By: Justin Felisko
February 08, 2017
PUEBLO, Colo. – The top three riders in the world standings are set to face off against the three bulls that tied for the 2016 World Champion Bull title during Saturday night’s 15/15 Bucking Battle in Kansas City, Missouri.
Top three riders to square off against Top 3 bulls; Kansas City draw notes (2-8-17)
World leader Jess Lockwood will square off against 2015 World Champion Bull SweetPro’s Long John (31-7, BFTS), while No. 3 Marco Eguchi has a date with 2016 World Champion SweetPro’s Bruiser (27-6, BFTS) at the Kansas City Invitational, presented by Express Employment Professionals.
Meanwhile, No. 2 Rubens Barbosa has a rematch against Pearl Harbor (21-2, BFTS).
Pearl Harbor demolished Barbosa in 3.65 seconds during his season debut in Oklahoma City.
A slew of dust flew into the air during the matchup as Pearl Harbor took four large leaps and turned back to the right.
“Too hard,” Barbosa said in Oklahoma City. “He is a World Champion Bull. I couldn’t see because of all the dust in my eyes. I don’t see what even happened.”
The 46.25-point bull score was the best of Pearl Harbor’s career until earning a 46.5-point bull score last weekend in Anaheim, California, for disposing of two-time World Champion J.B. Mauney in 2.79 seconds.
Pearl Harbor is averaging 46 points per out in three showings this season.
Defending World Champion Bull SweetPro’s Bruiser is averaging 45.58 points per out, but he is coming off a season-high 46-point out last weekend. Bruiser bucked off Luis Blanco in 6.63 seconds.
Eguchi and Bruiser have never faced each other.
Lockwood and Long John have also never squared off, but the 19-year-old said he was excited for the opportunity to challenge the 2015 World Champion.
“He’s like a drop barrel that turns back, so get that front and he’ll ride good,” Lockwood said.
Long John is bucking at his second event after dismantling Mason Lowe in 1.84 seconds in Oklahoma City.
15/15 Bucking Battle Matchups
J.B. Mauney vs. Wired Child (17-3, BFTS)
Matt Triplett vs. Stone Sober (41-3, BFTS)
Ryan Dirteater vs. Deep Water (12-1, BFTS)
Mason Lowe vs. Cochise (18-3, BFTS)
Cooper Davis vs. Hey Jack (11-0, BFTS)
Dener Barbosa vs. Seven Dust (20-1, BFTS)
Mike Lee vs. Smooth Operator (33-2, BFTS)
Shane Proctor vs. Honey Hush (21-2, BFTS)
Chase Outlaw vs. Brutus (13-7, BFTS)
Eduardo Apaecido vs. Jack Shot (13-1, BFTS)
Kaique Pacheco vs. Moto Moto (12-3, BFTS)
Derek Kolbaba vs. Mystical (6-0, BFTS)
Marco Eguchi vs. SweetPro’s Bruiser (27-6, BFTS)
Rubens Barbosa vs. Pearl Harbor (21-2, BFTS)
Jess Lockwood vs. SweetPro’s Long John (31-7, BFTS)
Lockwood has drawn Over The Top (0-1, BFTS) for Round 1 on Saturday night and is trying to rebound from his 0-for-2 weekend in Anaheim.
Barbosa rode Over The Top for 84.5 points in Oklahoma City.
The 33-year-old trails Lockwood by 495 points in the world standings.
Barbosa takes on Frequent Flyer (6-0, BFTS) in Round 1.
With five Built Ford Tough Series events officially in the books, the first BFTS cut has come and gone.
Tyler Harr and Nathan Schaper have been relegated to the Real Time Pain Relief Velocity Tour, while No. 10 Dener Barbosa, No. 14 Matt Triplett, No. 19 Brady Sims, No. 20 Luis Blanco and No. 23 Koal Livingston have earned draw spots on the BFTS.
No. 28 Sonny Schafferius, No. 29 Reese Cates, No. 30 Claudio Montanha and No. 32 Cody Ford also earned themselves a spot on the BFTS.
Barbosa, Livingston, Schafferius and Montanha are the current riders eligible for the 2017 Rookie of the Year award.
Schafferius and Montanha are making their BFTS debuts in Kansas City.
Schafferius is from Dysart, Australia, and has only competed at 11 PBR-sanctioned events in Australia and the United States. He primarily competed at Australian Pro Rodeo Association events until making his PBR Australia debut last year.
The 27-year-old faces Fist Full of Mad (0-1, BFTS) in Round 1.
Montanha is also 27 years old and is 7-for-13 (53.85 percent) at the Velocity Tour and Touring Pro Division level.
The last two years, Montanha has finished in the Top 10 of the PBR Brazil standings.
The Ribeirao dos Indios, Brazil, bull rider has drawn Golly Gee (1-0, BFTS).
No. 42 J.W. Harris is down to his final injury exemption. The four-time PRCA champion needs to earn roughly 38 world points in Kansas City to avoid being cut from the BFTS.
Harris has drawn Fraulein (0-0, BFTS) for Round 1.
Rounding out the 36-rider draw are alternates Cody Rodeo Tyler, Alex Cardozo, Robson Aragao and Cody Heffernan.
Nevada Newman (shoulder), Guilherme Marchi (concussion), Wallace de Oliveira (clavicle), Paulo Lima (broken ribs), Tanner Byrne (shoulder) Lachlan Richardson (bicep) & Aaron Roy (leg) are all out because of injuries.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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