Do You Wear Gloves In MMA?

Every reputable Mixed Martial Art (MMA) promotion out there will prioritize the safety of their fighters. Safety for these promotions means that rules are imposed in fights as well as the requirement of wearing the necessary MMA gear. This begs the question, do MMA fighters wear gloves?

Do You Wear Gloves in MMA?

Every reputable MMA promotion out there requires their fighters to wear MMA gloves. This is the same for any boxing promotions with boxing gloves. The only sport that does not require you not to wear any gloves is bare-knuckle boxing. 

MMA practitioners should look into the essential functions of both MMA gloves as well as boxing gloves. The information below will compare MMA gloves with boxing gloves, dive a little bit into bare-knuckle boxing, and finally, recommend the top MMA gloves in the market.

Do MMA Gloves Hurt More?

Whether or not wearing MMA gloves hurts more is subjective, as it depends on the person who is throwing the punch. But, compared to boxing gloves, getting hit by MMA gloves hurts more. 

One factor to look into is that MMA gloves have less padding and are lighter in weight. Therefore, your knuckles go through less padding when hitting the target as opposed to boxing gloves.

Boxing gloves weigh between 8oz to 12oz. Which weight the boxers will use will depend on if they are training or fighting in a competition. In competitions, which gloves are used will depend on the fight contract that both parties agreed upon, which are usually the 8oz to 10oz ones.

The mass and size of the boxing glove are also essential factors. The extra mass means extra weight, which can sometimes result in a more brutal punch or a slower and softer one.

As for MMA gloves, most are usually 4oz gloves, and these are the standard weight for all MMA gloves. Because it is lighter in weight, fighters are able to throw quick punches. Additionally, the lack of padding would definitely hurt the fighter on the receiving end.

Professional heavyweight MMA fighter and multiple world champion Bas Rutten has tested this beforehand. In an experiment conducted by National Geographic, Bas had to deliver a punch wearing boxing gloves, MMA gloves, and bare fist.

The force produced by each of the different medias include:

  • Bare fists: 370kg of force
  • MMA gloves: 295kg of force 
  • Boxing gloves: 291kg of force

Although the boxing gloves didn’t differ far from the MMA gloves, the experiment still proves that MMA gloves slightly hurt more than boxing gloves. However, bare-knuckle seems to top the highest in delivering devastating damage even with the least amount of force.

Is Bare Knuckle Boxing Safer?

In terms of safety for the one getting punched and the one throwing the punch, bare-knuckle boxing is not safer than fighting with MMA gloves or boxing gloves. 

One of the primary issues is the safety of the boxer’s fists. Without proper gloves to protect the bones in your fists, you can easily break them just by punching someone’s face. 

People should realize that the bones on a person’s face are incredibly hard, and resilient too. The wrong execution of a shot to the head could break a knuckle bone or two, as well as potentially injuring muscles in the fist. When that happens, he or she can potentially get disqualified, ultimately losing the fight.

Another safety issue to bring up is that fighting with bare knuckles causes more cuts and gashes. These cuts occur primarily in the face due to the knuckle’s direct contact with the face’s hard-boned surfaces (e.g., cheekbones).

With boxing and MMA gloves, your knuckles will be at least padded to lower the risk of getting cuts in the face.

Cuts and gashes on the face can result in a technical knockout. This depends on how much blood is coming out of the cut and where.

If there is a significant cut that occurs on the eyebrow, and blood begins to spew down to one of the fighter’s eyes. Then, the referee or the doctor can call an end to the fight as it is too risky to continue.

Are Boxing Gloves Safer Than MMA Gloves?

In their own design, boxing gloves should provide more protection than MMA gloves. Boxing gloves are designed to provide optimum protection for your hands, which is why boxing gloves are entirely closed off, covering the entirety of the boxer’s mitts. 

Additionally, boxing gloves are thicker as well. This does not only provide more padding to the boxer’s hands, but it also gives more support to their wrist. That is why you’ll come across some boxing gloves with laces instead of straps, as they can provide stronger support.

MMA gloves, on the other hand, are designed for flexibility. This is why MMA gloves are thinner and fingerless.

In addition, MMA fighters require gloves that can not only be used to utilize the effective striking technique but small and comfortable enough to utilize grapple techniques as well, including wrestling and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. 

Which MMA Gloves Should You Get?

Top-of-the-line MMA gloves should provide fighters with three primary factors:

  • Comfortability
  • Overall hand and wrist protection
  • Product quality and durability

You will find a lot of MMA gloves out there that provide enough protection to the hands, but not the wrist. Or you will find high-quality materials, but the gloves will be uncomfortable to use.

Below we list some gloves that are the best in the market due to their versatility as well as price.

Venum Undisputed 2.0 MMA Gloves

Venum’s Undisputed 2.0 is arguably the top MMA gloves in the market. Venum is known for its high-quality materials for optimum comfortability and durability in its products. 

Venum’s Undisputed 2.0 MMA gloves are made from premium grade Nappa leather materials through high-density stitching. This type of material is easily the best of the best and easily reached, surpassing the high-standard quality of gloves made in Thailand. 

In terms of its protective design, the Undisputed 2.0 has foam layers that create a natural curve in the hands.

This feature provides comfort for long-term usage. Additionally, the long Velcro wrap system provides maximum wrist support, which most MMA gloves lack due to their smaller size and thinner design.

The only downfall is its high-quality leather that could take longer than usual to break into. However, once you’ve broken them in, then it’s an MMA glove to train and keep for life.

Hayabusa Tokushu Regenesis

Hayabusa, another titan in the MMA training gear industry. Hayabusa is known for top-quality boxing and MMA gear used by MMA champions, such as George St. Pierre. One of Hayabusa’s best MMA training gear is the Tokushu Regenesis gloves

The Tokushu is one of Hayabusa’s top 4oz regulation MMA gloves. For optimum comfort, the Tokusha features a pre-formed curve in the upper knuckles.

Additionally, it has an open thumb space for comfort and fitting. The Tokusha’s exterior material is made out of leather called Vylar-2. Supposedly, the Vylar-2 leather is stronger and tougher than regular leather. 

Another of Tokusha’s great features is its inner liner, made out of “X-Static” XT2. This material is odor resistant, which I’m sure will attract many professional MMA fighters who use their gloves daily. Additionally, Tokusha’s Dual-X wrist strap system gives the best wrist support as well. 

RDX MMA Gloves

The RDX MMA gloves are another popular choice for MMA fighters in the market. The RDX MMA gloves feature a thick triple-layered gel-tech padding for extra protection and comfort.

In addition to the paddings, the RDX MMA gloves also have a shock-absorbent foam over the knuckles for knuckle protection, as well as a padded block over the wrist for improved wrist support. 

The RDX MMA gloves are built with authentic cowhide leather, which improves the gloves’ shock resistance. In addition, the gloves’ design features the triangular “Nabla-Palm” design, giving better grip capabilities and ventilation for comfort. 


MMA fighters wear different gloves depending on the sport they are participating in. Different gloves provide different purposes as well as functions.

As an MMA fighter, you should at least know the basics of the two, as well as having the best quality MMA gloves. Better product means more comfort in training while avoiding injuries at the same time.

Interested in MMA? Check Out My Recommendations

Looking For Gear To Use When You Train?
If you are interested in training MMA, here is some of the gear I recommend:
Best Mouth Guard
Best MMA Gloves
Best Groin Protection
Best Rashguard
Want To Learn To Fight, But Don’t Want To Go In Person?
CoachTube has online training videos for Wrestling, Boxing, MMA and more. And best part is you can do it all from your home allowing you to go at your own pace. Check them out here.
Interested In Training Other MMA Fighters?
Click here to check out the MMA Conditioning Association and see what you need to become an MMA conditioning coach and begin training fighters.

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