be_ixf;ym_202110 d_23; ct_50
Robson Palermo in the opening during the first round of the Colorado Springs Built Ford Tough Series PBR


Oct 012016

Five of the Top 18 professional bull riders in the world all sport the Monster Energy brand. Reigning World Champion J.B. Mauney, who missed this week after sustaining a fractured rib, but is expected to return to competition next week, remains third in the world standings followed by newcomer Derek Kolbaba, 13; veterans Guilherme Marchi, 15, and Robson Palermo, 17 as well as Gage Gay, 18.

““The sport is growing in Brazil,” Marchi continued, “and it’s good for the sponsors.””

Chase Outlaw, who missed the entire first half of the season, is ranked 33rd and on pace to qualify for the fast-approaching World Finals, in Las Vegas, despite a trio of shoulder injuries over the past 18 months.


Palermo understands Outlaw’s recent frustration with injuries.


The Brazilian native, who now makes his home in East Texas, missed the better part of three seasons after having both shoulders completely reconstructed twice.


“I’m not hurt,” Palermo proclaimed for the first time since 2012, “and it’s the first year I don’t have physical therapy.


“I’m good. I’m healthy.”


Palermo, who’s the only rider in PBR history to win the World Finals event three times, and Marchi, who won the world title in 2008, have long since established their popularity among PBR fans.


However, both riders have experienced a renewed since of fame with newer PBR fans.


They’re featured in the Netflix series “Fearless,” a documentary film chronicling last season from the point of view of the Brazilian contingency of bull riders, who oftentimes dominate the world standings.


“It’s great for us,” said Marchi, “and great for the Brazilian bull riders and the sport here in the United States, and for Brazil too.


“It’s great for the sport in Brazil,” he continued, “because we need this kind of support—the media and the TV help with the cowboys.”


The six-part docu-series debuted in early September and has captivated viewers and television critics. Marchi and Palermo said not an event goes by without fans asking them about the series, which is also being broadcast in Brazil.


Mauney is also prominently featured.


“The sport is growing in Brazil,” Marchi continued, “and it’s good for the sponsors.”


Both riders qualified for the Championship Round this past weekend in Colorado Springs.


Marchi selected TLW’s Big Cat, an unridden bull that is not pretty, but quite effective when the gate opens. This week, he bucked off Marchi in 2.9 seconds with a hop, skip and a jump.


It wasn’t flashy.


And, unfortunately, Palermo didn’t fare much better in the final round of the elite televised event when he was let with the final bull Smooth Operator.


Palermo joked, “I don’t know which one that is. They’re all rank.”


He added, “I’m going to do my best.”


Five Monster Energy riders – Mauney, Kolbaba, Palermo, Marchi and Gay – have all but assured themselves of being in Vegas, in October, and Outlaw is on the verge of doing so.


Palermo and Marchi will be out west in Eugene, Oregon, next weekend at the Matthew Knight Arena, which is on the campus of the University of Oregon.


They’ll be joined by Kolbaba, Gay, Outlaw and Mauney, who is trying to become only third rider to win three PBR world titles and only the second to do so back-to-back seasons.