If it weren't for the mangled faces and exposed flesh, I'd actually say the photographs below, taken by Clay Patrick McBride for ESPN, are actually quite beautiful. The lighting, composition, emotion — it's all pretty on freakin' point. But wait, did I mention the mangled faces and exposed flesh? Woof, so not my cup of tea. But hey! It's a job and with any job comes responsibility — it just so happens that the responsibility of an MMA fighter is to hit and be hit repeatedly in the face. Again, not for me, but huge admiration and respect to those who make it work.
The portraits below are sensitive in nature — if you're not equipped in handling blood, stitches, and bruising, beware. Essentially, if you can't watch Botched or any program that showcases medical procedures like liposuction, rhinoplasty, etc., I'd stop reading now and exit out of the article. Just lookin' out for my queasy-folks out there. Although, I enjoy when people take the time to read my work, so maybe just get over it and keep going.
Regardless of my personal aversion, these portraits are a testament to the physical, mental, and spiritual anguish it takes to be an MMA fighter. Also, they're just some badass Mothafu*kas:
"Bruises and stitches and all. My opponent was tough as hell and all class. It was so much fun in there.” — Heather Hardy
Too read the full article, head HERE
Lead image via Getty.