Overnight leader Midorifuji took his second straight loss of the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament on Thursday, dropping back into a two-way tie in the title race with komusubi Daieisho at 10-2.

Unbeaten through the first 10 days at Edion Arena Osaka, No. 5 maegashira Midorifuji suffered a consecutive defeat courtesy of sekiwake Wakatakakage (6-6) on Day 12.

The two fast-moving grapplers jostled around the ring in a frenetic battle that ended when Wakatakakage toppled the rank-and-filer with a pulling overarm throw.

Midorifuji loses to Wakatakakage on the 12th day of the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament on March 23, 2023, at Edion Arena Osaka, western Japan. (Kyodo)

Daieisho, who won his sole Emperor's Cup in January 2021, barely broke a sweat as he thrust out No. 7 Hokutofuji (7-5).

Sekiwake Kiribayama and a pair of komusubi, Wakamotoharu and Kotonowaka, share the second rung of the leaderboard after improving to 9-3.

In one of the day's highlight bouts, Kiribayama won a grueling contest against fellow Mongolian sekiwake Hoshoryu (8-4) with an overarm throw.

With yokozuna Terunofuji and ozeki Takakeisho both missing due to injury, the 15-day grand tournament is the first since the start of Japan's Showa era in 1926 to take place without wrestlers from sumo's top two ranks.

Related coverage:

Sumo: Midorifuji sees lead shrink following 1st loss in Osaka

Sumo: Ozeki Takakeisho withdraws from Spring Tournament

Sumo: Sole yokozuna Terunofuji to skip Osaka tournament