Years and years ago, a young MMA photographer named Esther Lin sent me an email saying “Hey you jerk! If you’re gonna use my pictures, at least give me some damn credit, huh?” And from there a friendship was born! Esther is by far the best MMA photographer in the biz, and it’s been great seeing her work being appreciated by the fans and those in the biz. From the stuff on her site All Elbows to her work with Showtime and Strikeforce to her UFC pictures on MMA Fighting, she’s shot a large percentage of the major combat sports moments over the past several years. Today is her birthday, so we decided what better way to commemorate than with a little retrospecticus featuring some of our favorite pics. Happy birthday, Esther!

A metric shit-ton of pics after the jump!