Saturday, 24 September 2011
I have been wanting to do an MMA shoot for a while now. Back in UK the sport is growing rapidly and our fighters are some of the most fearsome in the sport of MMA. I was hoping to shoot the likes of Dan Hardy or John Hathaway but alas with time not on my side before moving to Sri Lanka it had to go on that 'back burner' for a while. When I moved to Sri Lanka I really didn't expect to find an MMA gym. Not only that but this small band of pugilists take it very seriously and hold regular fight nights. Just like the early days of the UFC the fights take place between different disciplines in Sri Lanka. They have had matches against the Army, Navy, Judo and karate and so far come out with the overall wins. These guys are the real deal who train with dedication and commitment and within conditions that can only be described as raw. Anyone can train in a deluxe, air conditioned gym but it's the real fighters who will train regardless of conditions or equipment. So what if they haven't got state of art facilities and haven't got all the luxuries of a spa. They can't relax and unwind in sauna or steam room after a gruelling workout in what can only be described as, a very hot garage. You can tell it's not about working out and just feeling good it is most definitely about learning the craft of MMA and competing. The shoot took place in warehouse in Colombo and the fighters turned up, as promised. I had 3 fighters to shoot Dulshan, Chama and Madura 'The Destroyer'. I don't need to point out who is 'The Destroyer'. They were all in good spirits and up for getting some moody shots. Having a subject who isn't afraid of the lens is half the battle of getting a great portrait. I think you'll agree that if you can stare in an opponents eyes and beat him senseless then a camera is nothing. Here are some of the shots.