Bullfighters Only’s top stars to battle for titles in Dodge City, Sidney
Zach Call and Cody Greer understand they are behind the eight ball when it comes to the race for the Bullfighters Only world championship.
“I have a lot of ground to make up,” said Call of Mullen, Neb., the ninth-ranked bullfighter in the Pendleton Whisky World Standings.
Both bullfighters will get twice the opportunities this week in Dodge City, Kan., and Sidney, Iowa. Call and Greer will be part of a five-man battle Tuesday during Dodge City Roundup Rodeo’s Xtreme Bulls Tour/Bullfighters Only competition.
“I used to go to college there, so it’s like a homecoming,” said Call, who attended Dodge City Community College from 2012-13. “I’m excited to go back, and it should be a really good bullfight.”
He and Greer will be joined by reigning world champion Weston Rutkowski, Beau Schueth and Schell Apple. Greer – who is just returning from six weeks off due to an injury sustained in early June – will then make the 400-mile drive to Sidney in Iowa’s southwest corner to compete Wednesday.
The competition there will feature four three-man bouts set for Tuesday-Friday. The winners of each night will advance to Saturday’s championship round. Call is scheduled to compete Thursday and hopes to return for the final performance. Call would love to make it three big bullfights in a five-day span by earning a trip to Sidney’s short round.
“A lot of it depends on how the first bullfight goes,” Call said. “If you win your round, most of the time it’s pretty smooth.”
Things haven’t gone so smoothly for the Nebraska man as of late. He’d like to change that around this week.
“Right now, I’m not really happy with how the last two events have gone,” said Call, who finished third last weekend at the BFO stop in Burlington, Colo. “I like winning.”
There’s nothing better than having multiple opportunities to clean up a few things in one man’s game. Take his last bout in eastern Colorado; since then, he’s gone over the video multiple times and dissected every second of it.
“I look at my weak points and try to focus on them and make them strong points,” Call said. “You can look at what you did right and pat yourself on the back, but it’s the things that you did wrong that are keeping you from winning.”
There were very few hiccups in Rutkowski’s run to the world title in 2016, but he always points to his run in Dodge City last year as the struggle he hopes to avoid.
“That was the first time I’d ever taken last place at any bullfight I’d ever been in,” said Rutkowski, the No. 2 man in the Pendleton Whisky World Standings. “I got a piece of humble pie.
“It’s a great rodeo, and we will have great bulls coming from Brett Hall. It’s another one on the list that I want to cross off, and I want to prove to those people that I can fight one.”
It’s that kind of mentality that makes Bullfighters Only a big-time draw, whether it’s one night in southwest Kansas or five nights at Iowa’s Championship Rodeo.
DODGE CITY CONTESTANTS
Courtesy of twisTEDrodeo.com