Throughout his career, Outlaw has been known for his simplicity and candor.
He told PBR.com, “Injuries happen.”
The popular Monster Energy bull rider added, “You couldn’t be brave and courageous without fear. I just harness it.”
The Arkansas cowboy went on to explain the ability to overcome injuries – no matter how significant they might have been – “separates the men from the boys, and the champs from the chumps.”
He characterized this week’s return as nothing more than part of the game.
His success will come from compartmentalizing any fear he talked about.
Professional bull riding, especially at the elite televised level of PBR competition, is widely regarded as the most dangerous game on Earth.
In fact, when Outlaw was most recently injured, he was returning to competition after missing a significant period of time following a trio of injuries that required him to have his shoulders completely reconstructed.
At the time of his third shoulder surgery, which kept him out of competition for the entirety of the first half of the 2019 season, he said, “It’s part of it.”
Outlaw is currently ranked 76th in the world standings and is 497.5 points out of the Top 35 with three elite events between now and the World Finals.
According to PBR reporter Justin Felisko, Outlaw “will have his work cut out for him” in Milwaukee followed by the final two elite events in Greensboro, North Carolina, and Nampa, Idaho.
In preparation for his televised return, Outlaw rode last weekend at a local open event.
His wife Nicole said she was nervous, but wrote on social media that her husband looked great and that afterward said he “felt great.”
Outlaw will be joined in Milwaukee by several Monster Energy teammates including Jose Vitor Leme, Derek Kolbaba, Guilherme Marchi, Gage Gay, and J.B. Mauney.
Leme, a second-year pro from Brazil, is third in the world standings and vying for his first world title a year after winning the World Finals event en route to claiming the PBR Rookie of the Year honors, while Mauney is ranked 34th in the world.
Mauney is a two-time PBR World Champion.
Marchi, who won a world title a decade ago, in 2008, is among the most accomplished bull riders in the 25-year history of the PBR. He previously announced 2009 will be his last. He plans to continue his involvement with the sport and already co-manages Leme and several other Brazilian-born riders competing in the United States.
This weekend’s event will take place Saturday and Sunday at the Fiserv Forum in downtown Milwaukee.