NEW YORK – There are three belt buckles that Chase Outlaw has always had on his bucket list.
The first, of course, being a World Championship buckle, and the second being a World Finals event title victory.
The third may come to a surprise to some, but Outlaw is no stranger to the prestige of Madison Square Garden.
“There’s not been an event that I wanted to win more than the World Finals than this one,” Outlaw said Saturday night during the Monster Energy Buck Off at The Garden, presented by Ariat. “I want a buckle that I know I won at Madison Square Garden. Muhammad Ali, George Foreman – the freaking greats – fought battles in this same building.”
Outlaw is on the cusp of winning New York for the first time in his career after riding Anonymous for 84.5 points in Round 2 on Saturday and Striker for 87.25 points on Friday night in Round 1.
The 26-year-old is sitting in second place in the event average and is one of 11 riders a perfect 2-for-2 inside MSG.
Outlaw has never finished better than fifth in New York.
He is continuing to show his ability to bounce back from one the toughest knockout punches he ever received when he broke 15 bones on each side of his face in Cheyenne, Wyoming, during a buckoff against War Cloud at the PBR Touring Pro Division event at Cheyenne Frontier Days this past July.
“That’s the whole thing with Outlaw, is he’s just such a tough fireplug that loves this so much,” nine-time World Champion and CBS Sports analyst Ty Murray said. “He’s been through things that you can’t believe he’s competing. There’s no other athlete in the world competing with the stuff he’s competing with. They just re-broke his face a month ago!”
The seven-time PBR World Finals qualifier takes on Kime's Jeans Church Bells (5-6, UTB) in Round 3.
Fans can watch Round 3 on RidePass at 1:45 p.m. ET and CBS Sports Network at 8 p.m. ET.
“This is what bull riding is, a battle,” Outlaw said. “Since the start of my career there’s not been one event that I wanted to win more than this one. This is one on my bucket list. All I’ve got to do is just keep doing what I do.”
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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