First four have advanced to BFO Las Vegas Championship’s final day
LAS VEGAS – Weston Rutkowski was so focused on his bullfight Wednesday, he doesn’t recall a thing about it.
“I just blacked out and went into game mode,” said Rutkowski, who scored an 88.5-point fight during the first round of the Bullfighters Only Las Vegas Championship at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.
It is the highest-marked fight so far in the opening round with the remaining four bouts scheduled to take place at 1:30 p.m. Thursday. Rutkowski is one of four men who advanced to Saturday’s championship round, joining Tate Rhoads, Kyle Lippincott and Daryl Thiessen.
While that foursome is set for the final-day battle, the other four will advance to Friday’s Wildcard Round, where just two will move on to the championship.
“I’m ecstatic to make it to Saturday,” Rutkowski said. “I came into this thing with the right mind and set to go to war, not just for today but for two more bulls in a few days.
“Last year I won the Roughy Cup, then I got beat in this round. There’s a lot of unfinished business right here.”
Rutkowski advanced in the tournament-style format by upending Jon Roberts, who had an 80.5-point score. Rhoads scored 83 points and moved on when his opponent, Wayne Ratley, was injured and couldn’t finish his fight. Lippincott scored an upset with an 82-point fight to beat Nathan Harp.
The tightest match of the opening day of the BFO Las Vegas Championship was between Nebraskan Zach Call and Thiessen, a Canadian. Both men scored 83 points, and it was to come down to a tie-breaker based on bullfighter score, which also was the same; Thiessen advanced via a coin flip.
“This is the BFO, where dreams become reality,” Thiessen said.
Not only is the event a series of head-to-head matches, it is truly a battle of man vs. beast. It is a dangerous dance in the dirt, and the proof came in Ratley’s fight. He took two severe hookings, with the second knocking him out of the competition. He is scheduled to fight in Friday’s Wildcard.
While that 88.5 was the best, the key is just having a better score than the other bullfighter.
“Points don’t mean anything,” Rutkowski said. “I still had to handle my bull to the best of my ability. I was very blessed with a good bull.
“Now I’m going to get ready for Saturday. I won’t be satisfied until it’s over with and I’m the champion.”