NEW YORK – Alisson de Souza was the first rider to have to be assisted out of the arena by the PBR Sports Medicine team on the 2019 Unleash The Beast, but his injuries had actually less to do with bull riding than they originally appeared.
Souza had just ridden Force Awaken for 85.5 points during Round 1 of the Monster Energy Buck Off at The Garden, presented by Ariat, on Friday night when he came up favoring his right ankle/foot.
The 25-year-old struggled to walk and was in some agony as he put any pressure on his foot.
Souza later revealed that his injury had nothing to do with the get-off following his ride inside Madison Square Garden.
Instead, Souza hurt himself in the offseason back home in Brazil when he wrecked his motorcycle attempting to pop a wheelie while going 20 miles per hour in Sao Paulo.
“I was popping a wheelie and the bike fell on top of my ankle,” Souza said with the help of Paulo Crimber translating. “It is just bruised and I had some skin rubbed off the side of my leg from the asphalt.”
Souza said the injuries are minor and that he only feels the pain when he tries to stand up following his dismount.
“It only hurts when I hit the ground,” Souza added.
Souza finished eighth in Round 1.
“I didn’t watch my ride, but he was a good bull and I felt like I rode good,” Souza said.
Souza – the 2018 Velocity Tour champion – finished 34th in the 2018 world standings and has five guaranteed Unleash The Beast events before being subject to the cut line.
The Taubate, Brazil, native takes on Slam Dunk in Round 2.
Fans can watch Round 2 on RidePass at 6:45 p.m. ET and CBS Sports Network at 8 p.m. ET.
“This year is going to be great because this season I get to start the season at the beginning,” Souza said. “Last year I got in at the end. I had to adapt last year, and this year my brother (Alan) is here and I am going to be better.”
According to Dr. Tandy Freeman, Fabiano Vieira was transported to a local hospital after he dislocated his right shoulder (free arm) when he landed on his elbow in the 15/15 Bucking Battle. Vieira was bucked off by Losing My Religion in 7.11 seconds.
Vieira is doubtful for Round 2.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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