By: Justin Felisko
January 14, 2016
DENVER – 2008 World Champion Guilherme Marchi is doing an about-face
Marchi had confirmed with the PBR competition department earlier this week that he would be returning to competition this week for the Monster Energy Buck Off at the Garden, but has since informed the PBR on Thursday that he will not be competing in New York.
Marchi had attempted a practice bull this week to no success and felt pain in his knees.
Marchi previously announced in October that he was going to undergo surgery on his knees after multiple knee injuries derailed his 2015 season and would likely sit out the 2016 season.
The 13-year BFTS veteran tore his right MCL attempting to ride Oscar P during the third round of the 2015 Built Ford Tough World Finals, close to two months after tearing his left PCL/MCL in Thackerville, Oklahoma, trying to make 8 seconds aboard Cut the Cord.
Marchi never underwent surgery, and his first attempt at a comeback this year appears to have taken a backstep.
2004 World Champion Mike Lee will replace Marchi, who had replaced Matt Triplett (elbow surgery) in the 15/15 Bucking Battle.
The first 15/15 Bucking Battle of the year is based on last year’s final world standings. Lee concluded last season 18th in the world.
Lee will face Walk Off (41-6, BFTS).
Here are the other 14 matchups:
Reese Cates vs. Seven Dust (2-0, BFTS)
Cody Nance vs. Stanley FatMax (62-4, BFTS)*
Gage Gay vs. Bootdaddy.com (15-7, BFTS)*
Valdiron de Oliveira vs. Fire Rock (25-12, BFTS)*
Silvano Alves vs. Cochise (2-2, BFTS)
Eduardo Aparecido vs. I’m a Gangster Too (43-12, BFTS)*
Nathan Schaper vs. Slinger Jr. (13-1, BFTS)*
Stetson Lawrence vs Sheep Creek (2-0, BFTS)
Tanner Byrne vs. Heat Seeker (3-1, BFTS)
J.W. Harris vs. Like a Boss (0-1, BFTS)
Fabiano Vieira vs. Midnight Train (1-0, BFTS)
Joao Ricardo Vieira vs. Loose Change (2-0, BFTS)
Kaique Pacheco vs. Little Red Jacket (13-7, BFTS)*
J.B. Mauney vs. Shaft (21-2, BFTS)
Marchi will be replaced in the regular rounds by Tyler Harr.
Cates earned a bid for the 15/15 Bucking Battle seeing as Cooper Davis has yet to be cleared to return to bull riding after undergoing surgery on his right hand/wrist.
Davis said he has been cleared to return for the BFTS event in Oklahoma City next week.
Pacheco is the only rider of the seven with rematches that previously covered his bull. The 21-year-old rode Little Red Jacket for 89.5 points in St. Louis last year for his first BFTS win.
There will be an additional seven riders, not includiong Harr, competing in New York that did not finish inside the Top 35 last season.
World leader Wallace de Oliveira, Lachlan Richardson, Justin Paton,Cody Heffernan and Michael Lane are this week’s alternates, while Emilio Resende and Markus Mariluch are competing because of injury exemptions.
They are replacing the following riders in the draw: No. 5 Triplett (elbow surgery), No. 6 Davis (hand/wrist surgery), No. 24 Renato Nunes (retirement), No. 28 Bonner Bolton (neck) No. 30 Chase Outlaw (shoulder surgery), No. 33 L.J. Jenkins (retirement), No. 34 Alexandre Cardozo (neck).
Oliveira has a Round 1 matchup against Tex-lo, who is making his BFTS debut.
Paulo Lima is set to make his 2016 BFTS debut as he is competing with a BlueDEF Tour event win exemption.
Lima won the L.J. Jenkins Invitational in Clovis, New Mexico, in October and is currently fourth in the world standings.
The 28-year-old has drawn Playgun (3-0, BFTS) for Round 1.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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