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World Championship Sumo brings the "biggest show on Earth" to NYC

Previewing World Championship Sumo at Madison Square Garden
Previewing World Championship Sumo at Madison Square Garden 03:02

NEW YORK -- World Championship Sumo comes to New York City on Saturday as a sumo title is decided at Madison Square Garden.

Sumo is a larger-than-life global sport spectacle already contested in over 84 countries around the world, and Friday morning, the wrestlers took over the city.

"The biggest show on Earth" takes center stage at the world's greatest arena Saturday night, but first things first - the weigh-in.

Unlike popular belief, not all the sumos are heavyweights.

The event will include a minimum of 12 fighters competing in up to a total of 42 one-on-one bouts before a champion is eventually crowned.

Sumo wrestling takes center stage this weekend at MSG 04:39

The two favorites are Egypt's "Sandstorm" Oosunaarashi and Russia's Soslan "Big Bear" Gagloev. These two are both rivals and friends.

"Everybody knows who the champion is, which is Oosunaarashi, the Great Sandstorm, but also, I cannot wait to meet [Gagloev] again because my hand misses his face to slap," Oosunaarashi said.

"I'm looking always in my opponent's eyes, to read him, to see how fear he is, if he is afraid or not. So eyes giving you the most answer if an athlete's ready or not ... So watch in your eyes. Yeah," Gagloev said.

So here are the rules:  the winner of the bout must either push his opponent out of the ring or force him to the ground within three minutes. If any part of a wrestler's body besides his feet touches the floor, he has lost. The winner of a sumo match wins two of three bouts between the competitors.

"You see like how big we are, you can guess how powerful we are as well. So with this size, you can see us doing fast techniques and fast moves, even faster than the Hulk or any other sport," Oosunaarashi said.

"What do you love most about this sport?" CBS New York's Otis Livingston asked.

"Hurting people. Hurting my opponent is my joy in this, is my passion in this," Oosunaarashi said.

After Sandstorm rolled into CBS New York's studio, we're just happy and relieved that John Elliott and Cindy Hsu made it away in one piece.

If you're headed to MSG this weekend here are a few terms you should know:

  • Mawashi: the loincloth the wrestlers wear
  • Rikishi: another common name for a sumo; translation: "powerful man"
  • Dohyō: the name of the ring where the matches take place
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