Saturday, March 31, 2012

Box Break: 2011 Topps UFC Finest

After sitting on the box I finally got the chance to bust it with my son and came away with mixed feelings. I really like the base set and pulled a good portion of the base checklist with no duplicates. An area of concern with Finest products, besides the bend, is the chipping along the edges and scratches from the sorting machine and fortunately none of my cards were damaged so a positive there. The hits I pulled were a bit disappointing but that is the chance you take and I cannot complain because I paid less than $70 shipped (boxes are now running around $85 plus shipping).

Some of my favorite base cards that I pulled include this duo that fought in February for the Interim Welterweight Championship belt. Ignoring the failed drug test by Diaz after the fight it was a decent fight with Condit winning by decision.
A nice collection of big hits with Silva pushing Michael Bisping out of frame by his face and Big Nog putting Randy Couture down.

I pulled 8 Refractors, and at 1:4 packs I did better than expected. Some of the notable pulls include Kid Yamamoto, who used to be such a dominant fighter but since 2009 has gone 1-5 dropping his record to 18-6 overall. Weidman has caught a lot of attention; he is currently 8-0 having fought 4 times in the UFC in the last year. I had to include Ryan Bader, beside Randy Couture he is my favorite fighter. He is from Nevada but has spent a good portion of his life here in Arizona. Sadly he went to ASU (Boo!) but he lives in Scottsdale and now trains in a gym about 5 miles from my house. After his losses to Jones and Ortiz (who was fighting to remain in the UFC)  there was rumor that if Bader lost again he would be cut loose but he took things in stride and has won two straight including a win against Rampage Jackson last month.

I pulled 3 X-Fractors and again I beat the odds (1:5 packs) but there was nothing to really write home about. Carwin has a solid 12-2 record, having lost his last 2 fights, but it was revealed last October that he needed back surgery. This is Carwin’s second major surgery in a year after having neck surgery in November 2010. Grispi seemed like a lock at 14-1 when the UFC took in the WEC but he lost his first 2 UFC fights and was pulled from a third and his career now seems to be in jeopardy. Big Country, what can be said about the guy? I read a story about him about 3 years ago in Sports Illustrated and he made it completely clear that he hates to work out; he wants to just get in the ring, fight and then go eat. Even though he is 3-3 (16-7 overall) in his UFC career Dana White must love this guy because Nelson is expected to fight Antonio Silva in his UFC debut in May.
I am having de-ja vu with my Gold Refractor, at one per master box you would think that the chance to pull a Grispi X-Fractor and Gold Refractor would be minimal but I guess I “beat” the odds again. Not really a win though.
Finest Moments is a nice insert, they cover a specific moment in the fighter’s career. Anderson Silva’s moment was at UFC 117 when he was down versus Chael Sonnen in the first 4 rounds and about to lose the Middleweight belt but came back in the 5th Round to submit Sonnen. They are scheduled for a rematch in June with Silva going for his 10th title defense.

The Gold Finest Moment Matt Hamill covers his rise in The Ultimate Fighter under Tito Ortiz and then 4 years later took on Ortiz beating him by a decision.

To be continued…

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