Does MMA Headgear Protect You? | What To Know

The sport of mixed martial arts is a sport that requires physical contact. Various body parts on a fighter will be dealt blows that can lead to injury.

The most important part of a fighter’s body to protect is the head, and there is headgear that serves this purpose. Since MMA is violent, some may be curious if this protects.

Does MMA Headgear Protect You?

Although MMA headgear is effective at saving the wearer from cuts and scrapes, it does not protect from concussions. The headgear might soften the blow, but it cannot deflect the impact.

Many details might affect how well MMA headgear defends the cranium. Read on to learn more about these and to fully understand how this protection may help you in the future.

Do MMA Fighters Wear Headgear?

MMA fighters do wear headgear, though it varies from person to person. The use of headgear is more common in professional matches than it is in sparring, thanks to a variety of reasons.

In general. MMA fighters want to avoid:

  • Unnecessary blows aimed at the head
  • Excessive aggression
  • Random hits

Without the headgear, sparring matches allow time for professionals to gain practice hitting where it matters. There cannot be jabs at a cushioned head if there is nothing there to defend it.

This minimizes cruel hits in professional matches. Keep in mind that this headgear minimizes rather than negates blows to the head. 

Some MMA fighters simply do not wear headgear. There is a large controversy over it in the industry. Many cannot agree on if the benefits outweigh the damage that the device causes. Only time will tell what will happen to this piece of equipment.

Why Do Fighters Need Headgear?

Fighters need headgear because it can prevent a lot of unnecessary superficial injuries, such as broken noses and scarring. MMA fighters can avoid these by investing in headgear.

MMA headgear is not the best form of protection, so it may not seem like it is necessary. Many of the most popular fighters do not use this tool. However, there are many valid reasons why it is put to use.

Some of these include:

  • Protection against scrapes, cuts, and bruises
  • Reduced-intensity of concussions

The main reason for using headgear in a fight is to prevent superficial injury. An active participant could avoid a variety of cuts, bruises, and broken noses as a result of utilizing excellent headgear.

Unfortunately, headgear cannot prevent concussions and other brain injuries. What they can do is reduce the intensity of a blow to the head. Their main purpose is to defend against wounds that scar on a player’s face and to prevent bleeding.

Does Protective Headgear Protect Your Nose?

Although not all protective headgear defends the nose, many varieties protect this facial feature. Those that do have a built-in bar that blocks blows from reaching certain parts of the face.

A variety of different styles of headgear offer varying levels of protection for the nose. They all differ in how they look and how they fit on the face of a fighter.

Some of the best headgear for sale on Amazon that protects the nose include:

RDX Headgear

Cleto Reyes Headgear

Title Classic Face Protector

These headgears include a face bar that crosses over the entire front of the player’s nose and mouth. Unfortunately, this dramatically decreases the viewer’s vision. If they are willing to sacrifice that for the sake of their nose, these forms of headgear will serve them well.

Sometimes, this loss of vision is worth protecting the nose. A broken nose will forever alter the way that an individual’s face looks.

Is Headgear Bad for Sparring?

Though it might seem like a benefit, headgear is not a good thing to wear in sparring. It does not teach fighters to hold their punches or aim for locations other than the head. It is best to avoid headgear in sparring matches for the safety of players in professional matches.

Though there are many bad things about wearing headgear in sparring matches, there are also some good things about using them. It is important to consider these, as these trial rounds determine how the fighters will swing and punch in the actual ring.

Preparing fighters to fight is why the headgear is so controversial. It is both a great thing to have and a detriment to the future of MMA.

Cons of Wearing Headgear in a Sparring Match

Headgear is not good in a sparring match for several reasons. These range from teaching control to forcing the players to keep their intensity low. With headgear, these are harder to understand.

While headgear is solid for defending against injury, it is not as great in sparring matches. Many professionals do not wear headgear in practice sparring matches. By doing this, they force their opponent to:

  • Watch where they are swinging
  • Take care of the intensity of their blows
  • Pay attention

This is done so that when headgear is worn in a match, the fighter will avoid blows to the head as if it were there. The hope is to decrease the frequency of concussions and brain-damaging blows that occur in the sport of MMA.

Wearing headgear will also make the user’s head a bigger target, decreasing their safety. It is easy to see how the headgear can be detrimental to an athlete to wear.

Pros of Wearing Headgear in a Sparring Match

There are, of course, good things about wearing headgear during a casual sparring match. Doing so will allow protections that one would not have otherwise, which can help a player’s confidence and protect their face.

As discussed, a headgear can:

  • Protect the face against superficial injuries such as cuts or bruises
  • Help with the athlete’s confidence
  • Defend vulnerable parts such as the ears

Some may not want to put their faces at risk of the injuries that can happen in any form of fighting, whether sparring or professional. They also might be afraid to fight without headgear. 

This fear is okay. It is just important to remember the consequences that can result from fighting hard with headgear. Head injuries might come more often.

Best Headgear for Sparring

The best headgear for sparring is anything that protects the user while allowing for a wide field of vision. If it guards but the player cannot see, the risk of injury is still high. An ideal headgear must defend and ensure visibility.

When sparring, less bulky is better. A quality headgear in this circumstance would offer maximum protection without making it clear that the player is wearing it. Unfortunately, these do not exist quite yet.

Some of the best headgear available for sparring on Amazon include the:

RDX Headgear

Elite Sports Boxing Headgear

Sanabul Core Series Headgear

Although all of these are solid choices for headgear, they will still affect sparring in ways like vision limitations and increasing the size of the visible target of the head. The items to protect in these situations are your ears, eyes, and face.

Before investing in headgear, make sure that you have conducted your research on the product. Understand the items that might happen in a match and how you are putting yourself at risk. Know what will and will not be protected.


While MMA headgear can protect against scrapes and cuts, it does not defend against traumatic head injuries such as concussions. This is a big problem, as the headgear can also drive punches to the head since it seems protected.

Headgear can be worn and will do its part to defend the fighter. However, this product should not be expected to make the athlete safe against head trauma and impact on the brain.

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.

Recent Posts