Steroids in MMA
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Tag: MMA photography

Happy 26th Birthday to Jon Jones, UFC Light-Heavyweight Champion, Destroyer of Men

(Jones’s epic walk-off-sub of Lyoto Machida at UFC 140, 12/10/11.)

Newly christened as the #1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world, UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones turns 26 years old today. Over on the recently re-designed, our pal Tracy Lee has posted a gallery of her best Bones-pics in a birthday tribute gallery which you can check out here. We’ve posted a few of our favorites below. Send Jones some birthday love on Twitter @jonnybones, and watch his transformation from flab to fab when he defends his belt against Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 165, September 21st in Toronto.

(The Azerbaijani judge gives this celebration a 7.6.)


CagePotato Roundtable #15: What’s Your Favorite MMA Photograph of All Time?

(Photographer unknown. Level of badassery incalculable.)

For this installment of the CagePotato Roundtable, we invited a few of our photographer buddies over to discuss our all-time favorite MMA photos. Judging by our selections, shots of agony and defeat have a special attraction to them. I think it’s because they allow us to get close to an incredibly intense, transcendent moment, without having to experience the pain of it. And isn’t that why we love MMA in the first place? Our special guests for today are…

- Lee Whitehead, author of Blunt Force Trauma & The Mammoth Book of Mixed Martial Arts. You can see more of his work at, on Instagram, and on Twitter @leewhiteheadmma.

Jon Sluder, who shot Bellator 34 for us back in October 2010. Check out his recent highlights at

- Jason Wright, who shot UFC 119 for us back in September 2010; if you follow us on Facebook, you recently saw one of his highlights from that night. You can see more of J-Dog’s work at

Disclaimer: There’s a short list of MMA photographers who have asked us to stop posting their work on this site due to copyright issues, and a couple of contributors to this week’s column happened to select photos taken by those photographers. We’ve used stand-ins in those cases, with links to the actual photos. Also, we don’t know why BJ Penn is so heavily represented in this column. The guy always seems to be in the right place at the right time.

Lee Whitehead

(Click image for larger version.)

I have many favorite photos from all the years shooting MMA but this one has to rank amongst the very top purely because of all the flack and accusations of photoshop manipulation with the blood spurt; professionals can spot a ringer, and this ain’t one. The disappointing thing is that all negative comments detract from our main strength as MMA photographers — to understand the sport, spot smaller nuances, read the timing, and capture a key defining moment in a fight. To me, this brief slice of time from UFC 80 serves as the perfect reminder of how dominant BJ Penn was in his prime.


[VIDEO] – Go Behind-the-Scenes of Jon Jones’ Latest UFC Magazine Cover Shoot

(Pufferface: Because duckface is so 2010.) 

Much was made about Jon Jones’ recent Muhammed Ali-inspired cover for the May issue of UFC Magazine. Some thought it was way too early in Jones’ career to make such comparisons, some thought it was awesome, and other conspiracy theorist types launched into possibly one of the most pointless arguments I have ever had the displeasure of reading; the “puffiness” of Jones’ cheeks and whether or not the photo was faked. Really, guys?

Regardless of what side of the fence you stand on, check out this behind-the-scenes look at the cover shoot so we can all put this argument to rest.


Book Review: Blunt Force Trauma By Lee Whitehead

If you’re looking for a cool coffee table book to replace the Martha Stewart one your girlfriend arbitrarily decided to buy, you need to pick up Lee Whitehead’s "Blunt Force Trauma."

Chances are, if you’ve been a fan of mixed martial arts for more than a few weeks, you’ve seen some of Whitehead’s work. He’s a reporter with MMAWeekly and a longtime fixture in mixed martial arts photography. His work has appeared in countless MMA magazines including MMA Unlimited, Fighters Only, Martial Arts llustrated, Fighters, KamiPro in Japan and Ground and Pound Germany. He is also a feature MMA photographer for Spiked Extreme sports magazine.

Blunt Force Trauma is a collection of over 500 poignant photographs that illustrate the beauty and raw emotions of mixed martial arts through the triumphs, the trials and the tribulations of fighters from all walks of life and at different stages of their respective careers.

More excerpts from this must-have glossy hardcover after the jump.