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Box Break - Topps UFC: Round One

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Topps UFC: Round One








I decided to take a break from hockey and try my luck at a box of the brand new Topps UFC: Round One.

I, like many other mixed-martial-arts fans, have been eagerly awaiting a product like this to come out and after a sizable delay Topps has finally released the first officially licensed UFC trading cards.

The inclusion of relic cards and autographs made this a very intriguing product for me, and I could not wait for this box to arrive so I could start pulling cards of my favorite fighters. Each 16-pack box promises three autograph cards, three relic cards, and a number of parallels and inserts.

I had a very solid box in my opinion, the collation was spot on and I was able to draw the entire 99-card base set leaving only two doubles. The theme of the base set is "Ultimate Debuts", basically showing the particular fighter in his first UFC fight. The cards are very nice looking, and go as far back as legendary Royce Gracie's first fight back in UFC 1.







In addition to the fighters in the base set, you can also find UFC personalities such as commentator Joe Rogan, referee Herb Dean, ring announcer Bruce Buffer, ring girl Rachelle Leah, and even UFC president Dana White.







You can also expect to find inserts, pictured below are Victorious Debuts and Top 10 Fights of 2008.









Obviously the strength of the product can be found in the relic and autographs cards, and Topps did well to include three of each in every 16-pack box. From what I have seen so far, you can expect to pull one Ultimate Gear fighter relic and two Fight Mat Relic cards featuring a swatch from the mat taken from the fight depicted on the card. I was quite happy with the Matt Serra Ultimate Gear card I pulled:







The card features a black swatch of fabric, I'm guessing from his shorts or shirt, and is serial numbered 168/500.

In addition to the Ultimate Gear card I pulled these two Fight Mat Relic cards:









Most of these Fight Mat Relics seem to be taken from Ultimate Fighter bouts, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing because there have been some great fighters coming out of the reality show. I was happy with the Bisping -vs- Haynes relic since I followed the third season closely and was rooting on Michael Bisping during this very fight.

Now for the fun stuff, the autographs. When the initial checklist was released for the autograph set it looked very impressive, with many of the big name fighters making an appearance. However, the product was released with significantly fewer fighters in the autograph set, down to roughly 37 from the original 50. This was disappointing to say the least, especially since many of the fighters left out were big names including Brock Lesnar, Chuck Lidell, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Matt Hughes, Frank Mir, Rich Franklin, and even president Dana White.

Thankfully many of my favorite fighters made the cut, especially George St. Pierre and Royce Gracie. I didn't pull either of those two, but I did do well:







There are worse fighters on the checklist than Karo Parisyan and Gabriel Gonzaga, but I still wouldn't have been impressed if I didn't pull this beauty:







Anderson "Spider" Silva is the current UFC Middleweight champion and his autograph is seeded in Group A (1:118 packs). The Group A checklist also includes George St. Pierre, Randy Couture, and Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, so if you are lucky enough to pull any of those fighters you can't go wrong.

Overall I was quite happy with the box I busted, pulling the Matt Serra relic and Anderson Silva autograph were definite highlights, but at the current price range (nearly double what it was at pre-order) it is too pricey for me to try my luck at another box especially after getting lucky enough to pull the Silva from this one.

If you are a fan of the UFC this is a very nice product, but if you are looking to turn a profit you are taking a chance with so many common autographs and a high price point. You may be better off buying singles of your favorite fighters, but as you see here it's worth it to try at least one box.
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