Combat Cardboard

THE MMA SPORTS CARD AUTHORITY ...

The MMA Sports Cards Authority

CombatCardboard Interview:  Josh "Cuddly Bear" Copeland

      Josh "Cuddly Bear" Copeland made his UFC debut in November of 2014 after going undefeated in his first 9 professional fights.  In that short time, Josh collected title belts in both the Sparta Combat League, and Resurrection Fighting Alliance.  The latter was his first fight with the promotion and earned him a spot in the UFC.  That may seem like a quick road to MMA's Major League, and it probably was.  Two fights in the UFC brought two defeats for Copeland.  Josh's stint in the UFC showed two things:  1) that he has the heart and desire to compete in the UFC Heavyweight Division, and 2) that he will benefit greatly from further seasoning in regional competition.  Josh saw 7 of his first 9 fights end in the first round.  That simply isn't enough time in the cage to prepare someone for the deep waters of the UFC.  Josh trains at the Grudge Training Center in Colorado.  

      Josh made his debut on Topps UFC cards in 2015 Topps UFC Knockout.  He has not had a certified autograph or memorabilia card in any release yet.  There is an address for sending TTM submissions to Josh in the CombatCardboard TTM section on the top navigation bar.  

      CCB would like to thank Josh for answering a few questions about the hobby for us and wish him luck in the future.

CCB:  Congratulations on your "rookie" cards.  How does it feel to be on a trading card?  

JC:  It is definitely a surreal feeling being on a trading card. I am not sure exactly how to feel, but I won't argue.


CCB:  Did you collect sports cards as a kid?

JC:  I did collect sports cards, but nothing too serious.


CCB:  Did you always want to be an athlete?  If not, what other job would you like to do?  

JC:  I definitely wanted to be an athlete.  I always had dreams of being a professional football player.  I never grew as tall as I had wanted to, so I went to college for youth ministry.  I have always enjoyed encouraging people to get out of their comfort zones and to become whatever they dreamed of being.
 
CCB:  How do you feel about fans asking you for autographs?  

JC:  I think it is pretty crazy that anyone would want my autograph, but I am always humbled and willing to sign anything for anyone!

CCB:  Do you mind signing autographs through the mail when fans send requests?  

JC:  I do not mind at all.  I will say I am not the most organized person so it always helps when they send a return envelope.
 
CCB:  Is there a time that you would prefer not to be bothered by fans?  

JC:  Not really, I am for the most part about as easy-going as anyone can be.  If there is ever a bad time, I would definitely politely let them know.
 
CCB:  Are you surprised that UFC cards are a "Big thing" for collectors?  

JC:  Not at all, this world is made up of a lot of different people with A lot of likes and dislikes.  The UFC is not for everyone, but for those people who love it, it makes sense that they would love the trading cards that go along with it.
 
CCB:  If you could have 1 person's autograph, who would it be?  

JC:  I think of anyone, it would be Peyton Manning.  He is a true class act on and off of the field. He is a person that anyone could look up to.
 
CCB:  Do you have any hobbies or collections?  

JC:  I do not have any collections and honestly no true hobbies. I am a simple guy who loves to enjoy life with friends and family.
 
CCB:  What do you like to do when you aren't fighting or training?

JC:  My joy every day is waking up to my son who is almost 2 years old yelling "Dadaaa". Life can not get much sweeter than that!  Besides that, just being around good friends and family eating good food and drinking good drinks.
 
CCB:  What goal are you working towards in your career or personal life?  

JC:  My goals are simple, I just want to be the best that I can be. I am training and just trying to sharpen up my entire game
 
CCB:  Do you keep memorabilia from your fights?  

JC:  I do, I am a sentimental person.  I definitely wish I was more organized, but I am keeping things to show my kids in the future.
 
CCB:  What was it like the first time you stepped into the Octagon?  

JC:  Honestly, it was cool to be there, but it felt like most all of my other fights.  I wanted to go out and do the best I could and hope for the best.


CCB:  Is there anything that you would like to share with the readers of combatcardboard.com?

JC:  I want to thank everyone for taking the time to learn a little bit about me!  Thank you all for your support!

Prediction Panel:  Condit vs. Alves

Beards on MMA - Jordan - I'm going CC via better wrasslin.  Matt - I pick Condit because I keep pulling his autographs and I need new CC fans to take them off my hands.


FightHobby - I think that Condit will have some ring rust and Alves will take advantage with an early TKO.


SnyeGuy - 5 years ago it's a coin flip. now? alves was too hittable against mein and mein goofed, condit won't . condit will catch him in the 2nd and jump on a sub.


Loan4Cards - I would normally choose Condit over Alves 99 out of 100 times, but considering Alves is on a hot winning streak and condit coming from an injury, i will have to choose Alves by TKO.


AandN Sports Cards - Condit


Jeremy Fullerton - Although a few years younger than the two, I feel Thiago is primed for a Lawler/Arlovski-esque resurgence. Look for a 2nd round finish from the Pitbull.


Quiksand - I think Condit will win a decision.


Beyond the Cage - Dave - Condit.  Jim - Very tough matchup both have the ability to knock each other out but I think Carlos Condit is the more diverse striker so I'll pick him to win.


SCI - Carlos Condit (15.43) will defeat Thiago Alves (9.72)


Totals:  Carlos Condit:  8

             Thiago Alves:   3

Beyond the Cage 5/27/15

Undercard(board) Hero UFC 187

The combatcardboard.com pick for the Undercard(board) Hero from UFC 187 is a man that epitomizes the title, Dong Hyun Kim.  The Stun Gun has an impressive resume by most measures, but remains something of an after thought to fans and collectors alike.  He has fought in the UFC for over 7years, amassing an 11-3 record.  He has won 5 of his last 6.  He is currently ranked #7 by the UFC.  He has appeared in 11 different Topps UFC products.  Despite all that, Kim remains a hero of the undercards and FS/FT piles.  One thing working against Kim is the fact that he has already faced the 4 fighters ranked immediately ahead of him, going only 1-3 against the group.  At 33 years of age, the championship run window may be starting to close on Korea's best Welterweight.  The Stun Gun must decide if he is satisfied with being a respected veteran or wants to make a true run at championship gold.  If the latter is the case, it is time to show it in the cage.  Saturday night showed us once again that the talent is there.  The question is will it come to bear against the upper echelon of the division.

Beyond the Cage 5/20/15

Prediction Panel:  UFC187

Loan4Cards - I am torn.  I love both fighters, so my pick is a DRAW!  But, if DC plays it smart, he will win.


Beyond the Cage - Jim - Rumble, I think his speed will be too much for DC to handle. Also, I pick Vitor, I think he will be able to tag Weidman early before Chris gets into a grove with his takedowns.  Dave - I will take rumble.


SCI - Cormier (24.26) will defeat Rumble (17.24)


FightHobby - I think that Cormier has the ability to dictate the pace of the fight.  This will be the difference.


Beards on MMA - Jordan - It all comes down to Popeye's vs. Gummy Candy.  I'm not a fried chicken man.  I'm going with AJ.  Matt - I like good fried chicken.  I'll take DC and his chicken dance.


SnyeGuy - Rumble has all the momentum in the world but i see dc w/ 3rd or 4th round RNC


Quiksand - I think the vicious attack of Rumble is gonna be to much for DC to handle and I think he will be unconscious by the end of the 2nd round!


A and N Sports Cards - Rumble will get a KO!


Total:  Johnson  5

           Cormier   5

Undercard(board) Heroes  Neil Magny

^Start your Neil Magny collection ^

The man who at least one podcaster calls "The Grim Reacher" was victorious for the 7th straight time on Saturday morning.  Neil Magny continues to stack wins in the very tough UFC Welterweight division.  At 27 years of age, it would appear that Magny has hit his stride technically right as he enters his physical prime.  And, on the topic of timing, Neil also just appeared for the first time on Topps UFC cards.  An autograph and base card each with full parallel spectrum are the extent right now for collectors.  We can assume, however, that the potential future champion will continue to show up on cardboard as he continues his run up the Welterweight ladder.  When Magny will return to the cage is currently unknown, but he keeps an active schedule and probably won't be away long.  Finding willing opponents might be the biggest challenge in getting another fight for Magny.  His long reach and well rounded skills might make some in the 170lb division think twice before they sign up to become Magny's 8th consecutive victim. 

The Prediction Panel:  Egdar vs. Faber

SCI - Urijah Faber (15.23) will defeat Frankie Edgar (13.12)


SnyeGuy - Kick in the door vs california love? east coast beast coast, edgar is gonna stop faber.


Quiksand - This is gonna be an awesome fight but i gotta give the edge to Edgar, I think he will win a decision.


Beards on MMA - Jordan - Edgar bc one time my ex said Faber was hunky. She was a whore but still irked me...


Beyond the Cage - Dave - I think frankie gets the victory and begs dana for title shot. .which he deserves  Jim - Edgar is my pick, I think he will be too big for Faber to handle.


AandN - I like Edgar a lot, but it's not a title fight so Faber will step up and win


FightHobby - I like when there is a cool "outside the cage" match-up like this.  East Coast blue collar vs. West Coast Hippie kid.  I'll take the working class.  Oi! Oi! Oi!


Total  -   Edgar - 6

              Faber -  2

Beyond the Cage 5/13/15

Topps Announces 2015 UFC Champions

The brand name is the same, but there will be a few differences to this year's product.  More autos and no memorabilia cards in each box are the biggest changes.  The inclusion of Paige Van Zandt appears to be the biggest pre-sale draw on the checklist.  Check it out here:


http://www.cardboardconnection.com/ufc-cards/2015-topps-ufc-champions-trading-cards


Discuss the new product in the forums here:


http://www.combatcardboard.com/apps/forums/topics/show/13184881-topps-announces-2015-champions

Undercard(board) Hero  Kyle Noke

Last weekend, Zuffa took their travelling road show to Adelaide, South Australia for a Fight Pass card featuring Stipe Miocic dominating an aging Mark Hunt in the Main Event.  Like many foreign soil and/or Fight Pass offerings, the event showcased a number of fighters who are yet to appear on Topps cards.  One who has, is our UCB Hero for this week, Mr. Kyle Noke.


Noke was victorious over Jonavin Webb via split decision this weekend, earning a much needed UFC victory.  Noke is something of a mystery to fans.  He turned pro in 2002 and amassed a 14-3-1 record in his native Australia before heading to the US to continue his career.  Fighting for Elite XC and then the UFC, Noke initially found success in the states, but had lost 3 of 4 heading into last weekend.  Even with this victory, Noke remains a question mark.  Already in his mid-30s, the time is now for Noke.  Any aspirations of a title run must be answered immediately.  The biggest victories of Noke's career remain from days in Australia in the form of Ebersole and Sotiropoulos.  He needs to build on the momentum of this victory to change that.

Beyond the Cage 5/6/15

The Prediction Panel:  UFN Hunt vs. Miocic

Beards on MMA - Jordan - I dig mark hunt but 100% going with @stipemiocicufc aka "sharknado stipe"  Matt - They both lose for willingly agreeing to go to Adelaide.


Quiksand - I'm gonna take Miocic to win a very dominate decision victory.


FightHobby - I think this fight looks a lot like the Miocic/Nelson fight.  Hunt will be more active than Nelson  was, but the result is the same:  Miocic easy.


Beyond the CageDave - The fans!!!! In a flat out brawl I say hunt I'm a technical fight stipe.... I say stipe  Jim -

Hunt always has a punchers chance, but miocic is just too well rounded not to pick for the win.

SCI - Miocic (11.03) defeats Hunt (3.73)

A and N SportsCards - Hunt

Total:  Miocic- 6
           Hunt-  1

2015 Fantasy MMA League Season 1 starts May 16th

A tradition of CombatCardboard's past, Fantasy MMA is returning to the site starting with the May 16th fight card.  The format will be head-to-head as it has been in the past with some minor tweaking to the scoring system.  The league will run for 8 "weeks" with one grand prize winner being crowned by the Aldo/McGregor fight card.  At the time of this posting, there were 8 "teams" available for Season 1.  We hope that you will join us for some fun and prizes.  Below is a link to the league thread in the forums.


http://www.combatcardboard.com/apps/forums/topics/show/13174189-2015-fantasy-league-season-1-

2015 Knockout Top Ebay Sales

Just over a week into the release of 2015 Topps UFC Knockout, we have already seen a number of big cards pulled.  Part of how collectors will judge the product is by how the cards do on the secondary market.  Though previous Topps products were good products, weak secondary market sales cooled the fan's enthusiasm.  It would appear that KO15 does not have that problem.  There are already been 9 cards sold for more than the price of a single box, and 35 total sales over $100.  Here's a sampling of high-profile cards sold on ebay:


Rousey Scarlet Signatures

Rousey Museum Framed Auto

Rousey Belt Plate Auto Ruby

Namajunas Base 1/1

McGregor Scarlet Sigs Gear/Auto

Pendred Base Auto 1/1

Velasquez Base Auto 1/1

Jones Belt Plate Auto Ruby

      2015 Topps UFC Knockout Preview

by Jeremy Royse


The last few releases of Topps UFC brand Trading Cards have left collectors with something to be desired. The good thing is 2015 Topps UFC Knockout is set to release April 22nd, 2015.


2015 Knockout or KO as most refer to it, returns and features many of the classic Knockout favorites such as Fistographs and Championship Belt cards but also incorporates new insert sets borrowing from other popular Topps lines.


2015 KO will include the new UFC Museum Collection which has been a huge hit with collectors in Topps football and baseball products. Another big change is the configuration of a master hobby box.  KO has always been an 8 mini-boxes per 1 master box product but 2015 will see it change to 10 mini-boxes per master box (3 Autographs, 2 Autograph Relics and 5 Relics). This change was made by Topps to standardize their production across multiple sports.  It will not indicate any change to the quality or odds of getting a big hit in a box of 2015 Knockout.  Each mini box includes 5 cards; a “Hit” of either an Autograph, an Autograph Relic or a Relic card as well as 3 base cards, 1 parallel base card.


Among the notable first-time signers in 2015 Topps UFC Knockout are Andrei Arlovski, Corey Anderson, Carla Esparza, Felice Herrig, Ken Shamrock, Cathal Pendred, and Jessica Penne.  CM Punk will not be featured in KO15, CCB has confirmed that he will be included in future Topps UFC releases.


The traditional Triple Threads relic cards will this year be replaced by Museum Collection cards that will be welcome by some as a new twist to the Knockout sets.  Topps has stated that after a few years of including Triple Threads cards in Knockout, they felt it was time to move away from the same kinds of cards.  They wanted to give UFC collectors something fresh to collect.   Instead of collecting the 4th different year of GSP or Jon Jones Triple Threads, this year collectors will have the opportunity to collect a fighter's first Museum Collection cards.  They are also using a new color choice for the 1/1 cards. All sets of Knockout previously have had a “Platinum” or “Onyx” as the color choice for 1/1 cards, this year they are using “Emerald” (Traditionally used in Triple Threads /18) as the 1/1 color.  However the Base 1/1 cards will still feature the simulated bluish “Mat” finish.


With the exclusion of Triple Threads, the new relic sets will include a few new card styles:


Monumental Material Jumbo swatches (/25) will include a Jumbo piece of notable events from UFC, WEC and Strikeforce events. There are 2 parallels to this set including /8 and Emerald 1/1.


Primary Pieces Quad relics (/50) will feature 4 relic pieces from 4 different fighters that share a common bond, Topps typically uses weight classes or UFC events as their common bonds but will be interesting to see if they come up with new ways to group fighters. Parallels include /25, /8 and /1.


Another new addition will be Significant Swatches with 3 pieces of relic from 1 fighter. I picture these to be similar to the between the rounds relics they have had for ring girls in previous KO releases. There is also an Autographed version of these that will be numbered /20, /8 and Emerald 1/1.


Museum Memorabilia and Momentous Material Glove Patch Relics will feature a metal framed piece of UFC glove signed by a fighter, and a framed UFC glove wrist strap (non-autographed) respectively. These are 1/1 cards replace the Autographed Glove book cards from previous series’ but look amazing in the previews. Don’t worry that the book cards are completely gone, as 2015 KO will still feature Sick Sigs books that include 6 fighter autographs as well as Dynamic Dual Autograph Book Cards. The Dynamic Dual books will feature two fighter autographs as well as fighter worn gear, numbered to just 5 copies each.


An array of new autographs will bring a new look to the line. Museum Collection Framed Autographs will come in 3 Parallel colors (Silver /15, Gold /10 and Black /5). These are beautiful cards in the Topps football and baseball sets and no doubt will be a very welcomed addition to KO especially as most insert sets do not feature on card autographs. A fan favorite in all sets have always been the red inks, while there isn’t a red ink parallel of the base auto set, 2015 KO will debut Scarlet Signatures. With the preview images showing a red background and red ink signatures, these look to be some of the nicest auto inserts since the 2013 Finest Valor set. Dynamic Duals are also found in not only the books as mentioned but also as a dual autographed single card, as well as a non-autographed version that features 2 relic pieces instead.


Fans of the more traditional Knockout format won’t be disappointed with over 40 fighters having base autos, relics, relic autos, Championship Belt plate cards both autographed (/8) and non-autographed (/50), Fistograph box toppers as well as redemptions for full size autographed gloves. On the topic of redemptions, Topps has stated that the redemption rate for 2015 Knockout is "fairly low" when compared to other recent releases.  The exact percentage is thus far unknown.


Those involved in the development of 2015 Topps UFC Knockout anticipate that the new Scarlet Signatures Auto and Auto Relic cards will be among the most sought after.  In addition, the traditional favorites of Fist-o-Graph and SickSigs will be chase cards as well.


2015 Knockout looks to bring a fresh look that will reel back in the collectors who may not have been fans of their recent releases. KO has and most likely always will be the #1 favorite product for UFC collectors, and this years’ iteration should be a big hit with both online breakers and those who enjoy to open their own boxes. As we saw with 2014 Bloodlines we don’t know what will truly end up in the product until it hits the streets so don’t get your heart set on any certain card or set just yet, but we would love to hear your thoughts on the Sell Sheet info!


CCB Throwback Interview:  Rich "Ace" Franklin

Combat Cardboard: Did you ever collect sports trading cards while you were growing up?


*Rich Franklin: I collected football cards for a short stint as a child, mostly because my younger brother collected them. We would organize them in plastics in three-ring binders and he was constantly trading and making deals with the neighborhood kids. At the time, I believed they would be worth something some day ... now I don't even know where I have placed them. My prize of my collection was a Barry Sanders rookie Score card. I don't know how rare that card was, but I thought it was worth a fortune at the time.


Combat Cardboard: Are you surprised MMA trading cards are a "big thing"?


*Rich Franklin: I am surprised by the entire memorabilia business. You can purchase a card, or limited edition cards with signatures or cloth swatches. As a child, I just had some cards, and now there is a necessity for an authentic piece of paraphernalia or be very limited in number to be worth anything.


Combat Cardboard: What was your initial reaction to seeing yourself on a trading card?


*Rich Franklin: I actually had a chance to walk through the Upper Deck facility in California when I signed my deal with them, and I must admit it felt very surreal. The transition from being a boy who collected cards to touring a facility that will make one of your cards is an indescribable feeling.


Combat Cardboard: How much of your input goes into making these trading cards?


*Rich Franklin: Absolutely none. I do not own the images they use for the cards.


Combat Cardboard: Does the companies provide you with any of your own cards?


*Rich Franklin: They may very well provide me with some of my own cards, but I do not have any of my own. I am sure my management keeps them.


Combat Cardboard: Does it feel "weird" to be on a piece of cardboard that people find value in?


*Rich Franklin: Absolutely. I always tell people my signature on a report card was worth nothing when I was teaching. Now, kids will stand in line for hours for my autograph. How does that happen?


Combat Cardboard: Will you, or do you, collect your own cards?


*Rich Franklin: I have a few random pieces of memorabilia, but I don't collect anything. If something doesn't have a use, I consider it clutter.


Combat Cardboard: How do you feel about signing autographs in person with people?


*Rich Franklin: I don't mind signing autographs for fans ever. I remember when my brother and I ran into Deion Sanders while he was playing for the Reds. My brother wanted his autograph and I encouraged him to ask. Although it seemed we were not interrupting him during an inopportune time, he refused and was quite rude about it. It left such a lasting memory that I never turn down a fan requesting an autograph. If I don't feel like signing an autograph for anybody, it's a good day to stay at home. That is not to say fans don't occasionally cross the line or erase the fact that I can't stand Ebayers.


Combat Cardboard: If you could have one person's autographed photo, who would it be?


*Rich Franklin: Barry Sanders was my hero growing up, and I had the chance to meet him. Although I have an autographed helmet from him, the chance to talk for five minutes was worth much more. 


Combat Cardboard: Besides punching people in the face, what other hobbies do you enjoy?


*Rich Franklin: I am a jack-of-all trades, master of none when it comes to hobbies. I will do almost anything that requires adrenaline. I like to snowboard and I just started wake boarding this summer. I have been known to play paintball, rock climb, hike, bike and I could do this all day. I do spend time playing my drums almost daily, and that is something I am learning and not quite proficient with yet.

CCB Throwback Interview

by Kerry Webster


Combat Cardboard: Did you ever collect sports cards as a kid?
*Charlie Brenneman:
 Yeah. My brother and I were card collectors. I basically just followed suit. He wanted to be the baseball card collector so I collected football cards.

Combat Cardboard: How did you get involved in collecting sports cards?
*Charlie Brenneman:
It was the thing to do at a young age ... getting all the sets for Christmas and birthdays, getting the fancy sheets and albums. It was great.

Combat Cardboard: Did you have a favorite sports card?
*Charlie Brenneman:
Believe it or not, my favorite, or card I was most proud of, was from the Desert Storm collection. It was of President Bush. 

Combat Cardboard: Are you surprised MMA trading cards are a "big thing?"
*Charlie Brenneman:
Not at all. MMA is a 'big thing' so it only makes sense.

Combat Cardboard: What was you initial reaction to seeing yourself on a trading card?
*Charlie Brenneman:
 How awesome is that. I was thrilled. I made a good contact at Topps cards and got to be part of some cool stuff.

Combat Cardboard: How much of your input goes into making these trading cards?
*Charlie Brenneman:
 At this point, zero. Maybe with the bigger names they have some say.

Combat Cardboard: Does the companies provide you with any of your own cards?
*Charlie Brenneman:
 Yep. Topps just sent me about 150 cards or so.

Combat Cardboard: Does it feel weird to be a on a piece of cardboard that people find value in?
*Charlie Brenneman:
I hope there's value in it. Yeah, but it's more cool than weird.

Combat Cardboard: Do you collect your own cards?
*Charlie Brenneman:
Without a doubt. I try to keep track of all my relics to one day show my kids and their friends ... so I can be the 'cool dad.'

Combat Cardboard: How do you feel about signing autographs in person with people?
*Charlie Brenneman:
I'm more than happy to do it. It's flattering. It's part of living the dream. 

Combat Cardboard: If you could have one person's autograph, who would it be?
*Charlie Brenneman:
Enrique Iglesias. I'm a huge fan.