I got my Topps UFC NOW bundle of cards from UFC 205 a little while back, but haven't found time yet to post about them. I've got a lot of drafts in my queue, and I am trying to prioritize packages I've received from other bloggers over stuff from corporations and eBay sellers, but I also want to get some of the older stuff cleared out. It seems like half the time I am struggling to find material to post, and the other half I am considering posting twice a day so I can get to all of the many things I want to post about. I suppose I'm doing all right if that sort of problem appears on my list of worries.
UFC 205 was a pretty big deal, earning 5 Topps NOW cards. Card 205-A went to the big headline of the night, which was Conor McGregor winning the Lightweight belt in a dominant and rapid victory over Eddie Alvarez. The victory gave him both the Lightweight and Featherweight belts. After he held the belts for a couple of weeks, he gave up/was stripped of the Featherweight belt, which went back to Jose Aldo. Him winning the two belts was pretty impressive, but the UFC probably saw that there wasn't any more money in keeping two belts tied up by one guy, and gave back the belt to the weight division Conor was least likely to fight in again. That is my take on it, at least. This card had a print run of 474 copies, the 2nd-highest UFC NOW print run to date, trailing only McGregor's card from UFC 202.
Although Conor McGregor led the hype train that was the first UFC event in New York, the rest of the card had some good moments. Maybe the weirdest moment was at the end of the Tyron Woodley - Stephen Thompson fight for the Welterweight title. The bout was initially announced as a victory for Woodley, but then Bruce Buffer issued a correction, stating that it was instead a draw. Woodley looked confused and angry, and I really thought he was going to go after Buffer or anyone within reach. Luckily, someone explained to him that he would be allowed to keep his belt with a draw result, and he calmed down. The print run on this one was 108 copies.
Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Karolina Kowalkiewicz went the full five rounds in their battle for the Strawweight title. Jedrzejczyk was in control throughout, but Kowalkiewicz threatened a couple of times, especially in the 4th round, and gave it her all. She just couldn't beat the champion. I was kind of surprised that this one didn't sell more copies, but it came in just ahead of the Woodley card with 111 copies sold.
Yoel Romero's flying knee knockout of Chris Weidman was absolutely nasty. It was the kind of knockout that makes you jump out of your seat, but also wonder if you're a bad person for getting excited about this sport. Romero's upcoming title shot against Michael Bisping should be a good fight. This card got the smallest print run for the event, with just 82 copies ordered.
Finally, the fight between Raquel Pennington and Miesha Tate got a card. Pennington got the victory by decision in a very close and not particularly exciting bout, and then Miesha Tate stole the thunder by announcing her retirement during the post-fight interviews. This card got 103 orders, which is more than I would have expected for a Pennington card. I think Topps put these ones up for pre-order, so a number of copies may have been sold to collectors anticipating a Tate victory.
This was a pretty good UFC event, with plenty of big names on the card and a healthy dose of action. The upcoming UFC 207 promises to be a pretty huge event as well, and it will ultimately be judged by how the Amanda Nunes - Ronda Rousey fight plays out. I'm looking forward to it. A fighter whose cards I collect, Neil Magny, is also on the card for the Preliminaries, so I will be tuning in hoping for a victory out of him.
I've seen these popping up around the blogs, and I also received a Topps NOW holiday card. Rumor has it that anyone who directly ordered a card through the website during the 2016 season got one sent to them. You're probably out of luck if you only purchased them through re-sellers, although there are plenty listed on eBay if you need your fix. The greeting card is shown above...
...and down here is the trading card that was enclosed. It's got some of the most popular subjects from the 2016 Topps NOW set sharing one piece of cardboard. Most people seem to agree that Kris Bryant, Ichiro, and David Ortiz deserve a spot on the short list for this card, but question the inclusion of Yankees rookie Gary Sanchez. All I know is that people on the Blowout forums were going nuts for his cards every time another one was released. They couldn't get enough of this guy, and that is probably why he is included here.
This was a pretty cool move from Topps, and makes up somewhat for the practice of charging cardboard-addicted collectors to the tune of $9.99/card for their Topps NOW fix throughout the baseball season.