LAS VEGAS – Guilherme Marchi is not sad.
At least not yet.
The 2008 World Champion announced earlier this year that he will be retiring at the conclusion of the 2018 PBR World Finals, and Marchi began his final appearance in Las Vegas with the same smile and youthful energy he has had throughout his 15-year career.
The all-time qualified rides leader extended his PBR record to 633 rides by covering Slam Dunk for 86.5 points in Round 1 at T-Mobile Arena.
Marchi did it with a big smile and some fun dance moves with his brother-in-law’s song, Tortinho, blaring through the loudspeakers.
While spinning toward the crowd, Marchi pointed at his wife Maria, son Guilherme Jr., and brother-in-law Marquinho Guerra.
“Just happy emotions,” Marchi said before going to watch two-time World Champion J.B. Mauney attempt to ride Hocus Pocus. “It’s fun. I have accomplished a lot in my career.”
In February, Marchi first celebrated a qualified ride to his brother-in-law’s tune.
“I used to dance when I first came here,” Marchi said in Kansas City after notching the 25th event victory of his career. “2005, 2006, 2007, 2008. It is another way for celebration. It is fun.”
Marchi put forth one of the best seasons in PBR history 10 years ago. Marchi rode a remarkable 72.55 percent of his bulls (74-for-102) in 2008, winning five events and posting 13 90-point rides on his way to the World Championship.
He was honored alongside fellow World Champions Adriano Moraes, Michael Gaffney, Silvano Alves, J.B. Mauney, Cooper Davis and Jess Lockwood on the shark cage during the in-arena show open before Round 1.
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The 36-year-old revealed Wednesday that he will actually compete in two PBR Brazil events following the PBR World Finals.
Marchi will ride in Goiania, Brazil, on Nov. 30 and the 2018 PBR Brazil Finals on Dec. 14 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
The Leme, Brazil, native said he agreed to do the two events after three-time PBR World Champion Adriano Moraes and PBR CEO Sean Gleason asked him if he would want to do a send-off in Brazil.
“Adriano called me and said, ‘Please come ride and say goodbye for us people. They love you,’” Marchi said. “I said ‘Yes, I will come ride and say bye for my people.’
“I started there and they’re going to miss me riding bulls too.”
Marchi first has plans on making his United States bull riding exit a memorable one.
He would love to make history on Sunday and cap his career by becoming the fourth rider to win multiple World Finals event average titles.
Marchi won the 2005 World Finals event average by going 6-for-8.
He heads into Round 2 sitting in eighth place and is set to face Roman (8-1, PBR UTB).
Fans can watch Round 2 on CBS Sports Network at 9:30 p.m. ET. RidePass is also offering a companion broadcast at 9:30 p.m. ET.
“I’m going to be part of the game this week,” Marchi concluded. “I’m very serious too. I want to make some money and finish strong.”
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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