In the Clinch – The Panini Era approaches for UFC fans – It’s almost time for a new era in UFC card collectibles.
Panini America’s multi-year agreement with the UFC’s parent company IMG, grants Panini exclusive UFC collectible trading card partner rights.
“This truly is a dream matchup that brings together the unquestioned leaders of trading cards and combat sports for a partnership that will excite and captivate UFC fans and collectors across the globe for years,” Panini America CEO Mark Warsop said in a press release. “We’ve watched with great interest over the years as UFC has grown into a major force on the mainstream sports landscape with some of the most marketable athletes in the world.”
The Panini Prizm series will be the first product out of the gate, currently slated for release on April 28, with UFC trading cards added to the Select (July), Chronicles (September) and Immaculate (December) lines later this year.
According to Panini, each Prizm case will contain 12 boxes of 12 packs with 12 cards per pack. Two autographs, 22 Prizms, and 12 inserts are included per box.
In addition, the Panini Instant platform will make trading cards of the UFC’s biggest fights, milestones, and moments, “available just hours after they happen. These special cards will be available for a limited time and are made to order.”
The current UFC heavyweight landscape is perhaps the most obvious division for Panini to target.
Cameroon native Francis Ngannou recently dethroned Stipe Miocic at UFC 260 in March to become the third African champion, joining Nigerians Israel Adesanya and Kamaru Usman. Former light heavyweight champ Jon Jones has now entered the division and a matchup with ‘The Predator’ is one that many fight fans are clamoring for.
Next generational talent such as Sean O’Malley, Kevin Holland, and Leon Edwards continue to blossom in 2021 while the return of former champion Miesha Tate could ruffle the feathers of bantamweight queen Amanda Nunes. Charles Oliveira and former Bellator champion Michael Chandler will settle the lightweight title picture at UFC 262 in May.
It’s no secret that the collectibles community have high expectations for Panini and the UFC series, given the success of their other product lines.
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