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.
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.
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.
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.