Sacramento, CA - Taking a road trip to the pleasant city of Sacramento. The airport, the Arco Arena, the hotel are all within a ten mile radius. Last night was UFC 65. Ultimate Fighting Championship. Mixed martial arts (MMA). Some people call it cage fighting. It is held in an octagonal ring with a wire mesh cage surrounding it. To some outsiders it may appear to a barbaric, no rules, two men enter, one man leaves, blood sport. But its just really like boxing, judo, wrestling with similar rules. Some matches can be bloody, and you can win by choking your opponent.
Taking photos can be a challenge. The lighting is not really bright, ISO 1000 at 1/400th sec and f2.8. There is a cage you have to shoot through, more like a black coated vinyl fence. So that means no autofocus. The usual venue for UFC events is Las Vegas. Sacramento doesn't have the Vegas vibe and the celebs octagon-side. (The press credential will say octagonside...not ringside, I think UFC has some kind of trademark on Octagonside.) The action is the same, the fans just as rabid. Actually Arco Arena can get quite loud. The arena feels kinda of small, maybe because they don't have all the suites that more modern arenas have.
This is my second time shooting a UFC event. So I had a good idea of the routine. They provide WiFi, and are pretty good with photographers except for the fact they want you to be escorted at all times.
The UFC has a lot going for it, more action than boxing, and not the clownish, fake fighting of Pro wrestling. The fans are pretty die-hard. You can spot the fans easily as I left the airport, most of them wore MMA related t-shirts or sweatshirts.