Eric Williams is a noted celebrity photographer based in Los Angles California. He's been shooting portraits of famous actors, musicians, and sports icons for years. There is a long tradition of fine art portraits of celebrities, but now MMA athletes are receiving the same treatment. Just one more indication that the sport has begun to become mainstream.

You can see a few of Eric's portraits below, for more you can check out his website here.

I chatted with Eric the other day about his work for Beyond the Cage. They commisioned him to shoot portraits of Royce Gracie, GSP, Randy Coture, Chuck Liddell, Anderson Silva, and many more. The idea was to try and really get to the fighters as people and to show a little more depth than you typically see with press photos designed to make them look tough. You can listed to the discussion below, Eric has some great stories behind some of the photos.

Hear about the painted toenails and chihuahua of the ferocious cage fighter named 'Chaz', learn why Anderson Silva loves Spiderman, and what it took to get Randy Couture to don the Captain America mask.


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And, just in time for Christmas, you can win this ultra rare (limited edition of 20), autographed portrait of Chuck Liddell. Valued at over $650, this framed 26" x 34" Giclee print shows Chuck standing under a "No Weapons Allowed" sign at the MGM Grand just before his fight with Wanderlei Silva at UFC 79. (Hear Eric Williams tell the story behind the photograph here.)

To win the print, make sure you have "Liked" the BJJ Weekly facebook page and the Beyond the Cage facebook page and then tell us in under 200 words who your favorite MMA athlete is, and how they have impacted your life.

Use the comments section below to submit your story. Our judging panel will select the winner using completely subjective and non scientific methods based on how much we like your story. The deadline is November 19th, noon Eastern time. You must be a fan of both the Beyond the Cage and the BJJ Weekly Facebook page to win.

If you've got an MMA fan on your Christmas list this would make an amazing gift! Thanks to Beyond the Cage for sponsoring this contest.