A photoaffinity probe based on the scaffold of a potent broad-spectrum phosphinic peptide inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) has been developed. A photolabile diazirine group for covalent modification of MMP active forms was incorporated at the P1′ position, and a tritium radioactive label for the sensitive detection of MMP covalent adducts by radioimaging was attached. The probe was characterized on seven catalytic domains of human MMPs (MMP-2, -3, -8, -9, -12, -13 and -14) and was found to display nanomolar affinities towards this set of MMPs, covalently modifying them with crosslinking yields varying from 12 to 58 %, thus leading to highly sensitive detection of these MMPs. In a complex proteome complemented with four recombinant MMPs (MMP-2, -9, -12 and -13), this probe enabled their simultaneous detection with a threshold of few femtomoles and low background labelling. Those properties should make this new pan-activity-based MMP probe a valuable tool for the detection of MMP active forms from biological fluids or tissue extracts.