Rank-and-file grappler Midorifuji outmaneuvered komusubi Tobizaru on Tuesday to remain alone atop the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament leaderboard with a perfect 10-0 record.
The No. 5 maegashira was able to increase his lead on Day 10 with a little help from sekiwake Hoshoryu (7-3), who handed second-place komusubi Daieisho (8-2) his second loss of the 15-day meet at Edion Arena Osaka.
Having gone 9-0 against fellow rank-and-filers, surprise performer Midorifuji unleashed a rarely seen technique to claim his first victim from among the distinguished "sanyaku" ranks below yokozuna.
Locked into a drawn-out stalemate with Tobizaru (4-6), Midorifuji bided his time before driving his opponent off balance and flinging him out of the ring sideways with an upper-arm force out.
Young Mongolian standout Hoshoryu logged his fifth straight victory by forcing out Daieisho, who now shares the second rung of the leaderboard with komusubi Kotonowaka and No. 6 Endo.
Sekiwake Wakatakakage stumbled to 4-6 after being pushed out by No. 5 Kotoshoho (2-8), while new sekiwake Kiribayama (7-3) moved to the brink of a winning record by forcing out No. 3 Mitakeumi (4-6).
The ongoing grand tournament is the first without a wrestler from the top two ranks, yokozuna and ozeki, since the start of Japan's Showa era in 1926.
Midorifuji's Isegahama stablemate, lone yokozuna Terunofuji, remains sidelined following knee surgery last October, while ozeki Takakeisho withdrew Saturday with a left knee injury.