In the stretch run of one of the most interesting and intriguing seasons in recent memory. Professional Bull Riders (PBR) Unleash The Beast the sports premier series, is returning to action on Friday October, 4th and Saturday, October, 5th.
Fans attending Friday night will also be able to watch the tenth and final 15/15 Bucking Battle of the 2019 season.
This special event, which is televised in an intense one-hour package on CBS Sports has valuable bonus points –150 world points – to the athlete who wins the bucking battle. These points are critical in the championship race; they can help a rider gain on the leader, improve their standing or widen their lead in the case of the World No. 1 Jose Vitor Leme.
The 15/15 Bucking Battle places the world’s top 15 bull riders against the top 15 bulls at the event. At the last 15/15 Bucking Battle in Springfield, MO. PBR set another milestone; with an average of 2 million viewers. PBR on CBS was the #2 sports property to air on English speaking broadcast and & cable television in the Sunday, September 15 afternoon window (12-7 pm) trailing only the NFL.
The TV numbers this time around may be as big since there are some few matchups that stick out in the 15/15 draw.
Cooper Davis and Black Cat have a history together that’s worth watching. In 2016, Cooper won the San Jose 15/15 Bucking Battle with Black Cat. The two have met two times since then with Cooper bucking off both times. The edge may go to Black Cat based on their history, but Cooper might also be coming looking to gain another ride and 15/15 victory from this pairing.
Derek Kolbaba has Biker Bob, the bull he rode to win round 3 of the 2018 World Finals. Kolbaba tied for the round three win at 2018 World Finals when he covered Biker Bob for 91 points. The duo has squared off once prior with Biker Bob besting Kolbaba 7.29 seconds during the 2017 World Finals. Kolbaba attempted the Chad Berger bull this may in Green Bay, bucked off at 2.73 seconds. This matchup will be interesting to see if Derek can cover him again or if it will be a repeat of the Green Bay matchup.
At the most recent 15/15 Bucking Battle Jess Lockwood won his league-best third (Albuquerque, Tulsa (tied)) special round title with a 91.25-point ride on Hostage. It was the second consecutive 15/15 Bucking Battle the rider won aboard Hostage.
The previous 15/15 Bucking Battle in Houston went to Chase Outlaw with an 89.75 point ride aboard his bull.
Thus far in 20 19, Jess Lockwood has won a league-best 557.5 points and $28,166.55 during 15/15 Bucking Battles. He is followed closely by Jose Vitor Leme who has won two titles (New York City, Columbus) to claim 525 world points and $35,000.00 from the bonus rounds. Jose is coming to this battle looking to widen his lead with 150 bonus points as he bucked off his bull in the championship round in Portland, ME and was unable to widen his lead after that event.
Out of the top four in the world – Jose Leme, Lockwood, Outlaw and Joao Ricardo Viera – Viera is the only rider yet to win a 15/15 Bucking Battle. He has won four in his career, last in Tulsa 2016. He may be coming to Minneapolis looking to win the bonus round as the other three have previously done this season.
Five rookie of the year contenders are also slated to compete in the 15/15 Bucking Battle; Rookie of the Year leader Ezekiel Mitchell, Dalton Kasel, Lucas Divino, Daylon Swearingen, Alisson De Souza. While Swearingen and De Souza both have a 15/15 Bucking Battle win to their resume (Tulsa and Glendale respectively) Mitchell, Kasel and Divino all remain on the hunt for their 8-second effort in the special round.
This special bonus round will be great to watch unfold and see just who captures the title, points, and money available in the special round. The points could allow Jose to widen his lead or someone trailing him to gain ground, and as it is crunch time, the riders will be looking to gain as many points as they can heading into World Finals inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
One thing is for sure: this will be an exciting bonus round, and one that should not be missed by fans when it airs on CBS Sunday, October 6th.
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