Out here in Vegas covering UFC 114 for MMAFighting/AOL Fanhouse and having a blast. Tons of fans in town. Longest media workout EVER. But that means I had infinite opportunities to take the photos I wanted to take and so, I did.
Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Michael Bisping were up first. Bisping greeted the crowd with a, “Fuck Sherdog.com!” and then hit mitts. Rampage did the gamut, warming up with a jog, hit mitts, hit pads, shadowboxed.
Every fighter put in lots of time on the blue mats in this giant ballroom.
I feel as if having the fans present made the fighters have longer workouts.
Which is really wonderful for me, too.
Fighters normally, and this is understandable because they are cutting weight and it’s well, fight week — they normally do the bare minimum, light mitts and shadowboxing and then straight to the scrum.
With a ballroom full of anxious fans, they had to entertain.
Every fighter also spent time signing autographs and taking photos with the fans after their commitments with the media.
It was a fantastic success, really. The space was also fantastically large, but contrary to how it looks, quite dark. However, I always appreciate and love chandeliers in the background, even when unlit.
I’m pretty proud of the work I did today. I’ve posted two of my favorites but check out the whole gallery at mmafighting.com that includes a shot of a badass fight team (Black House + King Mo), all the fighters from today’s workouts, a swell flying knee by Bisping, and a blurry shot of Diego Sanchez performing a YES! cartwheel after doing a comprehensive hour-long workout for the fans.
And last but not least, my absolute favorite shot of the day, MGM Grand employees waiting for the last fans to get their autographs so they could begin the cleanup process.
Wait! As mentioned, Sanchez did do a YES! cartwheel for Ariel Helwani and the fans. Diego did it at a curve though, and nearly took out Casey and almost hurt himself on my camera case. Can you imagine? I felt awful. I mean, if it wasn’t there he would have hit the chair or the wall but I still felt pretty sad that it was even there at all. We asked if he was okay, he smiled, shrugged it off and laughed. While we packed up our gear, Sanchez said, “I normally do it on a downward slope,” indicating his angle was unintentional. So it’s all good.
Check out the vid below.