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

UFC 136 Weigh In

Just finished up my edit for the UFC 136 weigh in. As usual, covered for UFC and Getty Images. I’m a little fried from the long day, so I’ll get right to the good stuff. All fighters made weight, though a couple had to drop their drawers and utilize the towel. Chael Sonnen looked ripped. Gray Maynard looked confident, if even a bit cocky. Jose Aldo was all smiles, as usual.

Below is a selection of my favorite shots.

UFC 136 weigh-in – Images by Joshua Hedges

UFC 136 Open Workouts

Another day covering UFC for Getty Images. Today featured the UFC 136 open workouts for 8 of the feature fighters on the card. We also got our first peak at the layout for the UFC Fan Expo as the workouts were held in the Octagon inside the George R. Brown Convention Center.

As is typical for open workouts, the available light was minimal. So, I took the opportunity to use my off-camera wireless flash unit which I secured to the top of the cage with a GorillaPod. This made for a highly stylized look that I think turned out great. Not much interesting usually happens at these open workouts. Fighters typically don’t do anything strenuous two days out from their fight, so anything you can do to create your own drama helps.

Some members of the Houston Dynamo soccer club were in attendance and came in the Octagon for a publicity stunt that saw featherweight opponents Kenny Florian and Jose Aldo battling each other in a “kick off”. Both guys were high level soccer players prior to their fighting careers, so it proved interesting. Though UFC PR guru Dave Sholler declared it a draw, I scored it a clear victory for Florian.

Below is a small selection of my favorite shots from the day.

UFC 136 Open Workouts – Images by Joshua Hedges

UFC 136 final presser

My first full day on the ground in Houston had me covering the UFC 136 pre-fight press conference for UFC and Getty Images. Even though it was an hour earlier than normal, it still wasn’t bad for me as the Toyota Center where the presser was hosted is across the street from my hotel. I love it when things work out like this, though it’s very rare.

Not much of note to report from the press conference. Chael Sonnen was rather somber and not talking much, if any, trash today. Quite a change for his usual presser behavior. Brian Stann was all class, as usual. Not much was asked of the four championship headliners on the dais – Frankie Edgar, Gray Maynard, Jose Aldo, and Kenny Florian. The pace was pretty fast and before we knew it the guys were facing off. Maynard got right up in Frankie’s face, but Frankie didn’t back down at all. That made for a couple good shots.

Here are a few of my favorite shots from the short shoot.

UFC 136 press conference – Images by Joshua Hedges

UFC on Versus 6: Cruz decisions Johnson

I’m here hanging out at the Washington DC Reagan International Airport, getting ready to head back home and catching up on some edits. I shot the fights last night at the Verizon Center for Getty Images and UFC.

The fights turned out to be pretty good. A couple that I expected to be good weren’t so much, but then a few of the sleeper fights turned out great. All in all was a pretty decent night. Highlights for me were the Neer/Wisniewski and Wiman/Danzig fights, which you can tell from the pictures. I also enjoyed the Edwards/Oliveira fight, though it’s always tough watching my boy Yves fight since we’ve been friends for more than 11 years. But, he pulled out a big win tonight and looked really impressive in the process.

UFC on Versus 6 – Images by Joshua Hedges

UFC on Versus open workouts

A day late, but I wanted to share a few images from yesterday’s UFC open workouts, which took place at the Warrior Gym in Alexandria, VA. I had a great time shooting and had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with fellow MMA photographer Melanie Diez LeGoullon. You never really know what you’re going to get with these workouts. Sometimes the guys don’t want to workout at all, or just do a little shadow boxing. Then, you get guys like Dominick Cruz who go hard for 20-30 minutes until someone has to tell him to stop. While the lighting wasn’t ideal, it was certainly better than some places we’ve had in the past. The turnout was decent for a smaller event. I’d say there were probably 30-40 people from the media in attendance and another 20-30 fans who came out. Not bad for noon on a weekday. Below are a few of my favorite shots from the day.

UFC on Versus 6 Open Workouts – Images by Joshua Hedges

UFC on Versus pre-fight press conference

Today we took a trip into downtown Washington, DC to The Newseum for the final press conference for the UFC on Versus 6 card. The card features the first live, free championship fight in the UFC’s history with Bantamweight Champion Dominick Cruz defending his title against Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson. The co-feature pits the heavyweight division’s tallest fighter, Stefan Struve of Holland, against the division’s shortest fighter, Pat Barry. This made for some great face-off photos at the end. However, the highlight of the presser was Pat Barry’s comedic responses throughout the event. Here are a few selects from the afternoon’s take.

UFC on Versus 6 Press Conference – Images by Joshua Hedges