--Congratulations to undefeated David "Daudi" Mitchell on his most recent Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fight at Tachi Palace in La Moore, California on 7-9-2010. David defended his belt in the welter weight division, 170 lb. David has incredible record of 11-0, and no one has yet to defeat him.
When my husband and I arrived at the Tachi Palace the day prior to the fight, weigh in's had just occurred minutes prior. David greeted us a little skinnier then I remember him, just having had cut weight. When we got to his hotel room I noted a mason jar filled with dozens of different kinds of organic nuts and berries. Open his extra large igloo ice chest to find organic fruit juices and his own organic foods. David is a very focused fighter in and out of the cage. He has a strict training regiment, and the fighters diet can be a delicate weaving of precision and measurement. His demeanor is humble and relaxed, opposite of what you would stereotype as a typical fighter. We didn't hang out in the room too long as Mitchell had to get to eating, so off the restaurant. Later that evening, as the entourage hung out at the bar, Mitchell was off to bed early for a good nights rest. The next morning would be fight day, in which he would retain his belt or loose and pick up the first loss of his career. Nerves start to kick in, as any fighter cannot get too self assured, as I imagine as soon as you do, you can be mistaken and taken down.
The next day, hours before the fight, I set up a portable studio in our hotel room
and shot headshots and marketing images for Dave's website, which I will some blog soon. http://daudidavidmitchell.com/ David was incredibly relaxed and collected during the shoot considering what was about to come his way, which he described as "going to war." He was easy and comfortable to shoot, playful posing for the camera and interested in an artistic approach. Then rush off the the fight! Whew! The fights started at 6pm as thousands of gathered at the outdoor venue in 105 degree desert weather, it was hot! Daudi (David's nickname) was one of the main fights so luckily I got great night shots with the lights adding to the drama. The intense excitement in the crowd grew as the night progressed, so when it was Dave's fight the crowd was ready, especially since his opponent was part of the Indian Tachi tribe and the house was packed of supporters. Once the fight started it was so fun to be up against the stage seeing the fight up close and center, you can't get a better view. The fight did not last long, as David choked out his opponent with a triangle in the first round and maintained possession of his impressive belt. This was definitely one of the more exciting things that I have shot, especially knowing the fighter instead of watching a stranger on TV! Enjoy these pics as they are pretty much opposite of weddings, maternity, or family shoots. :) If you have not yet made it to see an MMA fight, go this year.....they are a lot of fun!
Congrats again David, your hard work and determination is paying off and you are now a humble champion!