By: Justin Felisko
May 11, 2017
PUEBLO, Colo. – Emilio Resende says he knows world leader Eduardo Aparecido is attempting to cook when he smells the spicy aromas of beef and chicken fajitas filling up their home in Decatur, Texas.
The two roommates for the past three years have become extremely close friends since first moving in together in 2014.
However, there was a time when the two had to be apart in the U.S. for an extended period time.
Resende was home in Brazil in 2015 rehabbing his right knee following multi-ligament reconstructive surgery after the 2014 Built Ford Tough World Finals. Therefore, Aparecido returned for the start of the 2015 season without a roommate, his best friend and, possibly most important, personal chef.
“I cook every day,” Resende said, grinning. “He is not so good at cooking. He likes to be the cleaner. I had surgery on my knee and I was out 8 months. He came back in 2015 by himself and he just bought steak fajitas and rice. He didn’t make beans. No salsa. Nothing.
“That was a little bit funny,” Resende added with a hearty, laugh.
Resende may want to start charging his pal a hefty restaurant fee if Aparecido, who used to live with Joao Ricardo Vieira during his rookie season, goes on to win the $1 million 2017 World Championship.
Aparecido and Resende grew up only an hour and half apart in Goias, Brazil, but the two Built Ford Tough Series bull riders rarely crossed paths in their native land because of their four-year difference in age.
Resende first saw Aparecido compete at a local bull riding in their home state back in 2007.
Aparecido was only 18 years old and was just beginning his professional career. He was still five years away from competing in Las Vegas for the first time at the 2012 Built Ford Tough World Finals, and 10 from being a PBR superstar in the United States.
However, just like the bull rider that will arrive on The Strip for this weekend’s Last Cowboy Standing atop the world standings, Aparecido was steely cool and had the fierce focus of a lion inside that outdoor bucking chute.
The big, Brazilian bovine athlete tried rocking the young Aparecido forward to no avail. Aparecido then calmly readjusted himself, fixed his mouth guard and pulled his hat down over his furrowed brow like he does weekly on the BFTS these days.
“He focused and focused,” Resende recalled. “He rode him jump for jump. Hips strong and in time with the bull. He was in perfect position. After this rodeo over there, I saw he ride the same like he does right now.”
Aparecido has been a consistent Top-10 bull rider since joining the BFTS full time in 2013. The 26-year-old has finished inside the Top 10 of the world standings in three of his first four seasons, but he has never finished higher than seventh overall.
The fifth-year professional sure appears ready to surpass that this season, and, quite possibly, make a run at his first World Championship.
Aparecido leads the PBR with a 51.06-percent riding average (24-for-47) and three event victories. His 24 qualified rides is one behind PBR-leader Kaique Pacheco.
Pacheco – the defending Last Cowboy Standing event champion – is hot on Aparecido’s heels and is 885 points behind Aparecido in the standings.
Resende said it isn’t that Aparecido has done anything significantly different with his bull riding ability. Rather, it is more so making the minor adjustments to prepare for the speed of the American game.
“I saw him in the Top 5 all the time, but he just needed to ride the faster, spinners,” Resende said. “Sometimes, he would buck off those spinners. The good (big) bulls, he rides perfect. He hasn’t changed a lot. He has a lot of dedication.”
Resende watches Aparecido every morning wake up around 10 or 11 and head to the gym. He is there when Aparecido comes home dripping in sweat following an intense cardio workout – Aparecido shys away from heavy lifting – and is there on horseback with Aparecido competing in local jackpot ropings in Decatur to help the world leader clear his mind from bull riding.
He watches Aparecido intently read his Bible on a daily basis, and he was there as Aparecido’s happiness reached new levels last year once Aparecido’s wife, Kelly, moved in with the two bull riders.
Resende has become a bull riding confidant for Aparecido. He has been the secret coach behind-the-scenes as Aparecido took over the world lead by winning Iron Cowboy in February.
The 2012 Rookie of the Year understands there will be stiff competition for Aparecido at Last Cowboy Standing, as well as in the final 10 regular season events before the 2017 Built Ford Tough World Finals at T-Mobile Arena.
Still, he believes Aparecido isn’t going to fade into the distance as the season progresses.
The heat of the bull riding kitchen will not be too hot for the otherwise mediocre cook.
“I am sure he will have a good year,” Resende concluded. “I am not 100 percent sure if he is a World Champ because we have a lot of good bull riders here, but I do think he will be the World Champion this year.
“His dedication and his mentality, he is ready. This year is his time.”
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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