Last year was the closest PBR (Professional Bull Riders) World Title race in the 26-year history of the organization.
At the center of that hotly-contested race were two talented bull riders with vastly different stories and backgrounds.
Jose Vitor Leme can make the hardest bulls look easy and post high-scoring rides with ease. Leme, a Brazilian soccer standout, has only been riding for five years after taking up the sport in place of soccer, and in that time has quickly made it to the premier series of bull riding.
The second PBR star involved in last year’s epic world race is Jess Lockwood, a Montana state wrestling champion who grew up around rodeo and dreamed of one day becoming a World Champion bull rider.
These two traded punches and counter-punches throughout the season and at the PBR 2019 World Finals inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Like other great sports rivalries such as the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears or Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali, this rivalry continues into this year as the two continue to push one another to make the 8-second whistle.
The first punch thrown by Leme started last night when he was paired up with Anthrax (9-5). As usual, Jose was laser-focused in wrapping his hand and nodding. Then the two came out of the chute together and made poetry-in-motion until the 8-seconds whistle blew and Jose post a round winning 88-point ride.
The round winning ride can be viewed below:
Lockwood, the youngest two-time World Champion in PBR history was cool and calm in the chute in preparing to throw his counter-punch. Jess was paired up with Cold Water Willy (5-1) for this round. As he made his final preparations, he pulled on his collar, found his seat on the back of Cold Water Willy, and nodded to make the 8-second whistle handily posting 87.75 point ride good enough for second place in the round.
The ride can be viewed below:
It will be interesting to see how the rest of the three day Sacramento event unfolds if these two standout athletes continue to feed off one another.
Fans can catch Round Two of the Wrangler Long Live Cowboys Classic in Sacramento, CA exclusively on RidePass. The PBR subscription-based digital network has all the action from the Golden 1 Center starting at 9:45 PM ET tonight.