PUEBLO, Colo. – The 15/15 Bucking Battle on Saturday night at the Tacoma Invitational, presented by Cooper Tires, is loaded with eight rematches.
Here are five matchups to especially keep an eye on when you tune in to CBS on Sunday at 2 p.m. for the national broadcast.
Cooper Davis vs. Catfish John
Can Cooper Davis continue his love fest with Chad Berger’s bovine athlete?
One can only assume that will be the case, with the greater question being will a fifth consecutive ride aboard Catfish John propel Davis to his fourth career 15/15 Bucking Battle victory.
There is no better bull for Davis to have drawn this weekend.
He is 4-0 with Catfish John and averages 89.94 points per ride.
In fact, Davis won the Chicago Invitational earlier this year with 91.25 points – his highest score to date on Catfish John – inside Allstate Arena.
“He bucked harder that time than I think he ever bucked with me,” Davis said in Chicago. “Each time I know I can’t stub my toe on him. Just like today. If any given thing would have went wrong, he could have bucked me off. It was a classic Hail Mary, make it looker harder than it was on accident type of deal. Him and I just click.”
Davis rode Catfish John for 91 points to win the 2016 World Championship at the PBR World Finals, and he also rode the bull for 89.5 points in Edmonton, Alberta, to help lead Team USA to victory at the Global Cup.”
The 25-year-old also rode Catfish John for 88 points in their first meeting back in 2016 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Kaique Pacheco vs. Spotted Demon
The perennial world title contender is back in the mix following a terrible start to 2018, and now Pacheco has drawn the bull that helped him get back in the 2017 title race last year.
Pacheco rode Spotted Demon for 90 points at Last Cowboy Standing last season to move to within 180 points of then-world leader Eduardo Aparecido.
“He is a really rank bull,” Pacheco said in Las Vegas. “I have seen him buck a lot of times. I was thinking of nothing in the bucking chute. I just knew I had to ride him.”
Spotted Demon is on the outside of the World Champion Bull race compared to frontrunners two-time World Champion SweetPro’s Bruiser and Pearl Harbor, but the No. 3 bull in the standings is averaging 45.25 points and has posted two 46-point bull scores.
The 10-year-old bull bucked off Jose Vitor Leme in 5.99 seconds for 46 points in his last out in Glendale, Arizona.
Ramon de Lima vs. More Big Bucks
World leader Ramon de Lima continues to struggle since winning the WinStar World Casino & Resort Iron Cowboy, powered by Kawasaki, on Feb. 24.
Lima is 4-for-15 in his last three events, but he may have drawn the bull needed to get him back on track.
The 27-year-old rode More Big Bucks in Sacramento, California, for 89.25 points and his first career win in January.
Jose Vitor Leme vs. Shelley’s Gangster
The hottest rider in the PBR yet to win an event in 2018 will take on Shelley’s Gangster following his 89-point ride on the bull at the Ty Murray Invitational.
Leme leads the PBR with seven round wins and may be looking at his eighth come Saturday night.
Shelley’s Gangster cost Pacheco an event victory last weekend when he bucked off the 2015 Rookie of the Year in 4.18 seconds, but he has surrendered six rides to left-handed riders.
Eduardo Aparecido vs. Fire & Smoke
The No. 6 rider in the world standings has struggled against Fire & Smoke with four consecutive buckoffs, but he nearly conquered the bull last year in Nampa, Idaho (7.4 seconds).
Aparecido has gotten closer to riding Fire & Smoke during each matchup. He has improved from 1.95 seconds, to 2.6, to 4 to 7.4.
Davis almost rode Fire & Smoke last weekend in Sioux Falls before falling short at 7.6 seconds.
15/15 Bucking Battle Matchups
Tanner Byrne vs. Rising Sun (8-6, PBR UTB)
Dakota Buttar vs. Stretch (3-1, PBR UTB)
Stetson Lawrence vs. Indian Medicine* (6-3, PBR UTB)
Valdiron de Oliveira vs. Gambini* (17-3, PBR UTB)
Brennon Eldred vs. Red Bandana (26-6, PBR UTB)
Ryan Dirteater vs. Speed Demon (19-2, PBR UTB)
Kaique Pacheco vs. Spotted Demon$ (36-3, PBR UTB)
Cooper Davis vs. Catfish John (29-12, PBR UTB)
Jess Lockwood vs. Pearl Harbor$ (39-4, PBR UTB)
Eduardo Aparecido vs. Fire & Smoke* (43-14, PBR UTB)
Cody Nance vs. Painted Pudge (3-0, PBR UTB)
Claudio Montanha Jr. vs. Beaver Creek Beau* (60-9, PBR UTB)
Jose Vitor Leme vs. Shelley’s Gangster$ (7-9, PBR UTB)
Luciano de Castro vs. Livin’ Large (16-3, PBR UTB)
Ramon de Lima vs. More Big Bucks$ (24-18, PBR UTB)
$Rider has previously ridden the bull
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