Greetings from Australia

Hello everyone. Sorry for the lack of updates since I’ve been down in Australia. I’ve been working pretty much non-stop, as usual. The weather down here is beautiful. It’s winter here, so the highs have been in the 70’s and lows in the 50’s. We’ve been blessed with clear skies most days, especially the days when we’ve been scheduled to shoot outdoors.

As you may or may not know, I’ve been demoing the Nikon D800 and a handful of lenses on this trip. I’ll try to write a more thorough review at some point in the near future, but for now, let me just say that I’m very happy with the results and absolutely love the D800 and the Nikon system in general. As a Canon user for pretty much my entire life, it’s very refreshing to change things up. The 36 megapixel sensor is simply amazing, and I think I’ve found a new favorite lens in the 14-24mm.

I can’t share a lot of what I’ve been shooting as we’re filming The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes. The show will begin airing in Australia in September. At that point, most of what I’m shooting will see the light of day. For now, I’d like to share a few images of some of the other stuff outside of the secret stuff for the show. The first couple images are from a media call we did with coaches Ross Pearson and George Sotiropoulos, and the last few were a trip we took to Wildlife Sydney with Junior dos Santos. All of these were shot with the previously mentioned 14-24mm lens, and a Nikon SB-910 speedlight.

UFC on FX 2: Kampmann v Alves

Greetings again from beautiful Sydney, Australia. I apologize for the tardiness of my post, but what can I say, we’ve been enjoying our stay here now that the sun has finally shined for three days straight. If you follow me on Facebook (and “why not?” if you don’t), then you’ve probably seen my collection of tourist snaps from the last few days. It has truly been amazing. Yesterday we did the Bridge Climb, scaling up to the summit of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and back down. I was slightly terrified starting out, but 5 minutes into the climb, it was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I recommend anyone who has the chance to ever do it, please do. You will not be disappointed.

Ok, enough of that. You’re probably here to read about fights and look at bloody pictures. As I said before, the third UFC event in the great nation of Australia took place last Saturday at the Allphones Arena at Sydney Olympic Park in what was then a very rainy Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. The main event featured welterweight contenders Thiago Alves and Martin Kampmann battling to climb the ladder closer to a title shot in one of the more stacked divisions in the UFC. Thiago Alves looked well on his way to winning the fight by unanimous decision when in the third round, he shot in for a takedown and left his neck out for Kampmann to sink in a guillotine choke and force the tapout. Kampmann earned the submission of the night bonus for his come-from-behind performance.

The main card also featured a tournament to crown an inaugural flyweight champion in the newly established 125-pound division. Joseph Benavidez made quick work of world #2 Yasuhiro Urushitani with a TKO just seconds into the second round. But, the real excitement and controversy occurred in the other semifinal between Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson and “Uncle Creepy” Ian McCall. McCall has long been considered the top dog at 125 pounds, but “Mighty Mouse” still seemed to be the favorite going into the fight after coming down in weight after a highly successful run at 135 pounds. All three rounds of the bout were action packed. The first two were close and could have gone either way. The third round saw McCall take control and get the fight to the ground. He closed out the fight with a series of smashing punches from Johnson’s back. When the score cards were read, awarding Johnson a majority decision victory, the crowd let out a raucous boo in unison. And they were right. It was later revealed that the score cards were tallied wrong and the scored should have been a majority draw, and thus there should have been a fourth and deciding round. A furious Dana White made right, awarding both fighters a win bonus and awarding them both the fight of the night bonus. The rematch to decide the second finalist for the flyweight title will take place at a future show, depending on the health of both fighters coming out of this bout. I, for one, won’t at all be upset about seeing these two go at it again.

Below is a gallery of shots from throughout the night. As always, check and Getty Images for the full take.

UFC on FX 2: Alves v Kampmann – Images by Joshua Hedges

UFC on FX 2 open workout gallery

Ian McCall - UFC on FX 2 Open WorkoutsHello again from not-so-sunny Sydney, Australia. Today was a complete wash-out, so I never made it out of the hotel. Here’s hoping for better weather the rest of my stay here. My wife Jody and her sister will be arriving in the morning, and I’m hopeful their first trip to Australia will be filled with all the great sights I’ve had the pleasure of seeing. Luckily, the bad weather allowed me to focus on getting some work done. I shot a number of portraits of with some of the guys on the card and prepped the final headshots for the production team.

As I mentioned previously, we hit the ground running yesterday and shot the open workouts before even checking into the hotel. The workouts were held in a dimly lit corner of the casino back behind the 24/7 sports bar. A selection of the top six fighters on the card and a couple of the native Aussie’s worked out for the media contingent.

Below is a selection of shots from the morning’s workout sessions. As always, check out the full take on and Getty Images.

UFC on FX 2 Open Workouts – Images by Joshua Hedges