UFC 152 Weigh In

Today saw the official UFC 152 weigh in taking place at the old Maple Leaf Gardens here in Toronto. Was cool to be inside such a historic building, though I was kind of bummed they have completely gutted it and rebuilt it inside to a modern university sports facility. Still cool though, and not just because we were sitting on the ice.

All fighters made weight, thought it took Charles Oliveira some extra time to come in under the limit. The remotes worked out well. I can only imagine how cool it would have looked had we been in a huge, packed arena. Stage left camera was a Canon EOS 1D Mark IV with a EF 16-35mm 2.8L lens set at ISO 2000, 1/400, f4; stage right remote camera was a Canon EOS 1Dx with a EF 14mm 2.8L II USM lens set at ISO 3200, 1/400, f5. Most of the images in the slide show are cropped in quite a bit to lose some of the clutter and dead space.

Huge thanks to my friend Ed Mulholland for lending me his EF 300mm 2.8L IS to shoot the front shots on the scale. I originally planned to use the 70-200mm from the floor up front, but decided last minute to move to the camera platform in the back for a less extreme angle. The 300mm/1Dx combo worked out perfect for the distance.

Also, another thank you (not!) to the commissioner who knowingly refused to get out of the shot after each guy weighed in, even after he was asked to move. Really frustrating when that happens, but what can you do?

Here is a slideshow of shots from the afternoon.

UFC 152 Weigh In – Images by Joshua Hedges

UFC 152 fight week

Greetings from Toronto, Canada. I won’t bore you with all the details of my exhausting week up here thus far. I’ll be covering UFC 152 on Saturday for UFC and Getty Images, and have been here since Tuesday night covering all the events leading up to the fight. Below are a couple slideshows from Wednesday’s open workouts and Thursday’s press conference.

I’ll be doing a bunch of new remotes for today’s weigh in, so stay tuned for those shots later tonight.

UFC 152 Open Workouts – Images by Joshua Hedges

UFC 152 Press Conference – Images by Joshua Hedges

UFC 140: Jones vs. Machida – Gallery

Greetings from not-so-sunny San Diego. I arrived earlier today to cover the Strikeforce event this weekend for Getty Images. And, while I was supposed to be relaxing, I decided to take the time to post the gallery for UFC 140 to my website. I served as second shooter and editor in Toronto, so I was only able to shoot 6 or 7 of the fights, but I was happy with what I did. The Walel Watson vs. Yves Jabouin fight was very fun to watch and shoot, though I thought Watson should have been declared the winner.

As for the three main fights, all three winners were as I expected, but none in the manner I expected. Tito Ortiz was decimated by “Little Nog” Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, ultimately being stopped by punches and elbows on the ground in the first round. “Big Nog” Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira was well on his way to a TKO victory over Frank Mir in their rematch when suddenly he decided to stop punching and go for a submission. Mir quickly reversed, secured a submission of his own, and took Nogueira’s arm home to mount above his mantle. Truly gruesome, yet awesome. In the main event, Light Heavyweight champ Jon “Bones” Jones started off slow in the first round against Lyoto Machida, getting tagged a couple times with good shots and seemingly looking a bit “off”. He quickly turned it around in the second stanza and put Machida away, choking him unconscious with a standing guillotine choke against the cage.

But, perhaps the most important and looked-forward to event of the night was the return of the ever-popular Octagon Girl Brittney Palmer.

All-in-all, a pretty good night of fights. Can’t wait for the Strikeforce fights this weekend with my boy Gilbert Melendez defending his lightweight strap against Jorge Masvidal. And I’m really looking forward to the heavyweight battle to finish off the year at UFC 141 with Alistair Overeem vs. Brock Lesnar.

My favorite selects are below. As always, the full take from both myself and our primary shooter Nick Laham are available on Getty Images.

UFC 140: Jones vs. Machida – Images by Joshua Hedges

UFC 140 Weigh-in gallery

I just wanted to quickly share my UFC 140 images before I head over to the arena for the fights tonight. Nothing too major transpired at the weigh-in, other than Dennis Hallman coming in 2 1/2 pounds over weight. Dana White didn’t seem too happy about that. I guess for most, the other highlight of the event would be the return of Octagon Girl Brittney Palmer.

As always, this is just a small selection. The full take is available on Getty Images.

UFC 140 Weigh-in – Images by Joshua Hedges

UFC 140 final presser

Today was spent at the Bell Tiff Light Box cinemas for the UFC 140 final pre-fight press conference. The fighters in the three feature bouts were in attendance – UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon “Bones” Jones, challenger Lyoto Machida, Heavyweight opponents Frank Mir and Antonio Rodrigo “Minotauro” Nogueira, and Light Heavyweight opponents Tito Ortiz and Antonio Rogerio “Minotoro” Nogueira. I believe this was the first time we’ve done a press conference or any type of event inside a movie theater. It made for a nice setting, though the lighting was a little darker than usual. The seats were quite comfortable though, and I found myself wanting to take a nap as the presser drew on. All six guys were very respectful and there were no controversial comments made.

Below is a taste of my favorite shots. As always, the full take is available on Getty Images and UFC.com.

UFC 140 Pre-Fight Press Conference – Images by Joshua Hedges

UFC 140 Open Workouts

Yesterday marked my first full day in the wonderful city of Toronto. I spent most of the day hanging out at the Xtreme Couture gym for the UFC 140 Media Open Workouts. There were a good amount of both press and fans in attendance. The workouts started out good with Lyoto Machida and Tito Ortiz being the first two fighters on the mat and both putting on a decent show. However, after Ortiz was finished, the Nogueira brothers were scheduled to come out. We waited for a bit… nothing. Waited a bit more… nothing. Finally, after about an hour and twenty minutes, they showed up. Minotauro started out doing interviews while his brother Minotoro (aka Lil Nog) spent what felt like another twenty minutes wrapping his hands. Finally, Lil Nog started hitting mits and we were back on track. Minotauro came out and hit pads and shadow boxed for a bit after his interviews were done. The day concluded with Frank Mir putting on a brief demonstration, followed by UFC Light Heavyweight Champ Jon “Bones” Jones who always dazzles the crowd with flashy kicks, knees, and punches. At one point, the fans were calling out moves and Jones would instantly demonstrate them – “Flying knee”, “Spinning hook kick”, “Axe kick” and “Spinning back elbow” were just a few.

The ambient light in the gym was pretty low, so I busted out the trust speedlite and mounted it to a pole. I played around with exposure levels and positions throughout the day. At one point, I had to detach the mounted flash unit and use it on camera when Minotauro was doing his interviews because the camera operators were standing directly in front of the flash unit.

The full take is available on Getty Images and UFC.com. Below are my favorite selects from the day.

UFC 140 Open Workouts – Images by Joshua Hedges