I’ve shot a few big shows in my time as an MMA Photographer, Cage Warriors // BAMMA // and UFC, but I’m pretty sure that nothing has come close to my experience at KSW 32 this weekend.
Production was slick from the very start of the event, admittedly it did take a little bargaining to secure a seat cage-side, however that was resolved easily enough. I took up my seat next to the commentators, always a good spot as its great to hear their enthusiasm for the event.
I’ve shot at Wembley a couple of times in the past, however never when it has been as full at this, and never as loud. The crowd I would guess were about 90% Polish at times it was almost like being abroad.
The card was stacked from top to bottom, even the undercard would have happily graced many domestic shows. After the first two bouts was dispensed with the fighters lined up on the stage and were introduced, something that I’ve not seen before, but certainly added to the spectacle.
The fights were great too, wonderful to see Jimmy Wallhead win again, someone that I’ve shot portraits of before so I have a particular affection for him. His TKO was a smart piece of work, biding his time and riding low kicks for the first, Wallhead worked out his timing and managed a cracking right and followed up with a flurry of blows while Moks staggered back. The ref did well to jump in and stop further damage.
Despite the decisions not always going the way of the Polish the crowd at KSW 32 were respectful and knowledgeable applauding both fighters when decisions went against them, there’s a lot that could be learnt from other supporters in this respect.
Photographically I didnt shoot as much as I normally do, my position wasn’t ideal, but there was little that could be helped in that respect. Having said that the lighting by the KSW 32 techs was the best by a country mile that I have ever shot in. Superbly bright with daylight balanced bulbs above the cage made it an absolute treat.