbed his way up to here and has good skills.