Thursday, 12 November 2009

A (straight) Blast of a session

So last night one Quentin Chong from Xtreme Couture gym kindly invited me along to shoot Randy Couture going through a pre-fight training session at Straight Blast Gym in Manchester; it's not often that one gets that sort of access so naturally I jumped at the chance.

At age 46, Randy is a five time UFC champion, having won belts in both the LHW and HW divisions. His physical conditioning and stamina made me feel almost embarrased to be in the same room as him - Randy rocking a six-pack whilst my own midriff more resembles a keg! :)

The UFC video crew who film the "All Access" segments that you find on the event DVD's were there as well so I got hemmed in a little since I couldn't use flash. Anyone whose ever been inside Straight Blast Gym will tell you that it's somewhat cozy and dimly lit.

To give those photographers out there a better idea - I had to shoot  Randy at around 1/80 sec, ISO 6400 and f/2.8 to get usable frames. T'was one of those rare occasions where I thought that frame-grabbing from a D3S might be a better idea, so if anyone from Nikon is reading this (nudge, nudge, wink, wink)

The rest of the pictures from the session will migrate to my account shortly, just as soon as the bods at ESPN have ran them as part of their UFC 105 fight week coverage.

I'd also like to take a moment to thank Randy Couture, Ryan Couture, Quentin Chong, Gil Martinez and Neil Melanson of Xtreme Couture for granting me access to shoot this session.

Next up? Words and some pictures from the pre-fight presser for UFC 105.

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