Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal

I apologize for my tardiness in posting this blog entry. I had wanted to get it done on Monday or Tuesday, but I just couldn’t find the time. As most of you know, I covered the Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal fight down in San Diego last weekend for Getty Images, Strikeforce, and Showtime Sports. The fights were held at the old San Diego Sports Arena, now called the Valley View Casino Center. It’s a decent venue to see fights, but unfortunately the crowd for this show was not as large as expected. It’s a shame too, because there were some great fighters on the card.

Aside from a fairly odd night of fights, I had to deal with a number of issues throughout the night. For the first 4-5 fights, it seemed like the lighting would change for every fight. It was very difficult to get a consistent exposure and I found myself worrying more about my shots being exposed than focusing on getting the best shots. The night had a very frantic pace to it because of this stress. Several of the early bouts were long bouts, but not very exciting. It wasn’t until Roger Bowling knocked out Jerron Peoples that we finally got some excitement. Caros Fodor followed that up with a brilliant KO of Justin Wilcox. Fodor is one of my guys to look out for in the next year or two.

Once the broadcast started, my position was moved to an abnormal placement, directly behind the red corner. This caused me two problems. First, I couldn’t stand on the box during the introductions because the corner men use it to hold their banner and talk to their fighter. Second, I could not get any good shots of the red corner fighter between rounds, other than the directly overhead shots of them sitting on the stool, which are not at all flattering most of the time.

Given all the issues though, I think it was a good night overall. The Melendez/Masvidal fight definitely produced the most keepers. And while I had a horrible angle to capture the Cyborg KO, I did get some great reaction shots of her immediately after the knockout.

So, without further adieu, here are my favorites from the night. Full take is available for viewing at Getty Images.

Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal – Images by Joshua Hedges

Strikeforce Weigh In Gallery

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.

Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal Weigh In – Images by Joshua Hedges