United Fighting Championship New Agreement
If you have been following the UFC recently, you have been keeping an eye on the deals that have been agreed upon by fighters. Outspoken United Fighting Championship President Dana White is always trying to put on a show in the ring for fans and does an incredible job building up the excitement leading to fight night. However, this new agreement has nothing to do with what goes on in the ring and is mostly a way for fans to stay engaged outside of the ring. The UFC and Panini have come to a multi-year agreement making Panini the official licensed trading card of the UFC.
Panini Knocked Out Who?
Panini’s license with the UFC knock’s out competitor Topps’ over one-decade long relationship with the UFC. The multi-year agreement gives Panini exclusive rights to making UFC trading cards, unlike other sports eliminating competition. Panini is one of the leading trading card companies globally and has emerged as a leader in the industry over the past few years.
UFC Excited About the Deal
Now trading card fans are familiar with some of Panini’s most popular products. Panini’s ability to design cards in fascinating ways is a significant reason UFC fans should be excited about this partnership.
“We are thrilled to welcome Panini America as UFC’s new official collectible trading card partner,” said UFC Senior Vice President of Global Consumer Products Tracey Bleczinski.
UFC fans have many different ways to stay engaged with the UFC whether it is through wearing a replica championship belt or buying an action figure of a fighter. This agreement gives not only trading cards fans, but also UFC fans a new way to follow the sport.
“Many of our fans use collectible trading cards to stay connected to our brand and their favorite UFC athletes, and Panini America is the industry leader, creating innovative and unique products for our fans to enjoy,” said Bleczinski.
UFC Popularity Caught the Attention of Panini
As one of the most popular and marketable sports, the UFC has grabbed the attention of many different markets now, including trading cards.
“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,” said Panini America CEO Mark Warsop.
Warsop mentions how the UFC has some of the most marketable athletes in the world and he is correct. President Dana White allows his fighters to be who they are inside and out of the ring, which allows fans to grow a connection and appreciation for specific fighters.
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What to Expect?
According to Panini and the UFC, new trading cards will not be released right away, but the two sides have big plans for 2021. Panini will be launching Panini Prizm UFC in April of 2021 to get things started.
Panini will not be stopping there as the company plans at least three more program releases in 2021. Panini intends to release other popular programs like the Select series in July, the Contenders series in September, and the Immaculate series in December. The additional launches add plenty of excitement to the collection of cards for one of the most emerging sports out there.
Who to Collect?
There will be plenty of excitement when opening these new cards. Some fighters to look out for include potentially the greatest pound for pound fighter of all-time, “The Eagle” Khabib Nurmagomedov. Last year Justin Gaetchje made a name for himself with a win over Tony Ferguson and has become a top contender in the lightweight division. Other talented fighters include Kamaru Usman, Israel Adesanya, and Gilbert Burns. We cannot forget the big guys over at heavyweight headlined by Stipe Miocic and Francis Ngannou.