Outlaw has ridden in four of five televised PBR events in 2017 and has covered 6 of 13 bulls. Going back to last season, he’s ridden 17 of the past 31 bulls he’s attempted on the elite level and 20 of 37 overall.
“Outlaw is a guy that I think is on his way up right now,” said two-time PBR World Champion Justin McBride. “He’s in the conversation for a world championship.”
McBride has championed Outlaw’s ability this season during numerous CBS broadcasts.
McBride’s latest comments came in Round 2 of last weekend’s event in Anaheim, California, following Outlaw’s sticky 87.5-point effort on Chocolate Shake.
“It was about 7-seconds longer than it lasted last time,” said Outlaw, referring to their prior match up when he bucked off in 1.89 seconds at an event in Oklahoma City earlier this year.
Outlaw finished his CBS interview by added, “That felt amazing. That felt perfect.”
His second-round success – he won the round – had great implications in and outside of the Anaheim event.
It assured Outlaw the fifth pick in the bull draft for the Championship Round, but, more importantly, he moved from just outside of the Top 10 in the world standings to seventh, where he currently sits heading into this coming weekend’s event in Kansas City.
As he mentioned a couple weeks earlier, “I just cowboy’d up and had fun.” Outlaw is as confident in his riding right now as he’s ever been since making his PBR debut in 2012.
This year, he’s riding 43 percent of his bulls overall, which is up over his career average on the elite series.
After last week’s round win in Anaheim, he’s now won 53 rounds in just over five complete seasons and he’s been a shade under 38 percent in the Championship Rounds during that time.
“I’m not even thinking about it,” Outlaw said, “just riding.”
With a strong finish to the 2016 season, Outlaw wound up ranked 17th in the world last year, but missed substantial time due to multiple injuries.
This year, he’s be relatively injury-free as much as bull rider can claim when they compete at the highest level of the most dangerous sport in the world.
“It was frustrating having to start in May,” Outlaw previously said in regard to last season, “but shit you take the good out of everything. Something good was bound to come out of it. I just kept pushing forward and had a good Finals. I finished out the year strong.”
Outlaw is one of six other PBR riders – Guilherme Marchi, J.B. Mauney, Derek Kolbaba, Gage Gay, Robson Palermo and Reese Cates – representing Monster Energy.