When you think of hard-hitting sports, you may think about football, hockey or rugby, but one of the most hard-hitting and dangerous sports on the planet is actually bull riding. This is a sport where only a few seconds makes or breaks (literally) the best in the world. You may go home on crutches, or you may go home clutching checks worth millions. So, how much do you know about this death-defying sport? Probably not enough, but at least you can identify these bull riding champions, right?
Bull riding has a history dating back to the Ancient Minoan culture, but modern bull riding goes back to 16th century Mexico and has gained immense popularity in the last century especially with the release of the mid-'90s movie "8 Seconds," which grabbed onto the sport's interest and propelled it forward to audiences across the country. Known as "the most dangerous eight seconds in sports," there are nearly two deaths a year and dozens of spinal and brain injuries, plus hundreds of breaks, tears, rips and anything else a body can handle.
So, who are the warriors who take on the bulls? Names like Silvano Alves, Kody Lostroh and Mike Lee make this sport what it is. See how many you can name from an image. Lucky for you, you get more than eight seconds.
Throughout his career, James Burton Mauney, also known as "J.B," has won the 2013 and 2015 World Championship. In 2016, he became the first bull rider to achieve over $7 million in career earnings.
In 2000 and 2003, Chris Shivers earned the title of PBR World Champion Bull Rider after becoming a professional bull rider in 1997. This Mississippi native has numerous wins and a history of making firsts during his professional bull riding career, including the title of being the first bull rider to win three consecutive Bud Light Cup events.
This three-time Brazilian World Champion has been riding bulls professionally for over 10 years and ranks 57th in the world. He achieved the $1.8 million earnings mark within only 18 months of riding, quicker than any professional bull rider in history.
According to the Guinness Book of Records, this nine-time World Champion is the youngest Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) World All-Around Cowboy. During his career, he has won the World All-Around Champion title seven times. In 2000, he was inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame.
Montana's Mike Lee commenced his PBR career in 2002. In 2004, he was the first rider to win both the World Championship and PBR World Finals event title concurrently.
This Texas native and professional bull rider commenced riding at the age of 13. He has achieved first-place finishes in numerous events, becoming the top-ranked bull rider in the world ranking in 2016.
Brazilian native, Renato Nunes, retired from professional bull riding at the Built Ford Tough World Finals in 2015, after a 10-year career. In 2007, he won his first event and ended his professional tenure with 10 event wins, 44 Top-5 finishes and 87 Top-10 finishes.
Colorado native and professional bull rider Lostroh began riding steers at the age of 8. Over the past 14 years, he has won several national titles including Rookie of the Year award in 2005 and the 2009 World Championship. He has qualified for the world finals 10 times between 2005 and 2014.
Growing up, Malone was fascinated by steer riding but had no intention of ever riding bulls. As he grew older, he decided to give the sport a chance, listening to the advice of the elders in his community. In 2014, he captured the Touring Pro Division overall title.
North Carolina native and World Champion Gage Gay has six years of professional bull riding experience, having ranked 17th in the world at the age of 17.
This five-time Arkansas State Champion began riding calves at the age of 4 and rode his first bull six years later. He has been a professional bull riding athlete for seven years, earning 11 Top 5 and 28 Top 10 finishes with two wins in four seasons.
Cody Hart won the 1999 Professional Bull Riders World Championship and has 23 years of professional experience. He commenced riding at the age of 3, transitioning from calves to steers and from junior bulls to big bulls.
This 1998 PBR World Champion commenced rodeo professionally in 1987 in Australia. After winning the Australian Professional Rodeo Association bull riding title in 1990, Dunn moved to Canada to compete. In 2005, he retired after qualifying and competing at the PBR World Finals and was presented with the PBR Ring of Honor.
This New Mexican professional bull rider ranks as one of the all-time greats. He won the 1997 PBR World Championship, earning him nearly a quarter million dollars. In the 2004 season, he retired and was later inducted into the Ring of Honor.
This 1996 Professional Bull Rider world champion has earned the nickname "Captain Consistency" during his tenure. In 2003, he became the first rider to defeat the unridden Hammer and has qualified 10 times for the PBR World Finals. After his retirement in 2005, he was the 43rd bull rider to have been inducted into the PBR's Ring of Honor.
Richard Neale Hedeman, also known as "Tuff" Hedeman, is the ambassador of Championship Bull Riding and one of the co-founders of the Professional Bull Riders. This three-time Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association World Bull Riding Champion has also won the 1995 Professional Bull Riders World Championship.
This right-handed professional bull rider has qualified for 60 out of his 140 rides and has won seven. During his five-year tenure in bull riding, Marcilio has faced approximately 4,500 bulls with an average power rating of 62.72.
Professional bull rider, Brian Herman is popularly known by friends and fans as "Pee Wee." Throughout his career, he has had many injuries, spanning from broken bones to numerous torn muscles and countless bruises.
This Texas cowboy rode his first calf at the age of 7 and moved on to capture several titles including the Rookie of the Year Honors in the PBR World Finals in 2000. Along with his bull riding journey, he has overcome many serious injuries from broken legs and collarbones to cracked ribs, but he was never deterred from the sport he enjoyed.
In 2004, this Brazilian bull rider debuted and qualified for his first Professional Bull Riders World Finals. Marchi finished 41st in the world, but it was not until 2008 that he won his first title. In 2014, he became the first bull rider to complete 500 qualified rides.
This Texas bull rider placed third in the World Championship in 2000 and has won both the 2005 and 2007 Professional Bull Riders World Championships. He has retired from bull riding and is now a rodeo commentator.
Although retired, this Brazilian bull rider began riding at the age of 15. He has won two National Finals and three World Championships throughout his professional bull riding career.
This Sao Paulo, Brazil bull rider won the Professional Bull Riders World Championship in 2002. After 18 years of riding professionally, he ranks 21st in the Built Ford Tough Series Points Standings.
Derek Kolbaba was predestined to be a bull rider and expressed this to his dad at 3 years old. This young professional from Washington is one of the world's top riders, having won the 2017 PBR Monster Energy Tour in Quebec. As a 19-year-old rookie, he won the 15/15 Bucking Battle in 2016.
The six-year Brazilian veteran finished third in the 2017 world title race and ended with a personal best of 4th in the world standing.
This Brazilian native won the PBR Rookie of the Year in 2015, as well as several PBR Majors during his professional career. He was the Last Cowboy Standing on the famous Las Vegas Strip, having emerged from three rounds of intense bull riding.
Dener Barbosa has four years experience in professional bull riding and ranks number three in the world standings. After this 23-year-old rookie won his first PBR event, he moved into first place in the Rookie of the Year race.
This retired Brazilian bull riding veteran came to the United States for the first time in December 1998. During his professional bull riding career, Crimber was known for his dancing after qualifying for rides, establishing himself as a fan favorite.
At the age of 10, Ross Johnson began riding steers as he was inspired by PBR legends Tuff Hedeman and Donnie Gay. In the summer of 2004, he won three event titles.
This Brazilian left-hander has been bull riding professionally for over 13 years. Due to his reaction after being disqualified in the first round at Nampa, Idaho, he was suspended from PBR competition for a period of 12 months.
With over 14 years of professional riding under his belt, Williams has qualified for 305 rides out of the 779 he attempted. This right-hand rider has had big paydays, earning near three-quarters of a million dollars after winning only two bull riding events.
Douglas Duncan, the son of former bull rider Mike Duncan, is a 13-year, 135-pound left-hander. This bull rider's career has been riddled with injuries from his hip to his thumb.
This Grand Coulee Washington native has career earnings of over $1 million over a 13-year span. Shane Proctor captured the 2011 PRCA world champion bull rider and qualified for the PBR World Finals eight times between 2006 and 2016.
Brazilian rider Edevaldo Da Silva Ferreira is an 11-year professional. This two-time Brazil national champion and 2012 World Finals participant gained his 18th champion belt buckle with an 88.5 point ride in Sao Paulo.
Ranked 57th in the world, Stormy Wing mounted his first steer at 4 years old. Having never finished within the top ten of world standing, Wing experienced his best finish in 2012, when he placed 19th.
Only one year after receiving the organization's rookie of the year, this 20-year-old cowboy became the youngest World Champion in PBR history. He garnered a whopping $1.5 million in career earnings within that time.
This Sao Paulo native has four top five and 11 top 10 finishes in 2017, while taking part in 37 events. He considered retirement back in 2015 after breaking his right ankle attempting to ride Cowtown Rock.
With the world ranking of 57th, 29-year-old Cody Nance is famed for tossing his bandanna after an eight-second ride. This 2009 rookie of the year has eight consecutive Built Ford Tough World Finals qualifications.
This 41-year-old veteran from Kemp, Texas, USA, has spent 23 years as a professional bull rider.
The 2017 PBR World Finals event winner, Jose Leme, played semi-professional soccer during his teenage years after embracing the sport at the age of 11. He has utilized the lessons learned on the soccer fields in Brazil to his advantage after switching over to bull riding at the age of 18.
The 5-foot-9-inch bull rider has 14 years of experience in the sport and is famous for this last name, Dirteater, which brings laughter to fans, many of whom believe it's fake. The Oklahoma native is known as the "Cherokee Kid," due to his lineage which is full-blooded Cherokee.
The Rio Branco Acre, Brazil native and former World Champion contender currently ranks in the top 100 in the world standings. After achieving six consecutive Top 7 finishes between 2007 and 2012, the 35-year-old left-hand rider has not completed his rides better than 20th in the world over the last four years.
Upon retirement, Wiley Petersen is at a career average of 48.83 percent having competed in 274 Built Ford Tough Series events, winning 13 of them. He won the 2007 PBR World Finals, when he played his best season and ranked fourth in the world.
Bull rider Reed Corder won the 1998 Professional Bull Riders Bud Light Cup World Championship. He has qualified for 28 out of the 92 attempts made all through his career at an average of 30.43%.
Porter commenced riding steer at the age of 8 and was captivated by bull riding every time he attended a rodeo; at 11 years old, he climbed on his first bull. In 2011, he was chosen for the PBR Ring of Honor.
This 17-year professional returned to bull riding in 2010 after a three-year hiatus. As the 2003 rookie of the year and World Finals event champion, he has dealt with a brain injury, cheating accusations, and stomach and artery tears during his long tenure as a rider.
Luke Snyder commenced professional bull riding as an 18-year-old rookie. In 2001, he won the PBR World Finals Championship. He has been called the Ironman of bull riding and has competed in a record-breaking 275 successive major PBR events.
California native Ted Nuce commenced his professional career in bull riding in 1982. Three years later, he won the 1985 PRCA World Champion bull rider and the PBR's first World Finals event held in 1994, as well as other championships. In 2009, he was inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame.
As a Montana resident, Matt Triplett rode horses on his family's ranch growing up, riding his first steer at the age of 8, which lasted only four seconds, but nonetheless captivated his interest. He turned professional at the age of 19 and has since finished third and fifth respectively in the PBR world standings in 2014 and 2015.