Fans of the UFC and MMA may see a familiar face if they tune in to tonight’s final of the WWE‘s Mae Young Classic in Las Vegas.
It’s Shayna Baszler, a MMA veteran who has a 15-11 record and is one of Ronda Rousey‘s friends that made up The Four Horsewomen. Now, Baszler is perhaps primed for a run in a WWE ring and finds herself in the championship match of a women’s tournament that the company has scoured the global independent scene to build.
Because of her stint with UFC, Baszler does have some cardboard already as does her opponent tonight, Kairi Sane, a star from Japan.
Sane was previously known as Kairi Hojo and appears on a number of BBM True Heart cards released in Japan. She’s presently signed by WWE and in NXT, its developmental ranks, so Topps cardboard should be coming at some point in the future.
Baszler already appears on fewer than 20 different Topps UFC cards made between 2014 and 2015 — and eight of those are certified autographs. Her first autographs can be found in 2014 Topps UFC Bloodlines — a standard auto card (/225), a Red parallel (/8) and a 1/1 Platinum atop her only base card appearances — and then in 2015 Topps UFC Champions where she has an unnumbered auto, a Red (/8) and a 1/1 Platinum auto. Her only other appearances come with a 1/1 in 2015 Topps UFC Knockout and a six-sig auto limited to five copies that also includes ink from Rousey, Jessamyn Duke, Raquel Pennington, Julianna Pena and Miesha Tate.
WWE already has teased some type of showdown between Rousey’s MMA faction and its own group of Four Horsewomen from NXT — Charlotte Flair, Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch and Bayley — so there could be an upsurge in interest in Baszler cards as well as new looks at Rousey’s if there’s some type of firm indicator tonight that the former UFC women’s champ will be in WWE. There’s already been mainstream media attention beyond the norms for wrestling, so there could be more potential collectors watching already.
The Mae Young Classic will air live from Vegas beginning at 10 p.m. Eastern on the WWE Network following Smackdown.
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