Welcome to Episode 4 of ESPN PRod Pod, the official podcast of ESPN’s Communications Service. Hosted by various ESPN PR professionals, the PRod pod takes you behind ESPN’s unparalleled storytelling by introducing the people behind the content – who they are, where they come from, and how they create the magic.
In this special episode, Associate Producer in Communications Jon McLeod welcomes his colleague ESPN Communications, photographer Phil Ellsworth, who took the weekend’s most compelling sports photo (above) – and one that will surely make the whole ‘Best in Photography 2021’ list worth it.
The photo – along with several other photos of Ellsworth – ricocheted on social networks the media’s rubber walls just after midnight ET Sunday. The very blow garnered praise and attention from man who absorbed the devastating blow, Masvidal himself.
“Photography is a powerful tool when it comes to storytelling and the streak of Kamaru Usman’s Phil knocking out Jorge Masvidal at UFC 261 did just that – it’s ‘told’,” 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 summed up the story of Usman’s power and dominance. All four of Phil’s images are now among the top performing posts on any ESPN MMA social media account in the past 12 months. “