PUEBLO, Colo. – Guilherme Marchi was already looking forward to his Monday training regimen before he even walked out of the arena on Sunday afternoon following his victory at the DeWALT Guaranteed Tough Invitational in Nampa, Idaho.
“I am trying to be a champion again this year,” Marchi said. “I want to do it so bad. I win this event and I am so proud of everything. I am going to go back to the gym and be ready for next week.
“I want to thank my family,” he then added. “They stay with me all the time and they push me all the time every day to train and do my stuff.”
Family is key for Marchi.
When he won his only world title in 2008, Marchi’s daughter Manuela was only 4 years old, while his son J.G. (Joao Gabriel) had not been born yet.
It is partially why Guilherme is so driven to win a second world title. He wants to lift the PBR championship trophy high into the air at the Thomas & Mack Center with his daughter, son and wife, Patricia, by his side.
That first world title was one of personal accomplishment for Marchi. He had aspired to be a World Champion ever since he began riding bulls as a 15-year-old in Brazil.
Once he began competing on American soil in 2004, it took him just four years after he made his debut in Oklahoma City to finally accomplish his dream of becoming a World Champion.
Marchi’s family has been a driving factor throughout his career and his motivation to succeed has seemingly never faltered during his 12-year career.
“I am trying to be a good daddy for my kids and the best husband for my wife,” Marchi said. “They are keeping me strong in the competition to ride those bulls at my best.”
Marchi has finished within the Top 10 of the world standings in 10 consecutive years and in eight of those years he was inside the Top 5.
He has finished runner-up to the PBR World Champion on four occasions (2005-07, 2012).
Marchi is the all-time leader in qualified rides (544) and he ranks second all-time in 90-point rides (51) since 1998.
He earned three of those rides on his way to the victory in Nampa. He rode Gnarly Head for 84.5 points in Round 1, Buffalo Jump for 70 points in Round 2 and then converted his winning-ride on King Buck for 89.25 points.
Marchi has 22 career wins, which puts him in a tie with J.B. Mauney for second all-time behind two-time World Champion Justin McBride’s 32 BFTS victories.
That kind of consistency and talent puts Marchi surely among the sport’s greats and he will certainly have a spot waiting for him in the PBR Ring of Honor when his riding days are over.
Nine-time World Champion and CBS Sports Network commentator Ty Murray said you must mention Marchi’s name when talking about the legends of the sport.
“He has got to go in the conversation somewhere,” Murray said. “He is a veteran and he knows how to win. What I think is cool about Guilherme and about other guys I see in other sports – like a Jerry Rice – is they can stay so motivated and so passionate and so driven when they have been in the sport a long time. That is something I feel he does. He is still just as excited to be here and the opportunity that is before him.”
Three-time World Champion and good friend Silvano Alves congratulated Marchi behind the chutes once Mason Lowe bucked off Little Red Jacket on the final ride in Nampa.
“It is very fun to see Guilherme win,” Alves said. “He is a cowboy and I like watching Guilherme ride. He is one of the best ever in the PBR.”
Marchi has been partaking in weekly hot and cold tub sessions to help his body recover from the rigors of the toughest sport on dirt. Earlier this year, the 32-year-old took gymnastics classes to get in better shape and increase his flexibility. He also has plans to train at Michael Johnson Performance in McKinney, Texas.
“Things get hard when you get old,” Marchi said. “You have to dedicate more and open your eyes and try hard. You have to try and win every event.”
His dedication to his physical conditioning has resulted in him moving up to the No. 5 position in the world standings following his Nampa victory. Marchi earned a total of 590 points in Nampa, when you include the 90 points he earned for finishing in second place in the 15/15 Bucking Battle with an 89-point ride on Calypso.
He won the Monster Energy Buck Off at the Garden in January and has gone 24-for-46 (52.17 percent) in 14 BFTS events. Marchi has earned points toward the world standings in 10 of the 14 events and has placed in 11 rounds (including 15/15s).
Despite turning 33 in July, he says he is rejuvenated this season following his 1-for-5 performance at the 2014 World Finals saw him lose out on another chance at his second World Championship.
Marchi, who has ridden five bulls in a row, added that he feels even better than when he was the No. 1 bull in the world for 11 weeks during the first half of last season.
In fact, he took it one step further in describing his condition heading into this weekend’s Stanley Performance In Action Invitational in Billings, Montana.
“I feel like I am 25 or 26 years old,” Marchi said. “You can tell by how I am riding bulls. My focus and strength is back.”
And how old was Marchi when he won he won his only World Championship in 2008?
26 years old.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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