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Guilherme Marchi should clinch the Professional Bull Riders series championship tonight and become the third Brazilian to win the coveted title.

Marchi, 26, would join countrymen Adrian Moraes (1994, 2001, 2006) and Ednei Cominhas (2002) as PBR champions. Marchi had been runner-up for the title the last three seasons.

The top 45 riders compete in Sunday’s seventh round, after which the field will be cut to the top 15 for a second round.

Marchi starts tonight’s sixth round leading Valdiron de Oliveira by 3,798.50 points and J.B. Mauney by 3,892.

A maximum 4,000 points can be earned Saturday and Sunday, including bonus points for a position in the Finals aggregate standings.


The last day of the Finals is Sunday with opening ceremonies scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m.


Joe Baumgartner, one of the best bullfighters ever, is expected to return to the Thomas & Mack Center tonight. But the Northern California resident won’t be working to protect bull riders.

It’s hard to do that on crutches.

Baumgartner broke his right ankle last weekend during the Professional Bull Riders World Finals when it was stepped on while he was protecting rider Travis Briscoe from an angry bull.

Baumgartner, 42, had surgery in Dallas last week. He has worked in each of the 15 PBR Finals.

He was expected to be a bullfighter in next month’s Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association National Finals Rodeo before the injury.


Season points leader Marchi and Finals points leader Mauney will try to become the first riders to complete rides in six consecutive Finals rounds.

They tied the record set in 1999 by bull riding legend Ty Murray when the Finals consisted of only five go-rounds. This year’s Finals consists of seven rounds with an eighth ride for those in the top 15 after Sunday’s initial round.


This is the last Finals for two of bull riding’s greats. Three-time PBR world champion Moraes, and two-time and reigning champ Justin McBride will retire after Sunday’s competition.

McBride has covered three of his five bulls and remains in contention for the Finals title and $250,000 that goes along with it. He’s 13th in aggregate points, and it’s a title he hasn’t won in his career.

Moraes, who is competing with a broken finger on his left (riding) hand, has completed two of his five rides.

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