PUEBLO, Colo. – J.B. Mauney and Kaique Pacheco have been two of the hottest riders on the Built Ford Tough Series since August and the two world title contenders have rematches waiting for them in the final 15/15 Bucking Battle of the season.
Mauney leads No. 2 Joao Ricardo Vieira by 560 points in the world standings and is set to square off against Modified Clyde.
The last time Mauney and Modified Clyde met, it was in Mauney’s first competition since tearing his left ACL and Modified Clyde bounced him off his back in 3.24 seconds.
The buckoff didn’t cost Mauney the victory in his return, but it left a sour taste in his mouth after selecting the bull with the first pick of the championship round draft.
“That little bull, he bucks,” Mauney said in Des Moines. “I felt like I was in a good position when I left there, but boy when he turned back he just whipped everything. He got my chin and I was a little late around the corner. I didn’t turn loose and he slammed me on top of my head, but that is what I deserve for not riding like I was supposed to.”
PBR Director of Livestock Cody Lambert said on this week’s CBS Sports production call that Mauney has a good chance against Modified Clyde this weekend.
The 15/15 Bucking Battle airs on CBS network television Saturday at 2 p.m. ET.
“I think Mauney has the advantage,” he said. “I think he will really fit him. It is not a done deal, but he has a good chance.”
Meanwhile, Pacheco also has a rematch from Des Moines against Boot Jack.
Boot Jack was marked 45.25 points in Des Moines by bucking off Pacheco in 2.1 seconds. It was the second-quickest BFTS buckoff in Pacheco’s career.
J.W. Harris, ranked sixth in the world, has the strongest rematch on paper in the 15/15 Bucking Battle when he takes on Who Dey, who he rode for 90.5 points during THE AMERICAN.
World No. 4 Matt Triplett is also competing in Allentown after missing the final night of competition in Charlotte because of a concussion.
He has drawn Shaft, who was a late replacement for Fire & Smoke.
Shaft (19-1, BFTS) has bucked off Triplett twice in his career.
Other rematches in the 15/15 Bucking Battle include:
Cody Nance vs. Little Red Jacket (2.64 seconds in Nashville, Tennessee, in 2015)
Tanner Byrne vs. American Sniper (87.25 points in Billings, Montana, in 2015)
Valdiron de Oliveira vs. Pound The Alarm (5.11 seconds in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in 2015; 4.05 seconds in Laughlin, Nevada, in 2014)
Triplett is actually the one World Champion contender who also has a rematch in Round 1 of the Allentown Invitational.
He will take on Legal Tender (8-4, BFTS), who he rode for 86.75 points in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Mauney will be the first ride out in Round 1 and faces Tattoo (0-0, BFTS).
Joao Ricardo Vieira faces Little Gremlin (4-4, BFTS), and Pacheco has drawn Springer Mountain (1-1, BFTS).
The race to qualify for the World Finals remains tight at the bottom of the standings with No. 34 Michael Lane and No. 39 Tyler Harr separated by 80.83 points.
Harr was the last rider in the draw this week, while Douglas Duncan used his 6-for-6 performance on the BlueDEF Velocity Tour in the last week, including a 2-for-2 win in Cleveland, Ohio, to jump from 40th to 35th in the standings.
Duncan will face Gonzo (1-1, BFTS).
Luis Blanco placed third in Cleveland and earned enough points to move from 41st to 38th and earn one of the last two spots in the draw this weekend.
Derek Kobalba won the Pendleton, Oregon, BlueDEF event and he is in Allentown with an exemption, while Cody Tyler White is competing with his Wichita, Kansas, BlueDEF exemption from earlier this season.
Kobalba takes on Rojo (0-0, BFTS), and White will see Fire Bender (6-3, BFTS).
Ben Jones is out for Allentown because of a concussion, while Guilherme Marchi (biceps/knee) continues to rehab in Brazil.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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