The World Traveler

I apologize for neglecting my blog so badly the past few months. I promise to do a better job and keep everyone better informed of my whereabouts around the globe in 2013 and beyond.

As you may or may not know, I’m smack in the middle of a 15 day road trip. I spent the first 9 days traveling to and working in Sao Paulo, Brazil. This was the first time I had ventured outside of the airport in Sao Paulo, and I was pleasantly surprised. The weather was the first surprise. We were met with rain as soon as we walked out of the terminal to get our car, and for the most part, the rain didn’t let up for the rest of the trip.

The one thing I was told about Sao Paulo before I arrived was that the traffic is even worse than Rio de Janeiro. I don’t know if I just have good luck or people were lying to me, but I found that statement to be completely false. It took only 25 minutes to get to the hotel from the airport, and all our journeys between the hotel and the various shooting locations were much quicker than planned, as well.

The skies parted for a few hours last Wednesday for the UFC open workouts at Parque Anhangaba├║ near the city’s center. The usual cast of characters, including the main event and co-main event contestants, and a handful of local talent, put on a show for the crowd that gathered. The location was pretty neat, and the weather was much more accommodating than I have been used to during outdoor workouts in the past.

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JANUARY 16:  A general view of the venue as fighters participate in an open workout session for media and fans on January 16, 2013 at Parque Anhangaba├║ in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL – JANUARY 16: A general view of the venue as fighters participate in an open workout session for media and fans on January 16, 2013 at Parque Anhangaba├║ in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

After the usual pre-fight routine of portraits, press conference, and weigh-in, it was finally fight day. I headed over to Ibirapuera Gymnasium way early to get a lay of the land and scout locations for remotes. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a spot I felt was safe to remove a remote unattended throughout the night, so I canceled that idea.

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JANUARY 19:  A general view of the Octagon before the UFC on FX event on January 19, 2013 at Ibirapuera Gymnasium in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL – JANUARY 19: A general view of the Octagon before the UFC on FX event on January 19, 2013 at Ibirapuera Gymnasium in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

The first preliminary fight started about 8:45 pm local time. With eleven fights on the card, it was shaping up to be a long night. The arena was more than half full for the first fight and the fans erupted when their countryman, Francisco Trinaldo, finished C.J. Keith with an arm triangle choke. For the most part, the crowd was pretty calm after that, until Sao Paulo and TUF Brasil 1 finalist Daniel Sarafian entered for his bout against C.B. Dolloway. Unfortunately for the crowd, Sarafian came out on the losing end of the decision and the fans showed their displeasure by booing Dolloway so loudly that I couldn’t hear a word he said in his post-fight interview.

Finally, at nearly 1:30 am, it was time for the main event. Michael Bisping walked out first to a strong chorus of boos. His opponent, Vitor Belfort was met with a nice reaction from the crowd, though nothing like Sarafian experienced. Vitor looked fired up and ready to destroy.

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JANUARY 19:  Vitor Belfort enters the arena before his middleweight fight against Michael Bisping at the UFC on FX event on January 19, 2013 at Ibirapuera Gymnasium in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL – JANUARY 19: Vitor Belfort enters the arena before his middleweight fight against Michael Bisping at the UFC on FX event on January 19, 2013 at Ibirapuera Gymnasium in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

And destroy he did. Belfort controlled the action in round one, landing a number of significant kicks and punches. Then, in round two, he unleashed a left high kick to the side of Bisping’s head, putting him down on the canvas. Belfort followed up with a series of hammer-fists forcing referee Dan Miragliotta to stop the fight. The crowd went nuts, as did Vitor.

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JANUARY 19:  Vitor Belfort reacts after defeating Michael Bisping in their middleweight fight at the UFC on FX event on January 19, 2013 at Ibirapuera Gymnasium in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL – JANUARY 19: Vitor Belfort reacts after defeating Michael Bisping in their middleweight fight at the UFC on FX event on January 19, 2013 at Ibirapuera Gymnasium in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

After completing my edit and packing everything up, I was en route back to the hotel by 3:30 am. I had some more work to do once I got back, so I didn’t finally make it to bed until sometime after 6:00. My alarm rang bright and early at 9:00 am for my next assignment. I headed back to the arena to cover the elimination fights for TUF Brasil 2. And that’s about all I can say about that for now.

The next two days were also spent covering various aspects of the upcoming reality show, until I was finally in a car headed back to the airport about 5:30 pm Tuesday evening. I flew straight to Chicago for this week’s UFC on FOX card; landing at about 6:00 am local time Wednesday morning after an 11-hour flight. I had just enough time to get to the hotel and take a shower before I was back in a car headed to the UFC Gym for the open workouts.

CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 23:  A general view of the workout area before the UFC on FOX open workouts on January 23, 2013 at UFC Gym in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL – JANUARY 23: A general view of the workout area before the UFC on FOX open workouts on January 23, 2013 at UFC Gym in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

This particular UFC Gym location had just been transformed from it’s previous moniker, LA Boxing. I mean that literally as apparently they were still under construction the day before. Everything had that “brand new, wrapped in plastic” smell. I did a quick once-over and decided on locations to place a few speedlites. The overhead florescent lights did not provide the look I was going for, so of course I came prepared with four of my Canon 600EX-RT units. And, for the next four hours, I clicked away as various fighters cycled through the gym to workout for media. The whole day was really a blur, but I actually came away with several shots I was happy with.

CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 23:  Quinton "Rampage" Jackson conducts an open workout session for media on January 23, 2013 at UFC Gym in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL – JANUARY 23: Quinton “Rampage” Jackson conducts an open workout session for media on January 23, 2013 at UFC Gym in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

After the workouts, I headed back to the hotel to work on my edit and finally had a chance to relax and take a look out the window. It had just started snowing. It was then that I realized less than 36 hours before, I was wearing shorts and flip-flops. Now I was freezing in my hotel room and couldn’t get the heater hot enough.

The usual press conference followed on Thursday, and today saw us head back to the Chicago Theatre once again for another weigh-in. I love it when we do weigh-ins inside these old historic theatres. They create such a cool atmosphere and make for really nice wide photos.

CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 25:  A general view of the theatre as Anthony Pettis and Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone face off during the UFC on FOX weigh-in on January 25, 2013 at the Chicago Theatre in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL – JANUARY 25: A general view of the theatre as Anthony Pettis and Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone face off during the UFC on FOX weigh-in on January 25, 2013 at the Chicago Theatre in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

All fighters made weight and nothing much of interest happened, other than a moment of uncertainty before Quinton “Rampage” Jackson stepped on the scale for his final UFC weigh-in. He appeared to apologize to the commission official and UFC coordinator Burt Watson, and you could see Watson was visibly upset as he stepped back while Rampage hopped on the scale. But then the weight was announced as 204 pounds. I’m not sure what exactly was said, but I was expecting him to be well overweight after seeing that unfold. After making weight, Rampage proceeded to get in the face of his opponent, Glover Teixeira, and give him a tongue-lashing as they faced off.

CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 25:  (L-R) Opponents Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and Glover Teixeira face off during the UFC on FOX weigh-in on January 25, 2013 at the Chicago Theatre in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL – JANUARY 25: (L-R) Opponents Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Glover Teixeira face off during the UFC on FOX weigh-in on January 25, 2013 at the Chicago Theatre in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Tomorrow is yet another early call to head over for a long day at the arena. I’ll do my best to get some shots up before I head back home Sunday morning. But, until then, I leave you with a few slideshows from the last couple weeks.


UFC on FX 7 Open Workouts – Images by Joshua Hedges


UFC on FX 7 Weigh-in – Images by Joshua Hedges


UFC on FX 7: Belfort v Bisping – Images by Joshua Hedges


UFC on FOX 6 Open Workouts – Images by Joshua Hedges


UFC on FOX 6 Weigh-in – Images by Joshua Hedges

UFC 141 Lesnar vs Overeem Gallery

Wow, two blog posts in less than 24 hours. I think I’m finally starting to get the hang of this. Well, as many of you already know, I covered UFC 141 on Friday for UFC and Getty Images. The night was a bit slow starting out, with all the prelim fights going the distance and not a whole lot of excitement. But, in the end, the fight we all were looking forward to – Cerrone vs Diaz – lived up to the hype and then some. While I didn’t totally agree with the judges cards (I had Cerrone winning round 2), the right guy (Diaz) got the nod in the end and made a strong campaign for a shot at the 155-pound title.

After the war between Cerrone and Diaz, the main event was very unsatisfying. I didn’t expect Lesnar to try and stand with Overeem, and I definitely didn’t expect Lesnar to retire after being dispatched. While it wasn’t surprising and makes total sense, I just had never thought about it, even given his health issues in recent times. I’m a bit sad to see him go. He’s always been friendly to me and has given me some great shots over the years. I am very much looking forward to the matchup between Junior dos Santos and Alistair Overeem though.

Below is a selection of my favorite shots from the night. You can view the full take from myself and my friend Donald Miralle at Getty Images. I will add more to this gallery when I have a chance to look through the overhead remote shots. Special thanks to Rob Tonelete for a great job editing for all four photographers on the night.


UFC 141 Lesnar vs Overeem – Images by Joshua Hedges

UFC 141 Open Workouts Gallery

With UFC 141 coming up this Friday, I wanted to share my coverage from all the events this week leading up to the fight. The first of which were the media open workouts which took place over at the Ultimate Fighter Gym on Tuesday. Only four fighters were scheduled to appear, and of those four, only three worked out. I’ll give you one guess who the individual was that chose not to participate. I’ll give you a hint, it’s not the first time he’s done something like this. That wasn’t the only drama of the afternoon though. Due to the shift in scheduling, Donald Cerrone was brought into the gym early to begin his workout while Nate Diaz still stood some 30-feet away doing interviews. Through his entire workout, Cerrone continually looked over Diaz’s way and muttered various obscenities to himself, while hitting and kicking the pads harder and harder each time. Eventually, Diaz left and Cerrone finished his pad work, wrapping up the somewhat abbreviated workouts.

My lighting setup in the dimly lit gym consisted of two Canon 580EX II speedlites, raised to about ten feet high and shooting almost straight across from each other. One was set to 1/8 power and the other 1/16 to create a little bit of shadow. I shot most of the images perpendicular to the lights to further enhance the shadows.

Below is my selection of favorite shots from the afternoon. You can see the full take on Getty Images or UFC.com.


UFC 141 Open Workouts – 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 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