Mixed martial arts’ Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) promotion has unveiled an exclusive multi-year trading card deal with global collectibles and merchandising platform Fanatics.

The tie-up, negotiated through UFC’s licensing agent IMG (owned by Endeavor, which also controls TKO Holdings, through which UFC is run), involves Fanatics-owned Topps creating a new range of trading cards.

The new range will be entitled Topps Chrome UFC, which will be available from retail shops on February 28. The set will include 200 base cards.

Fanatics will support the partnership “with a variety of promotional initiatives,” including featured content on the Fanatics Live commerce platform, where collectors and fans will be able to view interviews with UFC athletes.

This tie-up adds to an existing partnership between UFC and Fanatics Commerce.

It also brings Topps back as a UFC partner – before that brand was taken over by Fanatics in January 2022, it had a deal with the MMA promotion from 2009 to 2020.

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Mike Mahan, chief executive at Fanatics Collectibles, has said: “Today is a day of celebration for both the hobby and all UFC fans. UFC trading cards are incredibly popular among collectors – and we are truly honored to be able to once again make innovative and fun cards featuring the next wave of stars.”

Tracey Bleczinski, UFC’s senior vice president for global consumer products, added: “We are excited to again join creative forces with Fanatics Collectibles and Topps, celebrating the sport of MMA and the unrivaled popularity of UFC through its unique personalities and historic moments. UFC fans have long supported a strong marketplace for collectibles, and this new collaboration with Fanatics and Topps will give UFC fans a great way to stay engaged in the sport.”

Earlier this month, UFC unveiled a multi-year expansion and extension of its commercial tie-up with Kudo Snacks.

Under the new deal, Utah-based Kudo is now the official global popcorn of UFC, growing its rights package from a US-only designation in 2023, when the partnership started, to full worldwide rights under the new deal.

January has also seen TKO Group, the combat sports giant formed out of the merger of UFC and WWE last September, unveil a combination of the commercial teams of the two organizations.

Fanatics, meanwhile, has recently announced an exclusive partnership with basketball icon LeBron James.

The brand is also currently engaged in a long-running legal dispute with rival Panini.