Jose Vitor Leme Wins First Unleash The Beast Event of 2022

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From Kacie Albert; photos from Championship Saturday, courtesy Andy Watson/Bull Stock Media

North Little Rock, Ark. – Two-time reigning PBR (Professional Bull Riders) World Champion Jose Vitor Leme(Ribas do Rio Pardo, Brazil) knocked down two monstrous 90-point rides Saturday Feb. 26, 2022 at Simmons Bank Arena in North Little Rock, Arkansas, winning the elite Unleash The Beast’s PBR Bad Boy Mowers Mowdown.

At the 10th Unleash The Beast event of the 2022 season, Leme surged to No. 4 in the world standings, inching closer to attaining his third consecutive PBR World Championship.

Leme was quick to strike in Round 1 on Friday evening, tying for second after making the 8 aboard re-ride draw Choc Tease(Cord McCoy/BuzzBallz LLC) for 89.75 points.

As Championship Saturday got underway, Leme earned his third round win of the season when he conquered Hang Em High(Bryan T. Smith/Nathan Doss) for 90.25 points.

Catapulted to the top of the event leaderboard, Leme had first pick in the championship round bull draft. The former semi-professional soccer player passed on Woopaa(Barker Bulls/Hookin’ W Ranch), an opponent with whom he had registered the two highest-scored rides in PBR history, and instead made a strategic choice to go head-to-head with Diddy Wa Diddy(Cord McCoy/Bill McCarty).

Leme rode this powerful animal athlete for 93.25 points in May 2021 in Billings, Montana.

Leme was again a picture of perfection aboard Diddy Wa Diddy, matching the bull jump-for-jump to earn a 92-point score, clinching the PBR Bad Boy Mowers Mowdown event win. The 90-point score was Leme’s PBR-best fourth of the season and the 59th of his career.

For his efforts, Leme earned a check for $46,914 along with a critical 145.5 world points. He is now ranked No. 4 in the standings, within 160.66 points of No. 1 Daylon Swearingen (Piffard, New York).

Should Leme be crowned the PBR World Champion in 2022, the Brazilian would become the first rider in history to win the honor in three consecutive seasons and just the third three-time PBR World Champion.

Atop the World Championship race, both No. 1 Daylon Swearingen and No. 2 Joao Ricardo Vieira(Itatinga, Brazil) were shut out inside Simmons Bank Arena. No. 3 Kyler Oliver(Roy, Utah) went 1-for-2 to finish eighth, garnering 34 world points, but was unable to compete in the championship round after straining his right groin in the second round.

As the only other rider to go a perfect 3-for-3, Manoelito de Souza Junior(Itamira, Brazil) finished a career-best second at the PBR Bad Boy Mowers Mowdown, earning $21,145 and 106.5 world points.

Souza advanced to the final round second in the standings after covering Homegrown(Cord McCoy/Chad Reese) for 89.5 points in Round 1 and Skull Crusher(Shuler Bucking Bulls) for 87 points in Round 2.

With the second selection in the bull draft, Souza was quick to choose reigning YETI PBR World Champion Bull Woopaaas his final animal athlete opponent.

Souza then delivered the high-marked ride of his career and first 90-point effort on the premier series, covering Woopaa for a commanding, and championship round-best, 92.75 points.

The 26-year-old’s silver finish gained him seven positions in the world standings, elevating him from No. 20 to No. 13.

Mauricio Moreira(Gaviao Peixoto, Brazil) and home-state hopeful Chase Outlaw(Hamburg, Arkansas) tied for third.

Moreira was sensational on Championship Saturday as he sought to rebound from a 6.52-second buckoff dealt to him by High Hopes(Stevens Bucking Bulls) in Round 1.The surging young gun first put points on the board when he covered Jersey Tuff(McClellan/Ligard/Hart) for 89.25 points in Round 2. Moreira then rocketed up the event leaderboard in the final round when he went the distance atop I’m Legit Too(Hart Cattle Co./Hale) for 90.5 points.

For Outlaw, the North Little Rock event marked his first event back since late January when he sustained a groin injury in the practice pen. Returning to compete in front of a home-state crowd, Outlaw covered his very first draw back, riding Night Moves(Cord McCoy/David Wolfe) for 88.75 points.

Despite bucking off Vanilla Ice(Lightning Livestock/Blake Sharp) in 3.46 seconds in Round 2, Outlaw returned in the championship round to face off against Big Black (K-C Bucking Bulls/Joe & Nina Webb) for the fifth time in his career. In their previous four showdowns, Outlaw was perfect, recording a 90-point score in each meeting.

Repeating his past success, Outlaw again bested Big Black, this time for 91 points. The 90-point ride was the 13th of Outlaw’s career and first since the 2019 PBR World Finals, when he rode Big Black for 91.5 points in Round 5 of the marathon event.

Outlaw collected $10,111 along with 60.5 world points. He climbed 20 positions in the 2022 PBR World Championship race, rising from No. 47 to No. 27.

Rounding out the Top 5 in fifth was Lane Nobles(West, Texas). Nobles’s efforts were highlighted by back-to-back rides in the opening rounds, first riding Moon Taxi(Blake Sharp/CB & Traci Lee) for 88.5 points in Round 1 and then going the distance atop Choc Teasein Round 2. The Texan garnered 45 world points, elevated from No. 52 to No. 33 in the world.

In the bull pen, no bovine athlete could out-buck Ridin Solo (Cord McCoy/Bill McCarty), who earned the coveted title of YETI “Built for the Wild” Bull of the Event.

Delivering the top bull score to date of 2022, Ridin Solo dispatched 2019 PBR Rookie of the Year Dalton Kasel(Muleshoe, Texas) in a quick 4.65 seconds to earn a 47.5-point score. Ridin Solo is now in firm control of the No. 1 position in the 2022 PBR World Championship Bull race. With a 46.1-point world average, Ridin Solo leads No. 2 Woopaa by 0.41 points.

PBR Unleash The Beast

PBR Bad Boy Mowers Mowdown

Simmons Bank Arena – North Little Rock, Arkansas

Event Leaders (Round 1-Round 2-Round 3-Event Aggregate-Event Points)

1. Jose Vitor Leme, 89.75-90.25-92-272.00-145.5 Points.
2. Manoelito de Souza Junior, 89.5-87-92.75-269.25-106.5 Points.
3. Mauricio Gulla Moreira, 0-89.25-90.5-179.75-63.5 Points.
(tie). Chase Outlaw, 88.75-0-91-179.75-60.5 Points.
5. Lane Nobles, 88.5-88-0-176.50-45 Points.

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