To put myself in the mood to write a review of UFC Champions I put you tube videos of old boxing matches in the background. I listened to fights of champions such as Bob Foster, Ernie Terrell and Andre Ward. Ernie Terrell is a fascinating figure in boxing history as he is best known for two things. The first is he was the older brother of Motown Legend Tammi Terrell who recorded a series of classic duets with Marvin Gaye. The other is how Muhammad Ali humiliated him over 15 rounds while taunting him with the phrase “What’s My Name?” Since he fought Ali and lost one would think that Terrell was never a champion, but believe it or not, he was actually the WBA Heavyweight Champion when he fought Ali.
And in that way, Terrell was actually a precursor of today’s boxing “alphabet soup” in which case we usually have a good idea who the real champion is in a division but there are other organizations and special belts that get created so more championship bouts can be fought. What makes the UFC so different is there are is only one champion in each weight class and thus to have a product called Champions indicates the fighters in this set are usually going to be among the best in the sport.
For the past several years Topps has issued various UFC card sets. The latest one is the 2014 UFC Champions release which features 20 packs in each box with 10 cards per pack. Topps promises five autograph, memorabilia or autographed memorabilia cards in each box. It’s a set that is at a lower price point than some recent UFC releases from Topps and there’s a set building element that’s missing from others. Autographs are on stickers.
My local card show (Triple Cards in Plano TX) reported slow sales at $97.50 per box while leading on-line retailers are currently between $80-85 per box.
Base Cards: 162 of 200 or a little more than 80 percent of the set. We did not pull any of the nickname variations which are among the rare inserts.
Black Parallels (#d to 188): Nikita Krylov, Ricardo Lamas, Anderson Silva, Cub Swanson
Blue Parallel (#d to 88): Luke Barratt, Daron Cruickshank. Rafael dos Anjos, Cezar Ferreira,, Cub Swanson
Gold Championship Predictor Parallels (#d to 25): Francios Carmont, Peggy Morgan. The Predictor Parallels are numbered inserts but also offer a chance to win a signed replica championship belt in a drawing if the fighter holds a UFC title on January 1, 2015.
Fight Night Highlights: Dos Santos/Hunt: Jones/Gustafsson, Rousey/Carmouche; St, Pierre/Hendricks; St. Pierre/Hughes; Silva/Sonner
Fight Mat Relic: Jim Miller
Fighter Relics: Rory MacDonald, Chris Weidman
Fighter Autograph (Sticker Autograph): Brandon Thatch
With the two cards numbered to 25, it seems like we actually received seven hits in this box which is even better than what Topps indicated. Two autograph cards as well means if we can purchase this box at around the current on-line retailer price we are averaging about $10 per hit which is not a bad number. There are bells and whistles here but not that many, making it a nice product for the average UFC fan/collector. Even the short print challenges are easy to figure out as the nicknames are used on the card instead of the fighter’s name.
And unlike poor Ernie who was never regarded as a heavyweight champion, 2014 Topps UFC Champions does feature the champion fighters of the UFC and lives up to the product name.
To see 2014 Topps UFC Champions on eBay, click here.