The Monster Energy rider explained professional bull riding, especially at the elite level of competition, is far too dangerous not to be 100 percent focused and, more importantly, confident in your abilities to ride for 8 seconds.
He went on to say climbing on top of a 2,000 bull is no place to be if you’re questioning your ability.
“Like anything in life,” Outlaw said, “you gotta know positively you can do it or why the hell would you do it?"
“The guys here, we’re the best in the world and we feed off of one another. We like to see 90-point bull rides and we like to see out buddies do it. … Everyone I get on I’m giving it 110 percent. (pause) There’s never been one I’ve not.”
Outlaw, who met with Dr. Tandy Freeman, while they were both in Little Rock, said he’s hoping to return five weeks from now in mid-April when the PBR is in Tacoma, Washington, but said it could be a week later in Billings, Montana.
Outlaw has been at home, in Hamburg, spending time with his young family.
And doing everything he can to prepare for his upcoming return.
When it was mentioned that his all-in, 90-points-or-nothing approach to riding bulls has been missed, Outlaw smiled, “Why wouldn’t you. We ain’t showing sheep at the fair.”
One rider Outlaw feeds off of is fellow Monster Energy rider J.B. Mauney.
Mauney, who recently returned after recovering from a groin injury and shoulder surgery last year that required 13 anchors and a screw to rebuild the shoulder of his free arm, is a two-time World Champion.
He’s recorded 504 qualified rides – 72 of which are for 90 or better – and won more than $7.3 million—making him the richest western sport athlete of all-time.
“That is one bad cat,” Outlaw said. “Never count him out.
“If you ride bulls you want to have that man’s attitude and you want to have what he has going on. He’s bad to the bone. That’s for sure. The song says it all.”
The song Outlaw was referring to is the George Thorogood classic “Bad to the Bone,” which plays in the arena prior to every one of Mauney’s outs.
The song has become synonymous with Mauney.
It brings the crowd to their feet every single time.
And, Outlaw admitted, it even pumps up the rest of the Top 35 riders.
“We feed off it,” he said.
Like Mauney, Outlaw is focused on winning every time he nods his head, so never tell them to take it easy and especially never tell either one to play it safe.
Even if their bodies are worn down or they’re returning from injuries, those two are known for taking advantage of every moment and every re-ride.
“In this sport, if you want to be a world champion, when (those) opportunities come up you gotta capitalize on them,” Outlaw said.
He later added, “When you get here, it’s the best bulls in the world. Part of being labeled a professional bull rider, you gotta learn how to overcome that.”
Speaking of injuries, Derek Kolbaba became the second Monster Energy rider ranked inside the Top 10 to sustain an injury this season.
Freeman confirmed that Kolbaba injured his ACL and MCL. Gowever, Kolbaba later indicated that he’s been told to give his knee two weeks for the swelling to subside before determining the extent of the injury.
He’s ranked seventh in the world.
Gage Gay, who won the opening event of the year in New York, was ranked No. 1 when he suffered a knee injury in mid-January. He’s currently ranked 11th in the world and expected to return sometime this summer.
The rest of the Monster Energy team – Guilherme Marchi, Jose Vitor Leme, Mason Lowe and Mauney – will be in Duluth, Georgia, this coming weekend.