Right now, Topps is the only company making MMA cards, they own the UFC license and they have done a stellar job. But, there is more to MMA than UFC, with one competitor being Bellator MMA.
My point is, I would love to see other options for MMA cards. Ryan Bader, my favorite fighter and a PC for me, is currently with Bellator and hasn’t appeared on cardboard since he left the UFC last year. There are other fighters jumping ship from UFC too, sure some are in the twilight of their careers, but some left because of lack of opportunity to fight higher ranked opponents, money squabbles or just looking for another option.
While I was watching Bellator 203 this past weekend, I started to think how much I would love to see Leaf, who has released MMA sets previously, come in and get the Bellator license. Look at what Leaf had done with those early sets (2010 Leaf MMA Champions autograph above) and imagine what they could do now. If they were to put out a Leaf Metal Bellator set focused on only a base set and one or two autograph inserts they could make a killing.
Right now, former UFC fighters Ryan Bader and Rory MacDonald are the Light-Heavyweight and Welterweight Champs (respectively). The Women’s Flyweight Champion is Ilima-Lei MacFarlane, she is 8-0-0, scrappy and more charismatic than Ronda Rousey. What I am saying is that the talent is there and while the younger fighters may not be able to carry a set there are fighters like Royce Gracie and Tito Ortiz that are on the roster; plus announcer Big John McCarthy, referee Herb Dean and cutman extraordinaire Stitch Duran all work with Bellator.