Surfers Paradise and UFC on FOX 5 Wrap Up

I write to you today from sunny, beautiful Australia. I’m in the Gold Coast (Surfers Paradise) for the finale for The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes on Saturday. I flew down here straight from Seattle following UFC on FOX 5 and went straight to work, so I haven’t had much time to work on a proper blog post.

I’ll spare you a long-winded writeup and just get to the good stuff. UFC on FOX 5 featured a great night of fights, which capped a fantastic week that I was able to share with my wife in Seattle. I covered the fights alongside longtime Getty staff photographer Ezra Shaw. Here’s my favorite shot from the night.

SEATTLE, WA – DECEMBER 08: (R-L) Matt Brown knocks out Mike Swick with a punch during their welterweight bout at the UFC on FOX event on December 8, 2012 at Key Arena in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

And here’s my full slideshow from the night.


UFC on FOX 5: Henderson v Diaz – Images by Joshua Hedges

Sunday morning, I left Seattle destined for Gold Coast, Australia. My itinerary saw me layover in San Francisco for about 5 hours, followed by a 12-hour flight to Auckland, New Zealand and another 3 hour layover there. I finally arrived in Gold Coast mid-morning Tuesday. Upon arriving at the hotel in Surfers Paradise, I was presented with some of the best working conditions a man could ask for.

SURFERS PARADISE, AUSTRALIA – DECEMBER 11: A general view of Surfers Paradise as seen from the Hilton Hotel on December 11, 2012 in Surfers Paradise, Australia. (Photo by Josh Hedges)

While I haven’t had much time to venture out and see any sights, just the fact that I can wake up and open my blinds every morning to this view makes the workday seem so much easier.

On Wednesday, I spent the day shooting portraits of various fighters on the card. Nothing too exciting, though it was nice to see all the guys again who I worked with at the beginning of filming for TUF: The Smashes. Everyone is in great shape and excited to put on a great fight.

SURFERS PARADISE, AUSTRALIA – DECEMBER 12: (L-R) Robert Whittaker and Norman Parke pose for a portraits ahead of their UFC on FX bouts on December 12, 2012 at the Hilton Hotel in Surfers Paradise, Australia. (Photos by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Thursday saw us drive out to Boonchu Muay Thai for the open workouts. The gym is owned by legendary Aussie fighter John Wayne Parr. It was a pleasant surprise when the man himself greeted us upon arrival and welcomed us into his gym. It’s a very small gym in a warehouse complex, but it worked out great. 8 fighters from the card worked out in some form or another. Some only shadow boxing, others a little more intense. Here is a slideshow of shots from the workouts.


UFC on FX 6 Open Workouts – Images by Joshua Hedges

And today saw the fighters all hit the scale for the official weigh in ahead of tomorrow’s fights. All fighters made weigh on their first try and there were no big surprises. TUF Smashes Coaches Ross Pearson and George Sotiropoulos capped off the weigh in with a heated staredown. Below is the slideshow of images from the weigh in.


UFC on FX 6 Weigh In – Images by Joshua Hedges

UFC 137 fight night blog

Greetings from Birmingham, England. I meant to get this blog post up sooner, but there just don’t seem to be enough hours in the day anymore.

I had a great time again at UFC 137. The main coverage for the event was from my friend Jed Jacobsohn, but I did have a chance to shoot a little bit. My original intent was to run upstairs to the press box and shoot the two Spike TV fights (Tyson Griffin vs. Bart Palaszewski and Donald Cerrone vs. Dennis Siver) with the 400mm lens. However, Bart decided to end his fight rather quickly before I had a chance to get up to the press box. So, I only shot the Cerrone/Siver bout from up top. That one, as well, was a quick one. Nonetheless, I came away with a few good shots.

We also mounted an overhead remote camera again in the lighting grid. This time, we went much further out towards the center of the Octagon to achieve the “straight over top” look as best as possible. I used a 14mm lens mounted on a Canon EOS 1DS Mark III. Luckily, we had some good fights and good celebrations. I think we came away with a good amount of winners from the overhead. It’s always a gamble, and you can never plan on it being successful. But, when it is, it gives you a good feeling of accomplishment.

I wasn’t able to shoot much of anything for the three main fights, due to the internet dropping out in the arena and having to relocate my edit station to the production truck outside the arena. I did shoot a quick shot of BJ Penn’s entrance with the 400mm from the floor. I love that lens. Can’t wait to try the new version.


UFC 137: Penn vs. Diaz – Images by Joshua Hedges

UFC 137 Weigh-in

Today the fighters for UFC 137 weighed in at the Mandalay Bay Events Center. I was there to cover it for UFC and Getty Images. Frank Mir was the special guest for the UFC Fight Club Q&A session, then there was an introduction of the new UFC Undisputed 3 video game. As a special treat for the fans, Chuck Liddell and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson battled each other on the game, playing as themselves in Pride mode. Liddell eventually won a back-and-forth battle by first round knockout with a head kick. After that, the fighters filed onto the stage one-by-one to make their scheduled weights. Only Tyson Griffin failed to make weight, coming in at 149 pounds for his scheduled 145-pound contest against Bart Palaszewski. Griffin was fined 25% of his show purse.

Headliners BJ Penn and Nick Diaz got into a tussle after weighing in and had to be separated by UFC President Dana White. From this photographer’s vantage point, it appeared that BJ Penn initiated contacted touching his forehead to Nick Diaz’s nose. Diaz in turn pushed back with his head and Dana White quickly jumped between them.


UFC 137 Weigh-in – Images by Joshua Hedges

UFC 137 press conference

The UFC 137 final pre-fight press conference took place yesterday on the Brooklyn Bridge outside the New York New York Hotel and Casino. It was a beautiful day and the setting was perfect for this sort of event. UFC President Dana White opened the presser with an announcement that Jon Anik of ESPN’s MMA Live has joined the UFC. Personally, I think this is a great move for both UFC and Jon Anik. Other than that announcement, not much of note came out of the rather short press conference.


UFC 137 Press Conference – Images by Joshua Hedges

UFC 137 Open Workouts

It’s been a bit since I’ve updated with new photos. I had a nice little break, but it’s good to be back shooting. Today was the open workouts for the UFC 137 card this weekend. Not only are we back in Vegas, but today’s workout took place at the TUF Gym, giving me the home field advantage. We pre-lit the the night before, rigging a couple Speedotron 202vf heads in the ceiling. I love using strobes for the workouts. I think it really creates drama in an otherwise relatively boring setting. For those of you that have not attended or watched these workouts before, the fighters typically don’t do much more than about 3-5 minutes of shadow-boxing.

Anyways, below is a selection of my favorite images from the day.


UFC 137 Open Workouts – Images by Joshua Hedges