Fightin' Words

A mixed martial arts blog about UFC, Bellator and other MMA promotions and fighters.

New York fighter portrait project

Portrait of UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman, from

Portrait of UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman, from Baldwin. (Credit: Photo by Rick Wenner)

I came across a pretty cool portrait photo of UFC middleweight Costas Philippou over the weekend by Rick Wenner. Turns out there's more to it than just a nice photo.

It's part of a series of portraits done by Wenner, who wanted to show his support for legalizing mixed martial arts in New York. 

"My concept was to photograph as many MMA fighters and show a different side of who these people are," Wenner wrote in an email to Newsday. "I wanted to create portraits that go against the stereotype of a fighter being a barbarian-type individual and show a more emotional, softer side of them."

Wenner said he photographed around 75 fighters from Long Island, the city and Ithaca, N.Y.

The series includes photos of Baldwin's Chris Weidman (shown here), Ray Longo, Renzo Gracie,  Philippou, Frankie Edgar, Gian Villante, Ryan LaFlare, Dennis Bermudez and more. You can see many of those photos at

Tags: ufc , costas philippou , photos

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