I remember taking this photo very clearly. I remember the two women, Cris and Gina, propelling towards me with so much momentum, I hardly had time to focus. I remember Rick Zwicker, in charge of Showtime’s photo library (now at AMC), coming to me after I handed him that memory card, telling me that I got something crazy. And I knew. I knew there was something violent, frightening.
It was such a turning point in the fight too. Gina had looked competitive up that point. It was the beginning of the end.
Gina Carano and Cristiane Santos remain two of my favorite people to this day, as they’re both gracious and kind and friendly. Also, this was one of the early photos during my stint as official Strikeforce photographer. Being the Strikeforce photographer was definitely a wonderful part of my life. I loved everything about shooting MMA from the promoter’s side. I love being a part of MMAFighting.com but something about being inside it all, seeing these fighters moments before their battles as no one else gets to see them — that’s part of me too.
I’ve blogged about this photo twice, actually. Once as part of my “Best of 2009” and once when MMA fighter Jessamyn Duke and her friend posed at that exact photo for their Halloween costume. As we head into 2012, I know of course that I’ve shot favorites in the years since but I think this image, I’ll never forget.