My first goal was to come up with a composition. After looking at a lot of photos, I decided I wanted to get him in the ring, head on. I thought it would be cool to put the viewer in the shoes of an opponent, as if they were about to square off (and probably get pummeled!).
I used several photo sources for the pose: the torso from one, legs from another, and the head from a third. I studied some photos of wrestling arenas from the olympics to get a sense for what the background should look like in general. Here’s an initial photoshop sketch of the scene.