"THE FIGHT WEEK PROJECT"
March 2019 // London, England.
Something myself and Rhys McKee had in mind for a long time prior to this project was to do a fly-on-the-wall photographic documentary of a fight week. The sport of MMA is constantly growing in popularity, yet so much of what makes the sport what it is goes on before the two fighters ever make it to the cage. Working as Rhys’ personal photographer, I am on hand to document not only his training and the fights themselves. But I am privileged to be in a position to have access to a lot of his preparations in the lead up to his fights.
The idea had been in the works for a while, and this camp felt like the perfect time to put it into motion. The thought behind the project was that nothing was off limits. The aim was to give people as much insight as we could into what fighters really go through in the lead up to the big night, before they make the walk and lay it all on the line. This included documenting fight camp, training sessions, pre-fight obligations, the fight itself and of course, the weight-cut.
At six-foot-three, Rhys used to cut a considerable amount of weight in the lead up to a fight to reach the 70kg (155lb) lightweight limit. This final collection of selected photographs, hand picked by Rhys himself, document the final stage of that journey. Giving a real life look into what he puts himself through, all to do what he loves.
Something we both wanted for this project was for Rhys to sit down at the end of it all, go through every photo of the week, and choose his favourites. We wanted to tell the story from the fighters perspective as much as we could. So not only did he choose the final images we used, he also captioned them himself. Giving a glimpse into what goes through a fighters mind at each of these selected moments.
Some were a sentence, some were a single word, some he didn’t feel needed a caption at all. In the end I could not have been more proud of what we managed to create together, and we were absolutely delighted to finally have our vision come to life.
This is… “The Fight Week Project”.
THE FIGHT WEEK PROJECT // © JAMES MCCANN
Rhys "Skeletor" McKee
Rodney Moore // Head Coach
Stuart Graham // Cornerman
Ryan Greene // Cornerman
Perry Goodwin // Opponent
Andy Young // Teammate
Graham Boylan // Cage Warriors President
Rich Mitchell // Referee
Hywel Chaplin // Announcer
Project captured using Nikon & Sigma equipment.