Panini stormed back with its second release of Prizm UFC cards in late-March 2022. Much like the 2021 set that featured sought-after rookies like Khamzat Chimaev, Ciryl Gane and Brandon Moreno, this year’s product also includes a lineup of future stars embarking on a challenging journey to climb the UFC rankings. And now that we’ve had a few months to scout the set, we can hone in on the MMA prospects we feel the most confidently about.
It should come as no surprise that Paddy Pimblett’s rookie cards are currently the most sought-after of this set. The Liverpool native has inarguably established himself as the most popular signing of 2021, compiling a 2-0 record in the octagon along the way. Pimblett has all the makings of a UFC star, and his rise is quickly being compared to Conor McGregor’s early success in the organization.
To get an understanding of just how high collectors are on this kid, let’s look at some of his recent sales. His 2022 Prizm UFC Blue Prizm (/199) recently sold raw for a whopping $700 while the Teal parallel (#/49) went for $3,550 on March 30. Pimblett’s cards are selling as if he’s an unquestioned future champion, which could be a trap for investors if he fails to deliver on the hype. My advice? Wait for the 2022 Prizm hysteria to die down and see if his prices normalize. Pimblett is certainly entertaining but he’s yet to show that he is close to the level of the lightweight division’s top half.
There are several other rookies featured in this set who collectors should be significantly bullish on. Tom Aspinall, for example, has all the makings of a future UFC champion. The UK native has consistently improved with every performance and is in line for a top-five opponent in his next appearance. Getting in now is key if investors are looking to turn a significant profit a little later. Aspinall’s Orange Prizm rookie (/99) are selling around $250 while his Silver rookies are still going well under $25. Investing in his Silvers, low-numbered parallels and rookie autos could pay dividends if he realizes the success many believe he is capable of.
Top-ranked contenders Sean Strickland (middleweight), Arman Tsarukyan (lightweight) and Sean Brady (welterweight) all make their Prizm UFC debuts here, too. Strickland is currently scheduled to face rising star Alex Pereira in July. A win over Pereira will skyrocket Strickland’s stock and, potentially, lead to a title shot by the end of 2022. Brady and Tsarukyan are young, talented stars who are continuously climbing the ladder in their respective divisions and should find themselves in big fights very soon.
Other rookie notables in this set include Jalin Turner, Shavkat Rakhmonov, Jack Shore, Manon Fiorot, Ilia Topuria and Umar Nurmagomedov. Turner and Topuria are coming off impressive knockout victories in the action-packed lightweight division. Both should face top-15 opponents in their next octagon appearances. Rakhmonov (welterweight) and Fiorot (women’s flyweight) have also earned themselves top-15 status due to their consistently impressive victories.
Shore and Nurmagomedov round off the list as a pair of notable bantamweights making splashes at 135. Shore is 16-0 as a professional competitor and has already earned five victories as a UFC bantamweight. Nurmagomedov (cousin of MMA star Khabib) is also undefeated at 14-0 and has two impressive wins in the UFC. Each has shown his potential as a future contender and will likely find himself inside the top 15 before the year is over, making the fighters’ decently priced Prizm UFC parallels essential to anybody thinking about smart investing plays down the road.
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