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MMA Gloves: The Definitive Guide

MMA Gloves: The Definitive Guide

  • Zishan Haider

Welcome to the definitive guide on MMA gloves, here you will find everything you need to know about one of the most important elements in Mixed Martial Arts, both for training and competition.

DO NOT stop reading this guide until the end.

I will try to cover everything related to MMA mitts and will include links to articles that explain things further. You can use the table of contents to navigate directly to what interests you the most.

Go now to the comparative guide if you are interested in buying your first gloves.

History of MMA Gloves

Small, free-fingered gloves like those of Mixed Martial Arts, first appeared in the Japanese fighting organization called Shooto.

When these kinds of organizations started, they didn't even wear gloves! But over time, they became necessary to protect the hands and faces of the fighters, especially due to the number of cuts they suffered during the fight.

As you already know, the hands are the most precious work tool of the fighters. Hence, another reason why gloves began to be used was so that fighters felt more secure when throwing fists. In this way, the fights were made much more entertaining and full of action.

Types of MMA Gloves

There are several types of gloves that vary in design depending on their purpose, the manufacturer, or the organization where they are used.

In general, the best way to classify MMA gloves is by their purpose, and we can classify them into 2 large groups: those used for training and those used for competition.

Go to the guide where I explain how to choose MMA gloves so that you learn how to choose the best ones depending on your objective.

MMA Gloves for Training

In Mixed Martial Arts you have to train in different areas, and for those where blows or grips are involved, the use of different types of gloves is recommended.

Broadly speaking, MMA gloves for training could be divided into: gloves for sparring and gloves for grappling or combined training.

MMA Gloves for Competition (Professionals)

In the case of competition or professional fights, MMA gloves can have different characteristics but always complying with some regulations:

Gloves for Professional competition weigh 4 ounces (110 grams).

Amateur competition gloves weigh 6 ounces (170 grams) and have extra protection in the knuckle area.

Normally, the organizations are in charge of giving the gloves to the fighters for the fight, in this way possible fraud or unfair advantages are avoided. However, in very small organizations, it is not uncommon to see each fighter required to bring their own pair of gloves.

Advantages and Disadvantages of MMA Gloves

It is true, the UFC type gloves generated a tremendous change in Mixed Martial Arts and allowed it to gradually become a regulated and globally accepted sport.

However, you have to accept that these open mitts have their advantages and disadvantages, and that just as they bring great benefits to the fights, there are disadvantages that they still have to work on.

Main advantage:  They allow various martial arts to be combined in the same fight, since striking and grappling techniques can be used at the same time without significantly affecting the fighter's abilities.

Main disadvantage: By having the fingers free, it is frequent that there are accidental pokes in the eyes of the rival. The worst thing about this is that the injuries can be very serious and the fights often have to be stopped by the doctor to avoid further damage to the fighter.

Something very important is to know the differences between MMA gloves and Boxing gloves.


Below are answers to some of the most common questions regarding MMA gloves. Click on the links to go to the articles with more detailed information.

How much do the UFC and MMA Gloves weigh?

The weight of varies depending on the type of gloves. Usually, training gloves are heavier than competition gloves, since they seek to provide greater protection for the hand and the fighter. When choosing MMA gloves for sparring, keep in mind that they are also heavier to protect your sparring partner.

In general, glove weights are usually as follows:

MMA or UFC gloves for competition: 4 to 6 ounces

MMA Training Gloves: 7 to 10 ounces

Gloves for Sparring MMA: 7 to 10 ounces

Are MMA gloves the same as MMA gloves?

YES. Both terms refer to the same thing. The difference is that the word glove is more used in Spain and in the rest of the world the word glove is used more.

Are MMA gloves used with wraps?

YES. It is necessary to wear bandages under gloves, since it is what protects our hands and prevents serious injuries. For this, boxing bandages can be used and it is preferable to buy shorter bandages, for example 2.5 meters long, so that it is easy to place the glove on top.

Are MMA gloves used for a bag?

IT DEPENDS. There are several types of MMA training gloves, but not all of them are designed to hit the punching bag. To find out which one is ideal for this, it is best that you see the guide to choose MMA gloves or simply prefer to buy boxing gloves to train your blows.

How to clean my MMA gloves?

There is nothing worse than going to the gym to train and pulling out some smelly and dirty gloves. It is very important to keep your accessories clean, that way you not only avoid bad smell, but also reduce the risk of possible infections.

I wrote a guide on how to wash and keep your MMA gloves clean , so be sure to read it if you already have yours or are just about to buy them, it's best to maintain them well from the start.