BY KEITH RYAN CARTWRIGHT
Dekevis Jordan turned 21 on Aug. 17.
A week later, on Aug. 24, he competed for the first time and won his professional debut with Shorty Gorham’s American Freestyle Bullfighting at an event in Nashville, Tennessee.
“I’m excited,” Jordan said. “I’m really jacked. I don’t have words for it. I really don’t. Wow.”
He paused and added, “I don’t show up to bullfights to lose or get second. My mindset is always winning. I’m excited, but I’m not going to say I’m surprised to win.”
Up in Eureka, Montana, Tyler Norton won another AFB event.
Prior to the Nashville event, no one knew what to expect from Jordan’s bull.
In fact, those in the know assumed the two veterans – Alex McWilliams and Chance Pruitt – had the bulls to beat.
But that is why the game is played on the dirt and not in the locker room. Once all three had nodded and fought their bulls, Jordan’s bull was the only one that stayed with him in front of the chutes the entire time.
“When I called for him and did that first fake,” Jordan recalled, “it was game over. He didn’t even go behind the shark cage. He stayed in front the whole time. He felt amazing.
“I threw that big fake and he ate it up. The whole time I thought I was in control,” Jordan continued. “There at the end, I was getting ready to do my big trick and the out gate came open. It was a misunderstanding, but throughout that whole fight I knew I was in control.
“That bull was really fast, but I was quicker. It was smart, but I was smarter.”
The Madill, Oklahoma, native has been providing cowboy protection for six years, but never so much as stepped into a practice pen to face up with a pure-bred Mexican fighting bull until three months ago.
And yet, Saturday night, he outfought the competition despite Pruitt opening his fight with a superman jump and McWilliams, of course, is the No. 1 ranked freestyle bullfighter in the world.
Jordan said he’s still working to develop his cowboy protection career, but, in the meantime, he’s been working with a trio of mentors – Shawn Runyan, Cody Patton and Cody Webster – to perfect his freestyle game.
“I’m around a good crowd of people when I’m not fighting bulls,” Jordan said. “My life is all about bullfighting.”
He added, “They push me to be the best I can be. I need to go make a few phone calls and study up what I messed up on. It was a great bullfight, but there are always mishaps and I gotta talk about it (with my mentors) now, while you can remember it.”
If Jordan was not already pumped to compete for the first time, the Nashville event was held at the Bridgestone Arena during the intermission of a PBR Major event.
That said, Jordan was not intimidated by the size of the arena, the crowd or the CBS Sports Network cameras.
As the adrenaline rush began to wear off and the reality set in, he might have been more anxious afterward then he was beforehand.
“I didn’t realize I was getting the win until after I finished my bull,” Jordan said. “I did realize I had a good time out there with my buddies. When I went out there, I felt the atmosphere and it felt great.
“There’s not a better feeling.”