05 September 2016

2016 Topps UFC NOW - UFC 200

I posted back in July that Topps had expanded their Topps NOW line into the UFC with trading cards for the five Main Card matches of UFC 200. I don't have much to add to that post, except that I have the cards in hand and I've scanned the fronts and backs for this post. I don't have any hope of keeping up with the Topps NOW baseball set (up to 422 different cards and counting!), but it seems like a complete UFC set might be possible. They seem to be releasing cards only for key fights from numbered UFC events, which I think is a good move. If Topps released cards for every Fight Night and every bout from numbered UFC Main Cards, it could get out of hand quickly.

This card had a print run of exactly 100 cards, and featured Daniel Cormier's decision victory over Anderson Silva. It's kind of surprising that they found a picture of actual striking for the front of this card, as it seemed like Cormier spent 90% of the fight lying on top of Silva without a whole lot of anything going on.

This one had the 2nd-highest print run of the event, with 214 copies being made. Based on their relative hobby popularity I think there were a lot of buyers hoping for a Miesha Tate victory, but Tate got hit early and often before Amanda Nunes finished her off with a submission and took the Women's Bantamweight Belt.

This Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar card had a print run of 110. From what I remember of the fight, it seemed to last forever without a lot of action. Jose Aldo did just enough to win the decision, but it looked like both fighters were concentrating more on not losing the fight than on trying to win. Jose Aldo was probably still running from the specter of Conor McGregor's one-punch knockout. Either way, it made for an awful long 25 minutes, especially since it led right in to 15 minutes of Cormier - Silva rolling around on the mat.

This was a decent fight, probably one of the better fights of the evening, as Cain Velasquez and Travis Browne came out swinging. It was hard to say whether the stoppage was great, as I would have liked to see the fight go into Round 2, but Browne was clearly getting mauled when the ref waved Velasquez off. Unfortunately I don't think there is a lot of hobby demand for Velasquez or Browne, so one of the better fights of the evening had the lowest print run to date for a UFC Topps NOW card, with 87 copies ordered.

Finally, the return of Brock Lesnar to the UFC resulted in the biggest print run for UFC 200, with 320 cards printed. He defeated Mark Hunt by decision, and was pretty dominant throughout. It wasn't the most exciting fight in the world, but it was okay. Lesnar failed drug tests surrounding the fight and Mark Hunt complained long and loud about it, but I don't know how that sort of thing is handled. I don't imagine Lesnar is too bothered by it unless they can take his paycheck away. He already got a pretty huge boost in media coverage for his big return to the Octagon. The thing I find most interesting here is that Topps released a WWE Topps NOW program with WWE SummerSlam, and the Brock Lesnar card from that release only had a print run of 132 cards, almost 200 fewer than his UFC card. I think the UFC cards were advertised a little more heavily than the WWE cards, and Brock Lesnar's return to the UFC was probably a bigger storyline than his inclusion in SummerSlam.

There's not much more to say about this batch of cards. I think the Topps NOW concept is cool, but the baseball set has way too many cards for me to keep up with. I might be able to keep up with the UFC set, but only if Topps sticks with the primary fights from numbered events. If they start doing every fight from every card, I think they will lose their audience.


  1. I ordered the McGregor card from UFC 202, I had hope they would do other events because Ryan Bader won his match at last Saturday's UFC Fught Night 93.

    1. That was a heck of a knee he put on Latifi. I guess it does stink if one of your favorite fighters gets passed over, but I can't imagine UFC collectors keeping up with 4 or 5 cards per week with all the Fight Nights and numbered events.