2016 PBR World Champion Cooper Davis Dominates on Opening Night in Fort Worth
Joao Ricardo Vieira Ties for 15/15 Bucking Battle Victory to Hone in on World No. 1 Ranking. Photo by Andy Watson.
FORT WORTH, Texas – In front of a raucous Texas crowd, home state hopeful Cooper Davis (Jasper, Texas) dominated the opening night of competition for the elite PBR (Professional Bull Riders) Unleash The Beast WinStar World Casino and Resort Invitational. Davis won Round 1 and tied for the victory in the 15/15 Bucking Battle, as Dickies Arena in Fort Worth welcomed back fans for the first time since the onset of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic with new safety protocols in place.
The 2016 PBR World Champion began the Lone Star State event by topping the first round of action with an 88.5-point effort aboard Major Threat (M Rafter E Bucking Bulls).
Competing as an alternate in the 15/15 Bucking Battle held later in the evening, Davis’ winning form continued. Matched up against Preacher’s Kid (RD Cattle/K-C Bucking Bulls), the 26-year-old again made the 8, marked 89.5 points.
Davis, who fractured his neck in the Unleash The Beast season opener at Madison Square Garden in New York City in January, missing five months of action, earned a collective $9,925.48, in addition to a critical 65 world points.
He surged from No. 22 to No. 16 in the world and is now within 34.5 points of the Top 10.
Perennial World Championship contender Joao Ricardo Vieira (Itatinga, Brazil) tied for the 15/15 Bucking Battle victory to gain ground on the world No. 1 ranking. Vieira now leads the league in most career 15/15 Bucking Battles won, victorious in the special rounds six times.
Vieira covered Marquis Metal Works Coriolis Effect (Paradigm Bull Co./Marquis Metal Works) for a matching 89.5 points to net $6,791.67 and 45 world points. In Round 1 of the main event, however, he was bucked off by Oh Happy Day (Cord McCoy/Tobin/Witherill) in 7.62 seconds.
The 36-year-old remained No. 2 in the world, and honed in on the top spot courtesy of his special round-best score. Vieira is now within 320.75 points of No. 1 Jose Vitor Leme (Ribas do Rio Pardo, Brazil).
Like Davis and Vieira, Leme also attempted two bulls Friday night, but in uncharacteristic form, the cowboy who leads the PBR in round and event wins in 2020 failed to reach the requisite 8 in both outs.
In Round 1, the former semi-professional soccer player was bested by Dixie Explosion (M Rafter E Bucking Bulls) in 7.32 seconds, while in the 15/15 Bucking Battle Axle (D&H Cattle Co./Futrell) sent Leme to the ground in a swift 2.93 seconds.
Derek Kolbaba (Walla Walla, Washington) was the final cowboy to record a qualified ride in the 15/15 Bucking Battle.
Attempting Big Black (K-C Bucking Bulls/Joe & Nina Webb) for the third time in his career, the Washington-native avenged two buck offs from the 2019 season, covering the powerful bovine athlete for 86.25 points.
Kolbaba earned $4,416.67 in addition to 35 world points and gained two positions in the world rankings, climbing from No. 20 to No. 18 ahead of Round 2 of the main event on Saturday.
Texas’ own Mason Taylor (Maypearl, Texas) and Alex Cerqueira (Iguatemi Mato Grosso, Brazil) tied for second in Round 1, both recording 87.5 point scores.
Taylor covered Ain’t Easy Being Me (D&H Cattle/Craig Moore), while Cerqueira rode Buckeye Bill (K-C Bucking Bulls), each netting $1,878.89 and 9.5 world points.
Fourth in Round 1 was 11-time PBR World Finals qualifier Cody Nance (Paris, Tennessee) who made the 8 aboard Constant Sorrow (Blake Sharp/Buckwild Bucking Stock) for 86.5 points.
The score earned him $972.52, and a crucial eight world points.
Continuing his 2020 comeback, after he was sidelined for the first 13 elite tour events of the year by a shoulder injury sustained during the 2019 PBR World Finals, Nance gained significant ground in the world rankings.
He is now No. 116 in the world, after beginning the event No. 174.
Rounding out the Top 5 in Round 1 was 2018 PBR World Champion Kaique Pacheco (Itatiba, Brazil) in fifth, netting $703.22 and seven world points.
He rose one position in the world standings, now No. 6, 542.5 points behind No. 1 Leme.
Fans can relive all the action from the 15/15 Bucking Battle of the PBR Unleash The Beast WinStar World Casino and Resort Invitational, on CBS Sports on Sunday, August 30. Coverage of the special round will begin at 3:00 p.m. ET, check your local listings.
Round 1 from the main event will be available ondemand on RidePass at 8:00 a.m. ET on Sunday, August 30. RidePass is available at RidePass.com or via the RidePass app available on iOS, Android and Roku.
The PBR premier series event in Fort Worth will conclude with Round 2 and the championship round on Sunday, August 30. RidePass’ LIVE coverage of Round 2 will begin at 2:45 p.m. ET, while CBS Sports Networks’ coverage will be broadcast at 8:00 p.m. ET.
PBR Unleash The Beast
15/15 Bucking Battle
Dickies Arena – Fort Worth, Texas
- João Ricardo Vieira, 89.5-89.50-45 Points.
(tie). Cooper Davis, 89.5-89.50-45 Points.
- Derek Kolbaba, 86.25-86.25-35 Points.
Jose Vitor Leme, 0-0.00
Daylon Swearingen, 0-0.00
Colten Jesse, 0-0.00
Kaique Pacheco, 0-0.00
Lucas Divino, 0-0.00
Cole Melancon, 0-0.00
Ezekiel Mitchell, 0-0.00
Cody Teel, 0-0.00
Mason Taylor, 0-0.00
Mauricio Gulla Moreira, 0-0.00
Claudio Montanha Jr., 0-0.00
Stetson Lawrence, 0-0.00
PBR Unleash The Beast
PBR WinStar World Casino and Resort Invitational
Dickies Arena – Fort Worth, Texas
Event Leaders (Round 1-Round 2-Round 3-Event Aggregate-Event Points)
- Cooper Davis, 88.5-0-0-88.50-20 Points.
- Mason Taylor, 87.5-0-0-87.50-9.5 Points.
(tie). Alex Cerqueira, 87.5-0-0-87.50-9.5 Points.
- Cody Nance, 86.5-0-0-86.50-8 Points.
- Kaique Pacheco, 86-0-0-86.00-7 Points.
- Cole Melancon, 85.25-0-0-85.25-5.5 Points.
(tie). Ezekiel Mitchell, 85.25-0-0-85.25-5.5 Points.
- Marcus Mast, 83.5-0-0-83.50-4 Points.
Jose Vitor Leme, 0-0-0-0.00
João Ricardo Vieira, 0-0-0-0.00
Daylon Swearingen, 0-0-0-0.00
Colten Jesse, 0-0-0-0.00
Lucas Divino, 0-0-0-0.00
Cody Teel, 0-0-0-0.00
Mauricio Gulla Moreira, 0-0-0-0.00
Claudio Montanha Jr., 0-0-0-0.00
Derek Kolbaba, 0-0-0-0.00
Stetson Lawrence, 0-0-0-0.00
Joao Henrique Lucas, 0-0-0-0.00
Brennon Eldred, 0-0-0-0.00
Andrew Alvidrez, 0-0-0-0.00
Amadeu Campos Silva, 0-0-0-0.00
Silvano Alves, 0-0-0-0.00
Taylor Toves, 0-0-0-0.00
Rafael Henrique dos Santos, 0-0-0-0.00
Cody Casper, 0-0-0-0.00
Dakota Louis, 0-0-0-0.00
Paulo Ferreira Lima, 0-0-0-0.00
Jake Lockwood, 0-0-0-0.00
Keyshawn Whitehorse, 0-0-0-0.00
Bradley Brittain, 0-0-0-0.00
Cannon Cravens, 0-0-0-0.00
Junio Patrik Souza, 0-0-0-0.00
Keith Hall, 0-0-0-0.00
J.B. Mauney, 0-0-0-0.00