Sumo wrestling and sushi in LA

LOS ANGELES-Three world Sumo champions, nearly 1, 500 pounds of brute strength, appeared at the Exchange LA in downtown Los Angeles at the Sumo Sushi Show during their tour of Southern California, presented by USA Sumo.

Andrew Freund, executive director and president of USA Sumo, served as emcee while explaining rules, technique and Sumo culture. He and the three giants were very entertaining and funny.

Appearing were four-time world Sumo champion Byamba at 6’1″/380 lbs. from Mongolia, international and US Sumo Open champion (2015) Ramy from Egypt at 6’3’/500 lbs., and Ama, the Japanese two-time world Sumo champion.

Standing 6’4″ and weighing in at 600 lbs., Ama is the all-time heaviest Japanese human being. During the 90-minute performance, fans got to cheer on the champions while enjoying a gourmet sushi meal and sake sampling in an intimate setting.

The setting was really up-close and personal.  You would normally have to go to Japan to see this level of Sumo action and pay the big bucks.

After Freund finished the introductions and explained the rules, the matches began with Byamba eventually taking the “gold medal.”

Then, some brave audience challengers, both male and female, entered the ring to challenge the champion of their choice, which was also enjoyable. None of the audience members could make a dent.

It was like running into a brick wall.

After the show, fans were given the opportunity to line up and take a photo with the world champions on the “red carpet.” That was another highlight of the event. All three champs know how to “ham it up” for the camera.

After the show in Los Angeles the tour headed down to Orange County and San Deigo.

Next year, stay tuned for the US Sumo Open — usually held at Walter Pyramid – CSU – Long Beach — which is the largest annual Sumo tournament in the world outside of Japan.

Since 2001, over 400 elite Sumo wrestlers, including numerous past and present world champions, have competed.

Photo Source: Sumo Sushi Show/Facebook 

Steven Lieberman
About Steven Lieberman 28 Articles
Steven LIeberman is a veteran sports/arts/entertainment journalist. Lieberman has covered entertainment and professional sports, Including the NBA, NHL and Major League Baseball, for the past 14 years. Among his entertainment work, Lieberman covers concerts, theatre and events.