As 36 of the world’s best bull riders and best bulls come into the Greensboro Coliseum for round two of the Professional Bull Riders (PBR) elite series Unleash The Beast Wrangler Long Live Cowboys Classic. There is a chance for several riders to still make the championship round, given round one there were only 10 rides and there are 15 spots in the championship round. Here are the key matchups for round two.
World Champion Race
Cooper Davis world No. 5 ranked bull rider, who was granted a reride in round one on Cool Customer (17-3) as he did not nod for the gate to be opened. For round two Cooper has drawn Calico Kickin (9-4) and based on the record of this bull, Calico Kickin can be ridden, not an easy task but Cooper is a rank rider and has the momentum of winning round one, with an 88-point ride on Newsom (8-4) on his side for this matchup.
Chase Outlaw world No.3 ranked bull rider has drawn Wild Goose (25-6) for round two of the Wrangler Long Live Cowboys Classic. Outlaw came down close to the 8-second whistle in round one Fearless (19-4). The buck off may give the fan-favorite more determination to ride in round two and has a chance with Wild Goose for the round win and a solid pick in the championship round. Wild Goose is a rank bull and makes a terrible dance partner for 8 seconds, but Outlaw may be looking to make a statement in round two and ensuring people know he is still in the title race.
Jess Lockwood world-ranked No.2 bull rider was able to notch a ride on Red Solo Cup worth 87-points, second place in the round gaining 60 world points. Lockwood the high school wrestling phenom is paired with Honky Tonk Flame (1-0) for round two. Given the momentum of a ride in the first round and a three-ride streak Lockwood, this matchup should give Jess a second score and a solid pick in the championship round.
Joao Ricardo Viera world ranked No.4 bull rider is paired with Buffalo Scott (3-2) for this round, Joao was bucked off as the bull went away from his hand last night – which Joao has improved his ability to ride bulls going that way this year greatly – and bucked him off. Joao has what appears to be a rider-friendly bull and the likable Brazilian may just surprise everyone in the arena with a ride on Buffalo Scott.
Jose Vitor Leme world-ranked No.1 bull rider comes into round two looking to break a buck off streak that he is currently in after bucking off in round one. For round two Jose is paired with ZZ Top (3-3). Appears to be a rider-friendly bull which might fit former soccer player perfectly. Jose is seeking to limit the amount the world title race contenders – Jess Lockwood, Chase Outlaw, Joao Ricardo Viera – can chip away at his lead today. This pairing might just give him the chance to do that and find is way to the championship round.
Rookie of the Year Race
The current Rookie of the Year leader Dalton Kasel world-ranked No.10 bull rider came down before the 8-second whistle on Undertaker (2.1), leaving the door open for Rookie of the Year contenders to chip away at his lead.
Alan De Souza who earned 5 world points from round one with an 83-point ride placing 7th in round one on Rusted Metal (4-2) is looking to dance to the 8-second whistle with Pan Am (3-2) and continue his hot streak into the championship round today.
Ezekiel Mitchell who gained 30 world points with a 5th place finish in round one after pairing up with Whiskey River (2-4) is looking to get on a hot streak again today with his pairing up with Lefty (19-3) a rank bull that does not give up many rides. It appears Ezekiel has his work cut out for him this round and tough task to make the 8-second whistle in round two today.
Mason Taylor a Rookie of the Year contender who did not gain any world points in round one but a confidence boost after riding Life As A Gangster (9/5) for 81-points in round one, is paired up with Dang It (2-4) a rather rider-friendly bull from looking at the record for Dang It. This should be a great confidence booster for Taylor and give him a great pick in the championship round.
If fans are unable to make it to the Greensboro Coliseum to watch the action unfold inside the Greensboro Coliseum. PBR will broadcast the action in a listen LIVE format on RidePass. The subscription-based digital network with action starting at 1:45 P.M. EST.
Also, CBS Sports Network will be broadcasting coverage of round two and the championship round starting at 6:00 P.M. EST.
As the round was electric and action-packed, round two and the championship round will be must-see for fans interested in seeing how the championship race is effected by this event and what effects this event will have on the Rookie of the Year race.