This afternoon, we trekked down to the San Diego Sports Arena for the Strikeforce weigh in. We got down there in plenty of time to finally hit up Phil’s BBQ for lunch beforehand. In all the times I’ve been to San Diego, I’ve never eaten at Phil’s. Glad we did, it was quite tasty. Not the best I’ve had, but a solid contender for sure.
After lunch, we walked back over to the arena and got setup for the weigh in. We had to sit around for quite a while patiently waiting for the event to start. The first fighter finally hit the scale at about 4:15, only fifteen minutes late of the scheduled 4:00 pm start. All was going well until Jerron Peoples stepped on the scale. He had been having a rough time cutting and knew in advance that he would not make the 171 pound welterweight limit. The fight against Roger Bowling was agreed to be held at a catch-weight of 179 pounds. However, Peoples couldn’t even make that, weighing in at 181 pounds buck naked. Bowling proceeded to step up on the scale and make the original contracted weight of 170 pounds. Bowling stepped off the scale and immediately got in Peoples’ face. Scott Coker had to separate the two and ushered Peoples off the stage instead of allowing the photographers to get an official face off shot.
After that bit of drama, everyone else made weight with no problem.
Below is a sample of the take I transmitted to Getty Images.
Today, we drove down to Mission Valley for the final pre-fight presser for the Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal card. Former San Diego Charges linebacker Junior Seau hosted the event at his restaurant, named Seau’s of course.
All eight fighters from the televised card were in attendance, including Gilbert Melendez, Jorge Masvidal, Cris Cyborg, Hiroko Yamanaka, Gegard Mousasi, Ovince St-Preux, KJ Noons, and Billy Evangelista. Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker opened the press conference by announcing briefly that Strikeforce would be sticking around with the renewal of their deal with Showtime, but quickly intimated that he would not address any questions regarding the deal during the press conference. He asked that all questions be addressed to the fighters on the card and pertain to the fights on the card. Of course, as everyone expected, the first question asked was about the new deal. Haha…
Nothing much exciting or groundbreaking happened, so here’s a small selection of photos to document the event. Check Getty Images. for the full take.
Today marked the first full day of work covering the Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal event here in San Diego. I got up this morning and drove over to The Arena MMA, conveniently located in the shadow of the San Diego Sports Arena (I refuse to refer to this place by it’s new moniker Valley View Casino Center). A total of eight fighters cycled through the gym over the course of the day, and while the media turnout was bleak and the fighters didn’t get too crazy with their workouts, I still feel like I came away with some decent stuff.
As I’m sure you all know by now, I’m a big fan of off-camera flash for workouts. I mounted my Canon 580ex speedlite on a small kit stand and raised it to the top shelf (about 7′ high), and positioned it at roughly 90-degrees to my starting position. Though, at times, I roamed around the room putting the camera at various angles with respect to the light. The low white ceiling in the gym presented a challenge, as I typically go for the very dramatic lighting for the workouts. Usually, I point the flash straight up and use an omni-bounce over the face to diffuse the light. Doing that inside this gym, though, would have made the ceiling a huge soft box and created a very flat overhead light look, which frankly just isn’t what I like for workout images. So, I left the face of the flash bare and pointed it directly across the room to control the spread as much as possible. Unfortunately, doing this also means you have to depend on your subject to stay within a more narrow path to be hit with the light. I guess you could say I got lucky. I always try to prepare as best as possible, but sometimes, things just come down to luck. Take the Melendez stretching shots at the end of his workout series. Had he moved just a few feet to his right, or even just turned the other direction, the photos would have been considerably worse.
Anyways… On to the gallery. This is the full take that I transmitted to Getty Images.