NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Here are three things we learned from the Bad Boy Mowdown this weekend at Verizon Arena.
Marchi seven rides away from 600 (3-11-17)
2008 World Champion Guilherme Marchi continued his pursuit of history by recording his 593rd ride on the Built Ford Tough Series.
The 34-year-old rode Glory Days for 84.25 points and finished 1-for-3 and tied for 14th place.
“Getting closer and closer,” Marchi said with a grin.
Marchi is now seven rides away from becoming the first rider in PBR history to reach 600 qualified rides.
The Leme, Brazil, bull rider was bucked off by Seven Dust (44.75 points) in a rank Built Ford Tough Championship Round that featured only one qualified ride – Derek Kolbaba’s 89.5-point ride on Cochise.
“Oh man, he felt like a tractor today,” Marchi said. “He was really strong. I sat back and he jerked me. He is a contender for World Champion Bull. He has been here for a couple years and only one rider rode him for 92 points. He is very strong and hard to ride.”
Marchi was competing in North Little Rock with tightness in his lower back.
“Last week on the last day, I felt sore before I got on St. Patty,” Marchi said. “I had been working out at home and I felt so tight on Tuesday and Wednesday. Yesterday I felt great, but today my lower back started feeling tight again.”
SweetPro’s Bruiser was the top-marked bull with a 46-point bull score by costing Joao Ricard Vieira the victory when he bucked off the veteran in 6.49 seconds on the final ride of the night.
Jared Allen’s Air Time was only marked 43.25 points, but he once again proved he has J.B. Mauney’s number by bucking off the two-time World Champion in 2.17 seconds.
Kolbaba wins second event of the season
Derek Kolbaba really despises the valleys that come with professional bull riding, but he sure dang likes it when the peaks come.
Kolbaba became the third rider this year to win multiple events by riding Cochise for 89.5 points during the championship round.
The 20-year-old then watched on as the next 11 riders, including local favorite Chase Outlaw, all bucked off.
“This is what we all live for,” Kolbaba said. “Riding bulls like that, that nobody else really wants. It is a dream come true riding at this level with these great riders.”
Kolbaba is the fourth rider in 24 outs to make 8 seconds on Cochise. Gene Owen and Jane Clark’s bovine athlete had bucked off 17 riders in a row on the BFTS.
The Walla Walla, Washington, bull rider entered the championship round in 12th place after riding Taboo for 84.5 points in Round 2.
He had previously been mired in a 1-for-15 slump prior to this weekend since riding Bruiser for a career-high 92 points to win in Oklahoma City in January.
“Man, it is not easy to just say, ‘Hell, I bucked off 10 bulls. It is time to pull it together,’” Kolbaba said. “It is just part of the sport. Everybody says it is 99 percent and it is the truth.”
Kolbaba joins world leader Eduardo Aparecido (3) and Jess Lockwood (2) as the only riders with multiple victories this season.
Vieira, Outlaw (1.77 seconds on Cut the Cord) and Silvano Alves (3.11 seconds on Jack Shot) all were a perfect 2-for-2 before bucking off in the championship round.
Vieira had won Round 2 with an 87-point ride on Legacy and finished in second-place with 370 world points. He moves to 12th in the world standings after beginning the event 21st in the world standings.
Outlaw picked up 280 world points for third-place and is No. 5 in the world standings, while Alves finished fourth with 138.3 world points.
Lawrence picks up major points to avoid BFTS cutline
Stetson Lawrence came up .26 seconds short of potentially claiming his first BFTS victory on Saturday night, but he did enough inside Verizon Arena to solidify himself another chance at earning a BFTS win in the coming weeks.
Lawrence rode Pick-It Construction's Find Jesus for 86.5 points in Round 2 to propel himself to a season-best fifth-place finish and 125 world points.
It was a good showing from Lawrence as he moved to finish the ride a night after getting caught sitting on his pockets attempting to ride Dirt Man Do.
“I just had to get one that fit my style a little bit,” Lawrence said. “I had to get my confidence back and get one rode.”
The 28-year-old nearly won the event before bucking off BC Circular Insanity at the 7.74-second mark in the championship round.
Regardless, he leaves Arkansas ranked 24th in the world standings after beginning the weekend 33rd.
“You just have to stay focused and do your job,” Lawrence said. “I definitely pay attention to it a lot. I have to pick my game up a lot. I don’t let it bother me when I get here and I do my thing. Where I am in the standings shouldn’t change how I ride.”
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Vieira bounces back from shoulder injury (3-10-17)
NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Here are three things we learned from the Bad Boy Mowdown Friday night at Verizon Arena.
At 32 years old, Joao Ricardo Vieira is trying to battle Father Time and become only the fourth rider to win a world title at 30 years or older.
Therefore, the last thing he has needed this year is the multiple injuries that have plagued him.
Vieira returned to competition Friday with an 85.5-point ride on Wired Crazy after skipping the Jacksonville Invitational because of a separated left shoulder he originally sustained at Iron Cowboy.
“My mind was not good for last week,” Vieira said. “If your mind is not good, you will get hurt. You can’t ride better if you are not confident in your body. Today, I was ready to come back into the game.”
Wired Crazy had previously bucked off Vieira three times.
“He is a hard bull,” Vieira said. “Three times he bucked me off, but today I said I am going to ride him better.”
Vieira had bucked off four bulls in a row since getting injured and has been rehabbing at Fit-N-Wise Rehabilitation and Performance Center in Decatur, Texas.
“For two weeks, I have been doing physical therapy,” Vieira said. “I got on four practice bulls this week.”
Vieira injured his shoulder during his dismount at Iron Cowboy following his 87.25-point ride on Lost Soul.
“He stepped on me and I fell onto the arena hard,” Vieira said. “I was feeling pain near my clavicle, but it is good now.”
Vieira earned 30 points toward the world standings after finishing the round in fifth place.
He is ranked 21st in the world standings heading into Saturday night’s Round 2.
Vieira takes on Legacy (12-4, BFTS). Legacy bucked off Vieira last year in Billings, Montana, in 3.8 seconds.
The Itatinga, Brazil, bull rider is hoping he can finally move past his injuries in the near future.
“In New York, I got injured (sprained riding elbow) on the second bull and for three weeks I was sore,” Vieira said. “Then at Iron Cowboy I got hurt. I hope I get hurt no more. I am about 80 percent. I need to do more physical therapy and get strong.”
Outlaw wins Round 1 in home state
Chase Outlaw spent Friday morning accompanying North Little Rock police officer Tommy Norman visiting members of the local community that live on Norman’s beat.
Friday was Norman’s day off, but Norman makes it a habit of giving back to his community with donations of food, water and clothing whenever possible.
“That was a humbling experience,” Outlaw said. “It dang near brought a tear to my eye when we visited one of the houses we went too. There was a girl that had cancer and it was just sad. The mom even asked (Norman) if he was still planning on being a pallbearer.
“That was really rough sitting there in the house, knowing she probably won’t make it until May. It was really eye opening. You don’t realize how good you have it until you see that stuff.”
Outlaw grew up two hours south of North Little Rock in Hamburg, Arkansas.
This weekend is the first time Outlaw has ever competed at a Built Ford Tough Series event in his home state, and he brought Verizon Arena to its feet with a Round 1 winning 87.5 points on Lebanon Levi.
“Man, it is always good being able to tap off on one, and I got a great one tomorrow,” Outlaw said.
Outlaw takes on Pepper (0-0, BFTS) in Round 2.
Fabiano Vieira finished in second with 86.25 points on Call the Law for 60 world points. 2016 World Champion Cooper Davis (86 points on Sketchy Bob) and Dakota Buttar (86 points on One Boot) tied for third place and 45 world points.
Outlaw wasn’t thinking about any what-ifs when asked how great it would be to reward his home state fans with a victory on Saturday.
“It is going to be good,” Outlaw said before reiterating, “It is going to be good.”
Riders struggle in Round 1
There were only seven qualified rides in Round 1 with Outlaw and Davis being the only two riders in the Top 10 of the world standings reaching 8 seconds.
World leader Eduardo Aparecido was brought down by Floyd 345 in 2.85 seconds, while No. 3 Kaique Pacheco (6.81 seconds on No Regrets) was one of seven riders to buck off beyond 6 seconds.
Smooth Over was the winner of the ABBI Classic competition after bucking off Dener Barbosa in 2.6 seconds.
Floyd 345 finished runner-up to Smooth Over.
The riders will certainly have their hands full again on Saturday night, especially during the Built Ford Tough Championship Round.
2016 World Champion SweetPro’s Bruiser, Jared Allen’s Air Time, Stone Sober and Seven Dust are all scheduled to buck in the championship round.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
Wing won't go down without a fight; Little Rock draw notes (3-8-17)
PUEBLO, Colo. – Stormy Wing has no plans of giving up his Built Ford Tough Series draw spot any time soon, and he sure as hell won’t go down without a fight.
Wing heads into this weekend’s Bad Boy Mower’s Showdown sitting 32nd in the world standings following a season-best 2-for-3 showing at the Jacksonville Invitational.
The 27-year-old doesn’t pay much attention to the BFTS cutline, but he understands the importance of taking care business inside the arena this weekend to avoid being relegated to the Real Time Pain Relief Velocity Tour level.
“It is just you,” Wing said. “You are fighting it. Someone said the other day, ‘I am not living it. I don’t eat it and sleep it.’ I love (bull riding) more than anything. That is something no one can take away from me.”
Wing is 62.5 points ahead of No. 36 Sonny Schafferrius, who is competing as an alternate in Little Rock.
Schaferrius is still in search of his first career ride and is 0-for-8 on the BFTS. He takes on Church Bells (2-2, BFTS) in Round 1.
Wing knows it all starts and ends with him this weekend.
He has drawn Havoc (0-0, BFTS) for Round 1 on Friday night.
“I know I can do it,” Wing said. “I am one of the best in the world. It ain’t even about a World Championship any more. I just want to show up and do my best for that time being. They can’t take that away from me ever. I just love it.”
Fans can watch all of the action Friday night on PBR LIVE beginning at 8:30 p.m. ET.
Fellow BFTS regular Stetson Lawrence is also getting close to the cutline. Lawrence is 33rd in the world standings, only 45 points ahead of Schaferrius.
No. 81 Fraser Babbington is down to his final BFTS exemption and he is 106.36 points behind No. 35 Troy Wilkinson.
Babbington has a Round 1 meeting with Cajun Heat (0-0, BFTS).
No. 118 Paulo Lima (one exemption remaining) still remains outside the Top 35.
Meanwhile, Emilio Resende is returning to the Built Ford Tough Series after his third-place finish in Hampton, Virginia, bumped him to 34th in the world standings.
Resende has earned 110 points at the last two Velocity Tour events, including 80 points for his Worcester, Massachusetts, victory.
He will take on High Test (3-1, BFTS) in Round 1.
Joao Ricardo Vieira is set to return to competition after missing Jacksonville because of a shoulder separation.
Vieira has drawn Pill Pusher (3-0, BFTS) for Round 1.
Robson Palermo (left knee) and Wallace de Oliveira (ankle) are not competing in Arkansas after sustaining injuries last weekend.
Meanwhile, No. 2 Jess Lockwood (groin), No. 24 Gage Gay (clavicle injury), No. 29 Nevada Newman (shoulder surgery), No. 126 Tanner Byrne (groin/hamstring), Lachlan Richardson (bicep surgery) and Aaron Roy (leg) are also still out.
Lockwood said he is two weeks ahead of schedule with his rehab, and said it looks like he will be returning for his home state event in Billings, Montana, on April 7-9.
“I’m riding in Billings no matter what,” Lockwood said in a text message
Byrne said his recovery is going well and that he is leaning toward a return to action in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on March 17-19.
World leader Eduardo Aparecido will look to win his fourth event in five weeks and gets things started against Floyd 345 (1-0, BFTS).
No. 47 Jay Miller is this week's Velocity Tour invite and has drawn Bushwacked (1-0, BFTS). Miller is in the draw because of his victory in Dayton, Ohio.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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