World Title Race tightens; Oliveira makes history ~ Justin Felisko

World Title Race tightens; Oliveira makes history ~ Justin Felisko

Posted in [PBR], [Victoria] By Victoria Lynn
Here are three things we learned from Round 1 of the Built Ford Tough World Finals on Wednesday night at T-Mobile Arena.

World title race tightens; Oliveira makes history (11-3-16)

Two-time World Champion J.B. Mauney started things off with an 85.5-point ride on Valedictorian, but 22-year-olds, Cooper Davis and Kaique Pacheco wouldn’t let the savvy veteran off that easy.

Davis quieted the wild and raucous Mauney fans in attendance by one-upping Mauney’s ride with an 87.5-point ride on Show Kitty immediately after Mauney.

The ever-so-calm Pacheco then showed he too wouldn’t be fazed by the two title contenders breathing down his neck and he concluded Round 1 with an 84.25-point ride on Organized Crime.

In other words, are you having fun yet?

The three 2016 world title contenders concluded the first night of PBR action in T-Mobile history with a high-octane finish.

Davis was sitting on the doorstep of the world No. 1 ranking once the adrenaline subsided.

The Jasper, Texas, native finished second in the round for 180 world points, and he heads into Round 2 a mere 60.33 points behind Pacheco.

“At this point, it doesn’t matter,” Davis said. “As we have seen tonight, there is so many points available in each round that it could change three or four times before it is over with. I am not thinking about it.”

Davis admitted that of course he heard the crowd’s reaction to Mauney’s 42nd career ride at the PBR Finals in the minutes before he nodded his own head, but that it didn’t intimidate him.

In fact, it was the complete opposite.

“That fired me up,” Davis said. “My game never changes whether he stays on or doesn’t stay on, but he has been there and done that so I need to do what he is doing. It was good to see that. It fired me up to go do my job today. I was pumped up from the word go.”

Davis stressed earlier in the week how important it was for him to begin the 2016 World Finals with a qualified ride just like he did last year when he became the fourth rookie to ever win the World Finals.

“As far as getting the first one down and getting him rode, that was my main deal because it sets your tone for the whole week,” Davis said. “I learned that last year that if I can get a good start I will be confident the rest of the weekend pretty much. There is no better feeling than getting the first one rode, especially in a situation like this.

“You certainly don’t want to be the first one to fall off.”

Davis has drawn David’s Dream (50-4, BFTS) for Round 2. Last year, David’s Dream bucked off Davis in 3.88 seconds during the Built Ford Tough Championship Round in a meaningful, emotional moment for Davis.

Mauney agreed with Davis about the importance of starting hot at Finals.

“That starts your week off,” he said. “I have said it a million times. Bull riding is all about confidence. You get that first one under your belt, you let out a little sigh, and you keep getting after it.”

Mauney placed fourth in the round for 95 points.

He trails Pacheco by 600.33 points heading into his Round 2 meeting with Margy Time (18-1, BFTS).

“One down, five to go,” Mauney said. “(Valedictorian) was a bull you weren’t going to win the round on, I didn’t know him, but he was hard to ride. He swapped it up and went both ways with me. When he went back right, he quit kicking and tried scooting away from me.

“It was a lot of work for 85 points, but it was one down.”

Pacheco remained calm, confident and collected after his two toughest challengers made the 8-second mark.

The world leader’s 84.25-point ride placed him tied for eighth in the round with Ty Pozzobon (Glory Days) for 17.5 world points.

Pacheco wasn’t fazed by the brand-new arena, the higher stakes or seeing his two challengers put some added pressure on him.

“I wasn’t even thinking about them,” Pacheco said with the help of Paulo Crimber translating. “I closed my eyes and just concentrated on my bull. I expected to do a good job, just like I do every weekend.”

Pacheco has a monster matchup against Pearl Harbor (16-2, BFTS) in Round 2.

Oliveira joins historic club

Valdiron de Oliveira may be 37 years old, but the 10-year PBR veteran continues to show he has what it takes to compete on the world’s largest stage of professional bull riding.

Oliveira joined an elite group of bull riders on Wednesday night by recording his 400th career ride on the Built Ford Tough Series.

The Brazilian bull rider rode Smooth Over for 84 points.

“Oh yeah, I am very happy,” he said. “400 bulls – it is not easy to stay on 400 bulls. Not many guys have 400 rides.”

Oliveira is the sixth rider in PBR history to reach the iconic number. He joins 2008 World Champion Guilherme Marchi (576), 2004 World Champion Mike Lee (506), two-time World Champion J.B. Mauney (475), two-time World Champion Chris Shivers (412) and PBR Ring of Honor member Ross Coleman (402) to reach 400 rides.

He has averaged 40 riders per season, finished inside the Top-5 of the world from 2008-2012 and has qualified for the World Finals every year since he debuted on the BFTS in Nashville on June 16, 2007 with an 82.25-point ride on Born to Boogie.

Oliveira is also the first rider to cover Smooth Over in six outs. 

“It is not an easy bull to ride,” Oliveira said. “He is a rank bull. Nobody stayed on him before. I said, ‘I want to ride this bull tonight.’”

The former perennial contender now turns his attention toward World Champion Bull contender Crossfire (29-2, BFTS) in Round 2 and a possible victory at the World Finals.

“Well, I am here to do my work,” Oliveira said. “I want to stay on my bulls. I have to stay focused.”

Outlaw continues hot streak in and out of the arena; Alves records first ride in T-Mobile history

Not only is Chase Outlaw continuing to light it up in the arena, but he is also tearing it up on the Blackjack table.

However, a $30,000 go-round win in Round 1 is always a lot better than $7,000 playing cards.

Outlaw won Round 1 with an 89.5-point ride on Air Marshall, which was his latest victory in the last two weeks.

“I am just being me and having fun,” Outlaw said. “Man, this is the way to start it off right. There sure as hell ain’t no better way to start it off.”

He is now ranked 14th in the world despite missing the entire first half of the season because of reconstructive shoulder surgery.

Outlaw made it a goal this week to erase his past bull riding demons in Las Vegas. He was previously 4-for-21 at the Finals.

“I am not here trying to prove nothing to nobody, just to myself,” Outlaw said. “That is all I am trying to do.”

Outlaw won the BlueDEF Tour Finals at the beginning of PBR Finals week, the 2016 BlueDEF Tour championship, the BFTS regular-season finale in Tucson, Arizona, two weeks ago, Round 1 on Wednesday and the $7,000 playing cards in Las Vegas the last two days.

If you add up all his winnings, that equates to over $123,000.

Outlaw will look add another $30,000 on Thursday night aboard Magic Train (27-4, BFTS).

“All I know is this feels really freaking good,” Outlaw concluded.

In true Silvano Alves’ fashion, the three-time World Champion picked up the first qualified ride in T-Mobile Arena history with a turned down re-ride option.

Alves’ 63-point ride on Wedding Crasher placed him 12th in the round.

“Oh yeah, I am very happy to get the first ride, but it is a low score,” Alves said before laughing. “I tried to ride good, but my bull didn’t buck good. I stayed on my bull. It is alright. I stayed on 8 seconds. I rode in good position. He was not difficult.”

Alves has drawn Red Rover (11-0, BFTS) for Round 2.

“We have four more days,” he concluded. “Today was a test and tomorrow there are rank bulls. I am very happy to ride my bulls.”

INJURY UPDATES

According to Dr. Tandy Freeman, Aaron Roy sustained a fractured right femur when he was stepped on while hung up to Locked and Loaded (6.58 seconds). Roy was transported to the University Medical Center’s Trauma Center and was expected to require surgery.

Roy has been replaced in the Round 2 draw by Jorge Valdiviezo.

Stormy Wing broke his nose when he was struck by Uncle Fester’s head in Round 1 during his 4.37-second buckoff. Wing is probable for Round 2.

© 2016 PBR Inc. All rights reserved. Used by Permission of The PBR.
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