11 November 2018

Pack of the Day 191: Three Boxes of 2018 Topps UFC Chrome

One of my favorite products to break from last year was 2017 Topps UFC Chrome, so this year I ordered in three boxes of 2018 Topps UFC Chrome to get a good look at it. I didn't take pictures of the packaging like I usually do for these posts. I anticipate that this will be kind of a bare-bones 'look at the pictures' kind of post, but sometimes I get unintentionally wordy. I started an MBA program recently and my brain is kind of fried. I took on a little too much in my first semester, with two 8-week courses at once. I won't be taking two courses at a time again, that's for sure. I don't know how I got through my undergrad while working full-time, but over the last three weeks I've realized that I can't pull all-nighters like I could in my twenties and earlier-thirties.

There are 100 cards in the base set, which covers most of the big names and rookies in the UFC. One notable name that is missing entirely from the checklist is Ronda Rousey, as she has moved over to the WWE. Rousey and Conor McGregor are both missing from the autograph checklist, so the primary drivers of UFC card prices over the last couple years are missing from the key draw in Chrome, on-card autographs on shiny stock.

You get about 70 cards from the base set in a box with no duplicates, so it will take two boxes to build the set. Demetrious Johnson was recently traded to another MMA organization, and UFC is shutting down their Men's Flyweight division.

Photo variations are one per box, with a 10-card checklist. One problem with my new method of photographing cards instead of scanning them is that my phone and hands are always reflected on the shiny cards.

The photo variations focus on UFC personalities with long-standing popularity and/or success. The only female on the variation checklist is Octagon Girl Arianny Celeste.

You get eight basic Refractors per 24-pack box. They are satisfyingly shiny. I took pictures of all 24 from my three boxes. At least it gives you a pretty good look at some more base cards from the checklist.

Most of the photography in this set is pretty good, with plenty of nice dynamic action photos. I guess it would be kind of weird (and weirdly awesome) if Topps did a 1992 Bowman Baseball throwback set featuring UFC fighters in dress clothing.

Just as I get done talking about the dynamic photography, here are three dudes just standing around, although Reyes is flexing pretty hard and Machida looks like he means business. We also get Aldo's flying knee for good measure.

These are all doubles from the first scan, so I guess I really didn't need to take this picture. I did anyway, and now you get to see it.

Doubles of Paulo Acosta and Dominick Cruz bookend a Refractor of Arianny Celeste, which is not a double.

Aldo's flying knee makes another appearance, this time on the one-per-box Xfractor. They are unnumbered. The Green Refractors are numbered # / 99, like that Anthony Pettis with the ghostly dude in the lower left.

The Brian Ortega card is a Gold Refractor, numbered # / 50, and the one-per-box Blue Wave Refractors are numbered # / 75. That's a pretty nice shot on Khabib Nurmagomedov's card.

Here we get into the second box's colorful Refractors. Out of this batch, I guess the Joanna Jędrzejczyk Green is the best card, although it has a larger print run than the Tatiana Suarez or the Anthony Pettis cards.

I also got a printing plate from this box, the Yellow plate of Ovince Saint Preux. It's cool to pull a Printing Plate, but Yellow is the worst color and Saint Preux isn't a huge name.

Box 3 produced five more colorful Refractor parallels, with the usual Green, Blue Wave, and Xfractor pulls, along with another appearance by Ovince Saint Preux, this time on an Orange Refractor with a # / 25 print run.

The Notable Knockouts inserts come one per box and the name of the set pretty much lets you know what it's about. It's too bad I got two of the Garbrandt vs. Dillashaw cards, as these actually look pretty cool. It would have been nice to get a look at one of the other cards on the checklist.

You get 2-3 1983 Topps Design inserts per box, with the usual cast of fighters represented on the checklist.

That shinier Tony Ferguson on the right is a Pulsar Refractor. They are numbered # / 50. All of the inserts have three parallel levels, the Wave # / 99, the Pulsar # / 50, and the Superfractor # 1 / 1.

I got two Tier One inserts per box, doubling up on Daniel Cormier. I'll probably set one of those aside for whenever I can get a package out to San Jose Fuji.

These are the UFC Knockout Chrome inserts. I got some nice Pulsar Refractors in this bunch, with 'Thug' Rose Namajunas and another appearance by Daniel Cormier.

The last insert set before I get to the autographs is Museum Collection. Stipe Miocic makes three appearances here, although one of them is the Wave Refractor # / 99. I also got a base and a Wave Refractor of Georges St-Pierre. I came pretty close to pulling an Arianny Celeste card from every insert set, only lacking the 1983 Topps Design.

As promised, I got two autographs per box from my breaks. Supposedly there are Hot Boxes out there with special parallels and a third autograph in them. The Daniel Cormier signature was the only colored Refractor autograph I pulled. It's an Orange # / 25, which is pretty cool.

Tyron Woodley is the current Welterweight Champion, and Dominick Cruz is a former Bantamweight Champion. He's still ranked as the #2 contender at Bantamweight, but in another month it will be 2 years since he last fought.

It wouldn't be one of my UFC breaks without a Demetrious Johnson autograph, although I guess that might change now that he and the UFC have parted ways. Paul Felder is currently the #15-ranked Lightweight, and this is his 1st Topps autograph, which is something that usually carries a premium.

That does it for this break of 2018 Topps UFC Chrome. I like the product, and it is always a fun break. This year it just lacks a little of the excitement that came from chasing Rousey and McGregor autographs. No one has quite stepped up yet and been as universally popular as those two, although there is still plenty of star power for people who follow MMA a little more closely than the general populace. I'm not sure yet if I'll buy more boxes on the hunt for rare stuff or just cherry-pick singles online. You can get boxes pretty readily for $55, and if you buy a few at a time you can get that down to $50 per box. You're not likely to get your money back in cards, but there's some fun stuff in here.


  1. Congratulations on pulling that printing plate and some decent autographs! Other than that Cormier autograph, my favorite card would be that Arianny refractor. She's so hot.

    1. Arianny is an attractive lady. This is a fun product to break.

  2. Not a UFC guy but I like the looks of these cards. Nice photos that work well in this year's design. Celeste is definitely one good looking gal. The '83 design is nice though they went with static shots. I think I'd prefer a white border on those as well. Nice cards and a great post. Thanks