“Without emotion, what you get is pictures of guys who are sweating in the ring. When you add emotion to it, that’s when you get art.”
-Rey Rey Rodriguez-
The vision at Titan Fighting Championship (Titan FC) reads: Fans, Fighters First. Now, through the lens of Rey Paul Rodriguez, better recognized around the dark arts and MMA sphere as Rey Rey, all the passion pumped into Titan FC by their CEO, Jeff Aronson, and COO, Lex McMahon, will explode singular moments into rich stories with an artful click of Rodriguez’s camera.
MMA promotions rarely revisit their past, constantly project what’s on the horizon, and the spectacular performances inside the cage are here and gone in a flash. Titan FC was attuned to the peaks and valleys experienced over the course of a cage fight, and, by acquiring the skill sets of Rodriguez as their visual journalist, every characteristic crease on the road to victory or defeat is collected through the rapid succession of his Nikon D800’s shutter. Rodriguez invited MMA Latest News to walk the gallery of his thoughts before he seizes a spectacular split-second:
“If you look at my images, I don’t do many of the: looking at the camera, smiling, posing. I don’t do any of that. I’m trying to capture the moment, the same way you’d experience a film. Through one image, I want you to feel; I want you to get an experience from it.”
Open your browser and login to Rodriguez’s website, themindofreyrey.com (link here), peruse his dynamic gallery, and, as his mission statement says: “With this site I have planted my seed, you’re now infected with my artistic disease,” a war will be waged on any previously held notions of photography and MMA.
When Rey Rey stations himself behind the viewfinder, his artistic GPS is locating the synergy of a particular event. A visual burned into Rodriguez’s psyche: Renzo Gracie, without flinching, having his arm snapped like a twig by Kazushi Sakuraba at Pride 10. Aside from Renzo Gracie’s brilliance to compartmentalize the terror of having his bones rearranged, he paid homage to his opponent for his success. The same lasting emotion Rodriguez received from the close of this contest is what he targets with each of his snapshots, whether MMA related or not:
“There was so much beauty in that—through pain,” he opened with a level of excitement—as if seeing it for the first time. “I mean, it was the ultimate expression of: pain and beauty and gore all being mixed together, and I don’t think anybody else has been able to do that in a fight. That scene right there was: emotional, shocking, beautiful; it showed more heart than any other fighter. I saw that, and it was art; it was art caught on camera.”
Since the end of 2013, when Aronson and McMahon became the promotion’s leading faces, Titan FC has created a foothold for the hottest prospects on the rise or veterans on a bit of a skid. With Rey Rey now on the payroll, a lasting connection can be formed between fans and Titan FC’s memorable occasions. Rodriguez brings a realness to each image with a color enhanced vibrance. The only thing set to auto, as detailed by Rodriguez, was his application process to become Titan FC’s newest team member,
“I’ve worked with Entertainment Impresario Uncle Louie many times on different projects. He’s a well known figure in the world of entertainment, and is associated with top MMA organizations and fighters. The UFC linked Uncle Louie with Lex [McMahon], and Uncle Louie linked me up with Lex. He [McMahon] and I met at a little sushi place, we spoke, then he brought me on, and invited me to the Titan FC 40 weigh-ins and event.”
Rey Rey uses fighting as a medium to force feelings onto others. In his Titan FC debut, Titan FC 40, Rodriguez, from the weigh-ins to the closing bell, framed one scene after another with supreme clairvoyance; his pictures truly do invoke a thousand words. A feature on Rey Rey in the Huffington Post (link here) highlighted his unique qualities to uncover much more than the naked eye, in real-time, could ever perceive:
“I captured the weigh-ins, the moments behind the scenes, the nervousness, the resting, the deep thought they were in. I want to do that for every event so you can get the feel for what the fighters are feeling.”
“I’m honored to be a part of Titan FC’s growing organization. With my eyes and through my lens, I plan to capture these mixed martial arts warriors; their pain, passion, and glory in a way never seen in the world of MMA before. Each image will be a visual piece of art, allowing you to experience the TitanFC fighter’s moment that was captured.”
Infect yourself with Rey Rey’s artistic disease by visiting his website and following him:
Exclusive: Derek Brunson: “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up”
Derek Brunson fought Anderson Silva back in February of this year, at UFC 208. Brunson would go on to lose the fight by controversial unanimous decision. However, the controversies didn’t stop at the questionable decision, Brunson also claims Silva was greasing during the fight. The Wilmington, North Carolina native, posted about it on Twitter a few days ago:
Just make sure you don’t put cooking oil all over your body like Anderson did so it’ll be easy to grab ahold of you @lyotomachidafw 👌
— Derek Brunson (@DerekBrunson) October 17, 2017
Speaking with MMA Latest, Brunson explained why he believes Silva was greasing during the fight. “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up. Every time I grabbed him he was just slipping out of everything, and his takedown defense was really good that night. I was definitely curious to know why he was very slippery, which I definitely think he had some kind of substance on his body. He knows I’m a wrestler obviously, he’s an old, savvy veteran, so he was definitely trying to play all the rules and be very strategic, and make it harder for a wrestler to grab him.”
Brunson is set to face Lyoto Machida come October 28, when asked about whether he was worried about Machida greasing, considering Gegard Mousasi accused him of doing so in their fight, Brunson admitted he wasn’t too worried.
“Well I’m not too worried, but like I said, I put it out there because I know they’re friends and I know, obviously, that’s kind of what the guys do when they know they’re fighting a wrestler. They want to lube their body up really good to make it hard to grab hold, Anderson did a great job defending my takedowns. It’s because he was all greased up so he was able to stop a lot of them. When I grab guys in the clinch, it’s very tough for them to get away and I’m pretty good with my Greco takedown. He was pretty much pulling through my clinch when I had a tight grip on him and if you have some kind of substance on your body it’s easy to pull them.”
Neither Silva nor his management have commented on the greasing allegations. Anderson Silva makes his return against Kelvin Gastelum later this year, in China. While Brunson makes his return to the Octagon on October 28th, in Brazil, where he looks to add Lyoto Machida’s name to his impressive list of victories.
Ovince Saint Preux Steps in to Face Corey Anderson at UFC 217
UFC 217 just got even more interesting. Earlier this week, Patrick Cummins pulled out of his light heavyweight matchup with Corey Anderson due to a Staph infection. Corey “Overtime” Anderson was not happy with his opponents decision, even calling out his opponent on Instagram asking how Cummins could, “call it quits so far from fight night”.
The UFC left Anderson on the card, and he found an opponent through the magic of Twitter. Ovince Saint Preux tweeted out directly to Anderson stating:
— Ovince Saint Preux (@003_OSP) October 19, 2017
It didn’t take long for Anderson to respond agreeing to the fight, tagging Mick Maynard and Dana White in his response.
Only a few short hours later, the fight announcement came from the official UFC twitter account.
Fight News update!!
— UFC (@ufc) October 19, 2017
This top 10 Light Heavyweight matchup should add to an already amazing card coming in November at Madison Square Garden. Saint Preux is coming off of back to back wins both due to the very rare von flue choke, he finds himself ranked #7th in the latest edition of the 205-pound rankings. Corey “Overtime” Anderson is 4-2 in his last 6 fights, but is coming off a brutal first round knockout loss to Jimi Manuwa in March.
With such a exciting fight added to this card, what do you see happening November 4th? Will Corey Anderson bounce back and look to jump into the top 5 of the rankings, or will Ovince Saint Preux go for a third straight von flue choke? Let us know.
*Watch* Bellator 185 Weigh in: Live Stream, Results
Watch the live weigh-ins for Bellator 185 here.
Gegard Mousasi takes on Alexander Slemenko live this Friday night October 20th at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville CT. This is the first appearance for Mousasi in the Bellator cage as he looks to secure a title shot with a win over the very tough former Bellator champion Slemenko. Joining these men of the main card will be a pair of welterweights as Neiman Gracie from the famous Gracie BJJ family takes on Zak Bucia in the co-main event.
Full Weigh-in Results: (Updated in real time)
Gegard Mousasi (185) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (186)
Neiman Gracie (170.5) vs. Zak Bucia (170)
Heather Hardy (126) vs. Kristina Williams (126)
Ryan Quinn (155.5) vs. Marcus Surin (155)
Ana Julaton (125.5) vs. Lisa Blaine (122)
Jordan Young (200) vs. Alec Hooben (194)
Costello van Steenis (185) vs. Steve Skrzat (186)
Vinicius de Jesus (170) vs. Joaquin Buckley (171)
John Beneduce (154.5) vs. Dean Hancock (155)
Timothy Wheeler (144) vs. Pete Rogers (144)
Don Shainis (150) vs. Matthew Denning (149)
Frank Sforza (149) vs. Vovka Clay (150)
Kevin Carrier (156) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (153)
John Lopez (126) vs. Billy Giovanella (125)
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