By: Justin Felisko
PUEBLO, Colo. – Two-time World Champion and CBS Sports analyst Justin McBride hosted a conversation with the newly crowned 2020 PBR World Champion Jose Vitor Leme and fellow gold buckle winners J.B. Mauney and Jess Lockwood last month in Arlington, Texas, on the final day of the 2020 PBR World Finals.
The four champions discussed Leme’s relentless pursuit of the 2020 World Championship on CBS Sports Network the morning after Leme clinched his first world title with a 95.75-point ride on Woopaa.
Here is a look back at the convo between the group of legends.
MCBRIDE: Jose, less than 24 hours after clinching your first world title, what is the feeling like this morning?
LEME: It is hard to explain.
MCBRIDE: Has it sunk in yet?
LEME: No, I think I will have a couple of times to feel like this. It is hard to explain this emotion. That moment, it is amazing. It is incredible for me. I never feel that in my life.
MCBRIDE: It was a pretty amazing moment. J.B., you seen it last night. It was a great round of bull riding to begin with, but the way he capped this thing off, you’ve been through these races, you’ve won the world titles. Give me the take on what you saw there from Jose.
MAUNEY: They announced it. He had to win the round and Kaique ended up below sixth, and the last man out, all the pressure is on him. All we knew is the bull he had. We pretty much knew if he rode him he was going to win the round. So pretty much all he had to do was ride him, and he did his job. That is what separates the man from the boys. When they back you into a corner, you come out swinging.
MCBRIDE: Jess, you’ve been battling with this guy the last few years. Everybody kind of knew the scenario J.B.’s talked about there. Were you thinking that was going to be the outcome last night?
LOCKWOOD: Hell yeah. The year he’s had, there was nothing but that outcome last night. He matched up with the perfect bull for his style to be 95.75 points. You knew he was going to win the round with that bull. You knew he was going to get the world title. It was amazing.
MCBRIDE: What about this season this guy has had? Especially, go to J.B. on this one, because you’ve been here since I was riding. You’ve seen 15 of these World Finals now. What has this guy been doing?
MAUNEY: Riding bulls. I said it multiple times on different interviews. When he had Chiseled and rode him away from his hand, they were kind of betting against him, and I said he is going to ride him all day long. It doesn’t matter what you run under him. He is level-headed. You don’t ever see him get mad. Yeah, he kicks his helmet when he does good, but it is the same. He gets pumped up, but he doesn’t let it bother him. Two events before the Finals he is getting bucked off everything, and then shows up here and he’s rode everything they’ve run under him. You learn from your mistakes, but you have to forget it in the same sense. Nobody remembers what happens yesterday. Nobody cares.
MCBRIDE: Jess, in this crazy 2020 year – for the entire world, let alone the world of bull riding – what has impressed you the most of the season that Jose had as a whole? It was a huge ride capping it off, but the whole way he’s been pretty amazing.
LOCKWOOD: If you win four, five events in a year, that is a damn good year, let alone six, seven, whatever. That is consistency at its finest.
MCBRIDE: Because of the inconsistency, the craziness of this year, the uncertainty of it. ‘Are we going to have an event? Well, this one doesn’t count but everyone can go to it and guys can compete.’ To see that it doesn’t matter. (Jose) just showed up to win.
MAUNEY: That is it. That is what you have to do every time. Whether it is the practice pen or whether you are riding for $1 million and a gold buckle, you got to want to win every single time.
MCBRIDE: Jose, is that what it is for you? Is it more of a physical thing working on your mechanics with the practice bulls or is it up here [pointing at his head] doing it?
LEME: I think it is mentality because you can keep in shape, just work out at the gym, so it is different when you get on the bulls.
MCBRIDE: Jess, what you have seen out of him this season and knowing the work that he has put into it, how impressed are you by that?
LOCKWOOD: It is incredible. You put him up against a bull like Chiseled and everyone is counting him out. ‘Oh, it is away from his hand.’ He is 94 something points on him. It doesn’t matter to this guy anymore. He’s got it down. He’s got it down left. He’s got it down right. Just run whatever you want under him. It doesn’t matter at this point.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
Photos courtesy of Bull Stock Media
© 2020 PBR Inc. All rights reserved.