Welcome to Episode 4 of the ESPN PRod Pod, the official podcast of the ESPN Communications Department. Hosted by various ESPN PR professionals, the PRod Pod takes you behind ESPN’s unmatched storytelling by introducing the people behind the content – who they are, where they’re from and how they create the magic.
In this special episode, Communications Associate Producer Jon McLeod welcomes his ESPN Communications colleague, photographer Phil Ellsworth, who snapped the weekend’s most compelling sports photo (above) – and one that will surely make any “Best of 2021 Photography” list worth its salt.
The picture – along with several other Ellsworth photos – ricocheted off social media’s rubber walls just after midnight ET Sunday. The shot even garnered the praise and attention of the man who absorbed the devastating blow, Masvidal himself.
“Photography is a powerful tool when it comes to storytelling and Phil’s sequence of Kamaru Usman knocking out Jorge Masvidal at UFC 261 did just that – it ‘storytold,’” said Tessa Hursh, Associate Editor, ESPN Social. “He captured the moment of impact and the aftermath beautifully. You could feel the energy, and each image we selected encapsulated the story of Usman’s power and dominance. Phil’s four images are now in the top performing posts on all ESPN MMA social media accounts over the past 12 months.”