Kisenosato fluffed his lines against Tochiozan Thursday and had his overnight lead trimmed to one win going into the final three days of the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament.
The ozeki looked out of sorts in the day’s featured bout at Ryogoku Kokugikan, allowing fourth-ranked maegashira Tochiozan to seize the initiative with a series of shoves and send him backpedaling out to a second defeat.
Victory, meanwhile, kept alive Tochiozan’s own title hopes as it moved him to 9-3 alongside veteran maegashira Kyokutenho.
“I am glad I was able to stay patient and keep attacking,” said Tochiozan. “I just tried to keep getting forward.”
Mongolian yokozuna Hakuho and ozeki trio Kakuryu, Baruto and Kotoshogiku are among nine wrestlers tied another win back.
Kisenosato faces his toughest test of the meet so far when he takes on Hakuho on Friday.
In other bouts, Bulgarian Kotooshu put a dent in Baruto’s championship aspirations, when he forced out the Estonian giant in an all-ozeki battle, improving his own mark to 7-5.
Kakuryu, secured a winning record on his ozeki debut, sending fellow Mongolian Harumafuji out from behind to a sixth loss.