NAMPA, Idaho - Valdiron de Oliveira will be
competing this weekend, and after a second consultation with
Dr. Grant Gilliland, he will do so wearing his
customary cowboy hat instead of a helmet.
Oliveira also said he has decided not have surgery to repair his fractured left orbital bone.
"I feel great now," he said in a phone interview.
'Helmet or not, God protects me.'
As for his decision not wear a helmet, he said he doesn't feel
comfortable wearing one and that they are too heavy.
"My face is a little bit sore," Oliveira added, "but I'll be all right. Helmet or not, God protects me."
Oliveira, who missed last week's Built Ford Tough Series event in Billings, Mont., with concussion-like symptoms, said he's been icing his eye every day since he was slammed into the ground two weeks ago in Uncasville, Conn.
World leader Valdiron de Oliveira puts up 88.25 points on
Main Event, before getting stepped on, in Round 3 at the 2012
Mohegan Sun Invitational in Uncasville, Conn.
He admitted that he doesn't like the idea of surgery, and is hopeful the fracture will heal on its own.
The No. 1 ranked bull rider in the world said he's excited to get on his first bull Saturday night at the Idaho Center, but he's unsure how he will perform.
"I'm going to try," Oliveira said.
He originally intended to return last week without missing any time, but failed a post-concussion test administered by Dr. Tandy Freeman, who deemed the 33-year-old unfit to compete.
"Right now it feels normal," said Oliveira.
Oliveira said he wanted to compete in Billings to keep his fellow contenders from closing in on his lead in the world standings. He now leads Silvano Alves by only 497.75 points, and any one of the Top 5 contenders could leave Idaho in the top spot.
'I'm ready to ride. I'm excited for this week'
However, he added he's glad he didn't try competing
Although he felt fine on Thursday, he said by Sunday he was experiencing what he termed "double vision" while horseback riding. He's been on horseback every day since, and said he no longer is experiencing the effects of the concussion.
Oliveira is matched up with Cowboy Casanova in the 15/15 Bucking Battle on Saturday night.
"I'm ready to ride," he said. "I'm excited for this week."
POZZ RETURNS: After taking a week off to rest his injured right knee, Ty Pozzobon returns to competition this weekend. The MCL, which has given him recurring trouble all season, was aggravated two weeks ago in Uncasville at the Mohegan Sun Invitational.
Ty Pozzobon puts up 86.5 points on New Britain - 1843 in
Round 2 of the 2012 PBR Mohegan Sun Invitational in Uncasville,
Pozzobon had previously said he was intending to have it surgically repaired at the start of the summer break from the BFTS, but has since decided against the procedure.
In addition to competing on the BFTS this weekend and next, he intends to immediately return to Canada and continue to make a run at winning this year's PBR national title in his home country.
Last week he got on one practice bull prior to traveling to Idaho. He wore a protective brace, and said it didn't bother him during the ride, but that his knee was tender when he landed. This weekend, he'll have the sports medicine team tape his right knee in addition to the brace, hoping that mitigates the discomfort.
15/15: The sixth of nine 15/15 Bucking Battles will be held immediately following Round 1 on Saturday. The 15/15 Bucking Battle features the Top 15 riders in the world competing against the 15 highest-ranked bulls at the event for an additional purse of $21,000.
The bulls were each randomly assigned a position from 1 to 15. The riders were then matched with their bulls based upon their own current rankings in the BFTS standings.
BFTS points will be doubled in the 15/15 Bucking Battle, with the winner receiving 200 points and second place receiving 180 points, continuing on a graduated scale to 20 points for 10th place. Points earned count toward the BFTS standings, but do not count toward determining the event winner.
Guilherme Marchi rides Carrillo Cartel for 87.75 points in
the championship round to take second at the Stanley Tools and
Security Invitational in Billings, Mont.
This week's matchups include: Oliveira and Cowboy Casanova, Alves and Mega Ton, L.J. Jenkins and Sue, Guilherme Marchi and Carrillo Cartel, J.B. Mauney and Bad Blake, Marco Eguche and Buckey, Austin Meier and Smackdown, Fabiano Vieira and Cooper Tires Grey Ghost, Renato Nunes and Bucking Machine, Caleb Sanderson and Party All the Time, Stormy Wing and Train Wreck, Ryan Dirteater and RMEF Gunpowder & Lead, Harve Stewart and Shepherd Hills Sod Buster, Luke Snyder and Red Hot, and Ty Pozzobon and Chocolate Thunder.
OUTS: There were several late scratches from this week's competition.
Justin Koon is out with an injured hand. Sanderson will replace him in the 15/15, while Jared Farley will replace him in the regular event. Robson Palermo is out with an aggravated hip. Stewart will replace him in the 15/15 and Sevi Torturo will replace him in the regular event.
Pozzobon was originally added to the 15/15 in place of Douglas Duncan, who is recovering from hip surgery. Chris Shivers and Kody Lostroh are also out of the 15/15 due to injuries.
RETURNING TO THE SCENE: Reigning World Champion Alves won his first BFTS event in Nampa, in 2010, riding all four bulls. Alves went on to ride the first eight bulls of his career, going 4-for-4 to finish fourth at his second event the following week in Billings.
Here is a complete list of winners in Idaho: Alves (2010), Lostroh (2009), Snyder (2008), Sean Willingham (2007), Wiley Petersen (2006), Tater Porter (2005), Michael Gaffney (2004), Chad Lucas (2003), Reuben Geleynse (2002), Ty Murray (2001), Tater Porter (2000), Curt Lyons (1999), Donald Owens (1998 at Boise) and Josh O'Byrne (1997 at Boise).
THANKS, WILEY: Idaho native Wiley Petersen will celebrate his recent retirement this weekend. Petersen will be on the concourse signing autographs Saturday evening from the time doors open until the rider introductions begin. He will then lead the Sunday church service held at the Idaho Center beginning at 10 a.m. on Mothers Day morning.
Wiley Petersen will be signing autographs at the Idaho Center Saturday from doors to rider introductions.
WHERE TO WATCH: The 15/15 Bucking Battle will
be broadcast in its entirety on CBS at 4 p.m. ET this Sunday, May
13. Please check local listings.
Round 1 will be broadcast in its entirety live on YouTube at the Professional Bull Riders Channel this Saturday, May 12, at 9 p.m. ET.
CBS Sports Network will broadcast action from Round 2 and the Built Ford Tough Championship Round at 6 p.m. ET this Sunday, May 13. There will be encore airings at 10 p.m. ET on Sunday, and at 2 a.m. ET on Monday, May 14.
Veteran broadcaster Craig Hummer will provide the play-by-play. Color commentary will be provided by nine-time World Champion and PBR co-founder Ty Murray. Chute and dirt-level interviews will be handled by Leah Garcia.
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