In my continuing efforts to catch up on reviews, we’re busting open a box of the 2011 Topps UFC Title Shot product. First I have to say, that I grew up a boxing fan and wish boxing was as seemingly well organized as MMA. I also wish there were sets like this available both back in the day and today.
Could you imagine a set issued in the 1972-74 era with boxers such as Muhammad Ali, George Foreman, Ken Norton (Sr), and Joe Frazier, all at or near their peaks? And that was just in the heavyweight division.
Alas, we can not turn back the clock to that time and boxing continues to be as disorganized as ever. However, mixed martial arts has gained a huge following.
Topps jumped into the octagon with both feet. Their UFC cards proved to be a big hit and they’re continuing the effort with a UFC Finest set this summer. However, the latest product to be released is 2011 MMA Title Shot, an issue that includes autographs from every current UFC Champion plus at least 10 new First Issue Autographs from top contenders including welterweight Jake Shields. There’s a mix of UFC big names past present and future as well as some lower level fighters trying to work their way up.
Each box also promises two autograph and two relic cards per pack and are selling online in the $70-80 range.
Here’s what we pulled from the product, which was released about three weeks ago.
Basic Set: 103 of 150 --- or slightly less than 70 percent of a complete set.
Gold Cards: (Issued one per pack, but we did get more than that); Scott Jorgensen, Josh Koscheck, Brian Stann, Victor Belfort, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira,Chris Lytle, Lyoto Machida, Frank Mir, Leonard Garvia, Brendan Schaub,Urijah Faber, Clay Guida, Mike Swick (2 of these), Phil Davis, Nam Phan, Paul Sass, Ricardo Almeida,Matt Mitrione, T.J. O'Brien
Onyx (#d to 188) Fredson Paixap
UFC Contenders: Carlos Condit, Clay Guida, Brian Stann
Championship Chronology: Rashad Evans, Rich Franklin, BH Penn, Tim Slyvia, Georges St Pierre, Cain Velasquez
Legacy: Frankie Edgar, Forrest Griffin, Quinton Jackson, BJ Penn
Top 10 Title Fights: Randy Couture/Pedro Rizzo; Brock Lesnar/Shane Carwin; Chuck Lidell/Randy Couturel Jens Pulver/BJ Penn; Anderson Silva/Chael Sonnen.
Top 10 Title Fights: Black (#d to 88) Georges St Pierre/Jon Fitch
Fight Mat Relic: Sean McCorkle
Fighter Relics: Matt Hamill
Contenders Autograph Red (#d to 8): Brian Bowles (This set consists of
25 up-and-coming fighters who may soon compete for a title—the Gold were 1-1).
Relic Autograph: Rousimar Palhares
In addition, there are "unlocked" cards but when I checked the web site for that was not yet open. That was confirmed by a long-standing member of the Freedom Card Board whom I remember from my days at Beckett.
Wow, we got five hits where the 2011 MMA Title Shot box said four and at a decent price point. Now that is a product that is well worth the money spent—especially for die-hard MMA fans.