by MMAWeekly.com
The International Fight League announced today that it has signed a multi-year partnership with The Topps Company to produce collectible trading cards featuring the IFL’s coaches and athletes. Those familiar with trading cards know the Topps name. It is one of the leading companies in producing collectible trading cards.

“We are very excited to begin this relationship with Topps, one of the most storied brands in the card business,” said Gareb Shamus, IFL co-founder and CEO, in a statement. “This partnership is the latest in a series of moves by the sport of MMA and the IFL brand that shows how the sport will be able to reach a larger audience with compelling and unique content. It will be great way to showcase our stars through a combination of traditional trading cards, unique collectibles and new media projects.”

“The sport of Mixed Martial Arts is exciting and rapidly growing, and we are proud to partner with the IFL, their world class coaches and rising stars to make our entry in the sport,” said Ira Friedman, Topps’ vice president of publishing and licensing. “We have looked for the right entry point for the MMA category from a collectible standpoint, and feel that the IFL model is the best fit for both now and for the long term.”

The first Topps IFL branded cards are planned for the end of 2007 with an expanded line in 2008.