Despite the empty headlines of our site and seemingly unchanging slideshow on the main page, we here at All Elbows were actually quite busy last week! Casey was working for AOL Fanhouse while I was shooting for Fighters Only Magazine. Unfortunately, or fortunately, the top photos are exclusive to the upcoming issue of the mag, no freebies! Get a subscription, cheapskates! Anyhow, I’m sitting here uploading photos to the Fighters Only server while Casey edits a brand new surprise video we’re working on so I thought I might share what it was like to shoot a UFC event.
This was my first time working a UFC event, long overdue, I know! And it was a great experience. The UFC PR staff were very courteous to me, asking me at every turn if I’d gotten all the shots I needed and if I wanted any specific fighters (that were part of the workouts).
First in the week was the Lyoto Machida open workout, which I’d already mentioned via post about the karate specialist’s specially decorated cookies. That was pretty neat.
Mostly because I finally got to step foot in Black House, a private pros only gym for Anderson Silva, Lyoto Machida, Antonio Nogueira, and their teams. Secondly, because Machida’s father was there and I can’t get enough mustache photos.
Oh yeah, and it was cool to see Machida workout, even though now that the fight is over, that might seem less cool — it’s still pretty cool. It was a very photogenic setting. Obviously my main concern, ha. Casey made this nice video overview of the workout and scrum interviews.
The next day, Casey and I tackled the open workouts, this time with Ariel Helwani, who arrived the night before. Now the Fanhouse party can get started! While Casey shot pre-fight interviews with Cain Velasquez, Mauricio Rua (which by the way, Shogun is probably my favorite fighter nickname), Joe Stevenson, Spencer Fisher, and Ben Rothwell, I bounced around, playing with my remote flash but ultimately settling on the crazy, sort of ugly, but still interesting fluorescent hotel meeting room lighting.
The next day, we all drove over to the press conference at the Westside Pavilion (where I last met Dana White for tickets). Before the presser, we were treated to an assortment of flavorful fare at the new Westside Tavern. Casey couldn’t handle the fancy that is seared tuna (but I loved mine), yet devoured his mascarpone topped warm toffee cake. I remember watching 24/7 when they commented on the catered press conferences, stating, “A well-fed press corp is a happy press corp,” and it’s true. It’s kind of hard to confront anyone with negative remarks when you’re eating gourmet on their time.
After eating, we went upstairs to the conference. It was a strange location, on the bridge between the Landmark Theater (great theater) and the Nordstrom department store, with fans wedged into a long hallway.
Regardless, the fans were enthusiastic, the panel was lively, and Ariel scored a great interview with Dana White after the conference. White’s charisma is evident in watching him interact with the many fans who stayed for his autograph, long after the fighters left the scene. A little boy even had a “Will Fight for UFC 104 Tix” sign and I’m pretty sure the UFC president secured tickets for him as he turned the young man towards the UFC security director.
Next: Media breakfast, weigh-ins, and event day!
Also, I know I promised a cool new video with Brett Rogers but we had a major disaster at All Elbows HQ with our RAID array. More on that once I find out from the manufacturer if we can save our data.