When certain things occur in combat sports the items attached to the event are often valuable to collectors. Pieces of the canvas from the first UFC or Pride FC events, boxing gloves, and MMA gloves used and signed by the competitors are worth something to those that are into sports memorabilia. Scott Coker is one of those people and he has not been shy about trying to acquire as much as he can, especially as it relates to combat sports. Bellator 198 was an event he got something just as soon as it was over
When the main event of Bellator 198 was finished, the winner Fedor Emelianenko gifted the gloves he wore in the fight to Coker.
— Scott Coker (@ScottCoker) April 29, 2018
When the promotion came to New York City for the first time for Bellator 180 and Bellator NYC, the scale used at weigh-ins was the same scale used for Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier in 1974 that boxing fans called, “The Fight of the Century”. Coker said the night of weigh-ins he made an offer on the scale but Madison Square Garden was not willing to part with that piece of boxing history.
It might not be a big deal to the casual fan that is not aware this could be the end of an era for MMA because they have only followed the McGregor/Rousey era of the sport but fights like the one fans got for Bellator 198 become history when it is part of something bigger like this tournament. With the sport growing the way it is and the hurdles it has gone through to reach households over the years, Emelianenko is one of those fighters that may not be on the radar of newer fans. Coker knows this all too well having been in the business long enough to build a promotion big enough to be on cable TV with Strikeforce, sell it and have the stars made there capture UFC gold and become stars of the sport.
The heavyweight tournament is something special to MMA fans because of the names attached to it are trying to do big things, or maybe even end their careers on the highest of high notes. Ryan Bader is looking to be a two-division champion, Chael Sonnen wants to back-up his talk since signing with Bellator and “The Last Emperor” is likely trying to capture one more title before he calls it a career.
Those gloves are cool, but whoever wins the tournament might want to hold on to them because they will be symbolic of besting the best of the best in Bellator’s heavyweight division along with the title the tournament winner gets.