Stacked Cards for the week of March 30 2010

March 29, 2010 - 8:16 PM

UFC 111:  What does it mean for collectibles?


            Since Topps UFC cards came into existence approximately one year ago, the days following an event have always seen fluctuations in the sale prices of the winners and losers.  Last weekend’s UFC 111 may be a rare event where there are more winners than losers in the card game, even if not in the ring.

            While Georges St. Pierre’s spot at the top of trading card food chain in MMA will probably not be affected by a lackluster performance against Dan Hardy, he certainly did nothing to add to his value.  His main event opponent, on the other hand, may see a dip in the interest in his cards.  The fifteen minutes are over for Hardy (at least for the time being).  A more aggressive style out of Hardy may have kept his stock high.  As the rounds passed, however, it became increasingly obvious that the Outlaw had given up on the idea of winning the fight.  He had contented himself with the goal of finishing the twenty-five minutes.  This type of attitude will probably not help sales of his autos and relics.

            Elsewhere on the card fighters were likewise doing little to help there collectible value.  Jon Fitch and Ben Saunders have been subjects of Topps UFC from the beginning, but have never enjoyed a tremendous amount of hype around their cards.  After Saturday’s fight, don’t expect to see that change.  Saunders can be commended for taking the fight on short notice, but didn’t do anything to cash in on that fan sympathy as he was dominated from beginning to end.  Fitch has always been a top level competitor, but lacks the style that sells tickets, and for that matter, trading cards.  A fight against the less experienced Saunders should have been a chance to put a highlight on his reel.  Other fighters making relatively few popularity gains were the victorious Jim Miller and Rousimar Palhares.

            It is possible that the only fighter who will see any real jump in value for his trading cards will be Shane Carwin.  After pounding out Frank Mir in impressive fashion, Carwin should finally have a showdown with Brock Lesnar to unify the Heavyweight title.  With the recent release of a second 2009 autograph card, there are plenty of Carwin cards available for the rabid UFC fans.  Shane was already on a Mike Goldberg style “meteoric rise,” and the looming title shot will most likely do the same for his trading cards.  Keep your eyes open.




Rant:  It is TUF to be a Finale Loser


          With the eleventh season of SpikeTV’s set to start on Wednesday, Stacked Cards has been thinking about the previous seasons’ winners and losers.  One thing stood out more than anything else.  That was the trend that fighters who made the finals before losing have had troubles finding a place in the Octagon. 

            The first season’s Kenny Florian may seem like a counterexample, but considering that he has dropped two weight classes and two title bouts since being on the show, his road has been far from enviable.  Fellow season one finale loser Stephan Bonnar came within an inch of being the show’s champion before finding failed drug tests, failed rematches, and a loss to Mark Coleman among the lowlights of his UFC career.

            Luke Cummo and Ed Herman from the second and third seasons found some success in the UFC’s cage, but mostly disappointed before being dropped by the promotion.  Worse yet, Brad Imes and Josh Haynes found absolutely no success.  No amount of winning outside the promotion has brought either back.  The Gogoplata run of Imes in 2007 was not even enough to get him another look.

            Manny Gamburyan and C.B. Dolloway have both suffered losses in the cage since their finale disappointments.  They may be among the luckiest of the finale losers however, as their failures have led to them finding more suitable opponents than some of their predecessors were expected to conquer.  In between was the case of Tom Speer.  The soft spoken farmer proved his guts and heart on season six of TUF, but was dominated by both Danzig and Johnson before being sent back to the farm leagues.  More disappointing performances have followed.

            Though the recent seasons of the popular reality show may not be old enough to judge the losers on their finales, the seizure-induced cancellation of a fight by Phillipe Nover may just be the most recent in a long line of TUF times for the finale losers.  Will the same fate befall DeMarques Johnson, Andre Winner, and Brendan Schaub?  Upcoming fights in the Octagon will go a long way toward answering that question.  Keep your eyes open.



That is all for this week.  Check back in for thoughts on Abu Dhabi next time.

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