UFC 143 Diaz vs Condit Gallery

Hey everybody. What a great night of fights last night. As usual, I covered UFC 143 for Getty Images and UFC. The annual Superbowl weekend event was originally set to feature a Welterweight Championship battle between heated rivals Nick Diaz and Champion Georges St-Pierre. However, a training injury sidelined St-Pierre and gave Carlos Condit his big shot at UFC gold. The new contest between Diaz and Condit was established to be for an interim championship belt, since St-Pierre could be out of action for up to a year.

As is sometimes the case, the undercard fights nearly stole the show. In the first bout of the night between debuting fighters Stephen Thompson and Dan Stittgen, the KO of the Night award was handed out when Thompson landed a great three strike combo, finishing with a high kick that put Stittgen out for good. Matt Brown also had a great performance in knocking out Chris Cope. Newcomer Henry Martinez looked great in his debut, but came up just a hair short in a split-decision loss to Matthew Riddle. The Submission of the Night award was won by Dustin Poirier who transitioned beautifully between different submissions on the ground, finally tapping out Max Holloway with a mounted triangle/arm bar.

The new UFC intro aired in-house to get the crowd fired up, and I must say it was quite awesome. Before the fight, I had a chance to grab shots of a lot of celebrities in attendance, including my friend Wilmer Valderama, Vanilla Ice, Benji and Joel Madden, Jaime Pressly, MC Hammer, Roy Jones Jr, and all-time hits leader Pete Rose. MC Hammer was actually there for the first fight of the night, which is impressive if you’ve ever been to a UFC in Vegas. Barely anyone is in the arena for the first 2-3 fights.

Starting off the main card was Ed Herman weathering a good storm from Clifford Starks and eventually putting him away with a rear choke submission. Renan Barao handled Scott Jorgensen with a unanimous decision, running his unbeaten streak to 28 fights. Welterweights Josh Koscheck and Mike Pierce went the distance, as well, with Koscheck winning a split decision. In my opinion, I thought Pierce did enough to win. In the co-main event, Fabricio Werdum completely dominated the always-tough Roy “Big Country” Nelson, scoring a unanimous decision. Both men were awarded the Fight of the Night bonus after their performance.

The main event didn’t end up being the slugfest everyone had hoped for, but was still a decent, highly technical fight. Carlos Condit ended up scoring a unanimous decision victory Nick Diaz with the judges’ cards reading 48-47, 49-46, 49-46. A lot of people apparently feel Diaz should have won. I personally don’t see how, but I’ll concede that I don’t get the best view of the fight from a judging perspective. I had Diaz winning only one round, with one more being close. A very frustrated Diaz appeared to announce his retirement from MMA in the Octagon after the fight, stating that he’s “tired of playing this game.” Condit captures the interim UFC Welterweight Championship with the victory, as well as a brand new Harley Davidson motorcycle. Quote of the night comes from Condit at the post-fight presser when asked what Diaz was saying to him throughout the fight. He said at one point, after he threw a spinning backfist, Diaz said to him “Oh, so we’re throwing spinning shit now?” Carlos said, “I had to laugh at that.”

We tried out some strobes for the first time during live fights, with a couple lights mounted at different angles, and on different channels. I think they turned out great, especially the ones I shot from the press box overhead. This is definitely something we will be doing again. Big thanks to Nick Laham for the idea and allowing me to use them to capture a few shots. Also thanks to our always trusty assistant Mike Roach for helping with the rigging and testing.

Below is a selection of shots I captured throughout the night. Check out the rest from all our photographers on Getty Images and UFC.com.


UFC 143 Diaz vs Condit – Images by Joshua Hedges

UFC 143 Weigh In Gallery

My long day is finally over and it had the perfect ending – a great dinner with my lovely wife and photographer/friend Nick Laham. I was at Mandalay Bay early this morning to begin setting up a remote camera for the fights tomorrow. That all went pretty smooth, and hopefully there will be some good moments to capture. After we finished that up, it was about time to start getting ready for the weigh in.

The arena, and especially the smaller-than-usual media section, started filling up earlier than normal. As a result, I was trapped in my seat for much longer than I’d care to be so as to insure I would not loose it. UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St-Pierre was the special guest for today’s UFC Fight Club Q&A session. He revealed that he expects to be back training in fight mode by July and should probably be ready to fight the winner of Diaz vs Condit in the fall. Georges was not at all secretive about his desire for Nick Diaz to defeat Carlos Condit so that he will finally be able to fight Diaz. St-Pierre also stated that he thinks Nick Diaz has some mental problems, but was quick to add that he himself also has his own demons which nobody sees. All-in-all, it was a good Q&A session with the champ.

As the weigh ins approached, my buddy Rod Mar showed up and took a seat next to me. It’s always nice passing the time by talking shop with fellow photographers and friends. The hour was eclipsed in no time and the weigh ins began. No great surprises as everyone made weight. Only Alex “Bruce Leroy” Caceres had to employee the use of the towel to reach his contracted weight. Mike Pierce took a shot across the bow of Josh Koscheck by donning a bleach blonde wig for his face off with Koscheck. The two had to be separated by UFC President Dana White. Expect some heavy leather to be thrown in this bout.

Heavyweight Roy Nelson looked much slimmer as he tipped the scale at 246 pounds for his bout against Fabricio Werdum. That’s six pounds lighter than his last bout against Mirko Cro Cop and nearly 20 pounds down from his heaviest fighting weight inside the Octagon. Werdum also weighed in at 246 pounds in his return to the Octagon after more than three years away.

And in the main event, both Nick Diaz and Carlos Condit weighed in a pound under the limit for their Interim Welterweight Championship bout, capping off what should be a great night of fights. One things is for sure, this bout promises to be non-stop excitement. Both fighters are known for their fan-friendly fighting styles and willingness to try to finish the fight, not just score points.

Below is a gallery of shots from this afternoon’s weigh in event. As always, be sure to check them out at Getty Images and UFC.com, as well.


UFC 143 Weigh In – Images by Joshua Hedges

UFC 143 Open Workouts Gallery

Just a quick update before I finally head to bed. The UFC 143 open workouts took place earlier today inside the Mandalay Bay Events Center. The six top fighters on the card – Carlos Condit, Nick Diaz, Roy Nelson, Fabricio Werdum, Josh Koscheck, and Mike Pierce – were all in attendance. As a special treat, welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre held a media scrum for about 30 minutes before the workouts started.

You can check out a selection of images from the day below. Also check out Getty Images and UFC.com.


UFC 143 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 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