Bellator signs with Everlast

March, 18, 2010
3/18/10
10:49
AM ET
By Jake Rossen/Sherdog.com
ESPN.com
Archive

So much of MMA's aesthetic centers around the biker ideal: tattoos, close-crop cuts and apparel that looks like Ray Harryhausen threw up on a silk-screen printer.

Bellator does not appear to be too invested in this. The production of shows during the league's first season did not (to my recollection) use any heavy metal, sound effects or KISS props. It feels dignified.

In MMA, that's unique.

On Wednesday, the league announced a partnership with boxing supplier Everlast to sponsor its fight gloves, training equipment and cages. It's the kind of affiliation that only serves to enforce the idea that Bellator wants to be perceived as something more coherent and tactful than the norm. Everlast has a lineage that extends as far back as Jack Dempsey. In combat terms, it's as pervasive a brand as Coca-Cola.

Open-ended: whether this kind of arrangement will prompt the UFC to cut Everlast out of existing sponsorship relations on television with UFC-affiliated athletes like Gray Maynard and Randy Couture. Couture has several items like gloves, hats and a "dragon walkout shirt" I'll happily ignore in order to not make that third paragraph invalid.

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