by Rich Klein
Twenty years ago, if someone would have told me that I would be writing a review about a Topps wax box of a sport that did not even exist in 1990, I'd have probably said they were missing a few screws.
I also would have had the same reaction if I'd been told I'd do almost everything relating to cards on computer networks and through a communication system which did not involve an ink pen and/or typewriter.
Again, I'd have underestimated the powers of change.
It's a good thing for fans of mixed martial arts that Topps really appreciated the power and popularity of the UFC and has produced cards to meet a huge demand from fans for UFC memorabilia.
The box of 2009 Topps Main Event is the third issue of UFC cards and follows on the heels of two very successful launches. This box promised two autographs and three relics.What the outside of the box did not tell you was how much fun it was for me to learn about for me what is a "new" sport. And let me assure anyone, that using cards is a great way to learn about any sport you are not familiar with.
Many UFC fighters have become well-known among the general base of sports fans and Brock Lesnar's return from a serious illness has ignited a lot of interest in what may lie ahead.
The Topps UFC Main Event box has 24 packs in it with eight cards per pack. As this review is written, the boxes are being offered at the $125-150 mark on eBay.
The card fronts are actually a bit stunning. A fighter's photo (or shot from a bout) is set against a pure back background. The photos almost appear etched. The fighter's name is on the bottom. The horizontal back contains the fighter's name and a blurb with career highlights.
With that, let us see what our review box provided to us:
Base Set: 145 of 150 with NO duplicates
Gold Cards (1 per pack): Evan Dunham, Kenny Florian, Rich Franklin, Leonard Garcia, Forrest Griffin, Matt Hughes, Quinton Jackson, Keith Jardine, Chuck Lidell, Vladimir Matyushenko, Phillipe Nover, Josh Koscheck, Chael Sommen, Joe Stevenson, Mike Swick, Johnny Hendricks/Amir Sadollah, Jesse Lennox/Danillo Villefort, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira/Luiz Cane, Steve Steinweiss/Ryan Jensen, Rick Story/John Hathaway
Ultimate Fighter: Matt Brown, Junie Browning, Marcus Davis, Mac Danzig, Keith Jardine, Josh Koscheck, Jorge Rivera, Matt Serra
Top 10 Fights: Yoshihiro Akiyama/Alan Belcher (2 different cards of this battle), Carlos Condit/Martin Kampmann, Randy Couture/Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Frankie Edgar/Sean Sherk, Rich Frankliln/Wanderlei Silva (2 different cards of this battle), Nate Quarry/Tim Credeur
Event Propaganda: Royce Gracie. Brock Lesnar, Tito Ortiz, BJ Penn
Fight Posters: Bas Rutten (UFC 18), Bas Rutten/Kevin Randleman (UFC 20), Matt Serra/Georges St Pierre (UFC 69), Anderson Silva/Nate Marquardt-Tito Ortiz/Rashad Evans-Sean Sherk/Hermes Franca
Cage Relic: Diego Sanchez (This card is so cool; as you can feel a piece of the real cage)
Fleer Mat Relic: Mike Swick
Tapout Relic: Jens Pulver
Autograph: Jon Jones
Autograph Relic: Todd Duffee
So, yes we got what was promised (and actually a tad more as one of the autograph cards included a relic piece) and I also got to learn quite a bit about the UFC fighters. I suspect a lot of others are doing the same thing.
Rich Klein can be reached at [email protected]