The Yomiuri ShimbunYokozuna Kisenosato suffered his fourth loss of the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament as No. 4 maegashira Ichinojo overpowered him on Sunday, the midway point at Fukuoka Kokusai Center.
Ichinojo (7-1) forged ahead at the jump-off and sent Kisenosato out of the ring to remain in a thinned-out group of three one-loss wrestlers who are chasing unbeaten yokozuna Hakuho.
Hokutofuji fell out of that pack as Hakuho handed the No. 3 maegashira his second loss of the basho.
The ozeki had split results as Goeido rushed No. 4 maegashira Chiyonokuni (1-7) out of the ring off the start, but Takayasu lost his footing and the match to sekiwake Yoshikaze (4-4).
No. 5 maegashira Arawashi slapped down No. 8 maegashira Chiyomaru (3-5) to stay one off the lead.
The chase group behind Hakuho started to thin out early on. No. 13 maegashira Aminishiki (6-2) followed with a loss to popular No. 9 maegashira Endo (5-3).
No. 2 maegashira Tochiozan remained winless after No. 2 maegashira Chiyotairyu (3-5) pushed him out.