Your hands can take a beating (pun intended) when it comes to MMA training and fighting. Therefore, there are several things to consider when purchasing MMA gloves.
Hand, Wrist, Finger Protection
First, wrist, hand, and finger (especially your knuckles) protection while leaving your hand and fingers mobile and independent for flexion and extension should be your top priorities.
Most competition type gloves weigh between four and six ounces and have less padding.
Training gloves are between seven and ten ounces. and MMA sparring gloves are seven to 10 ounces as well, both of which are due to the added foam padding for your overall hand and wrist protection, as well as your training partner’s complete safety.
But there’s only so much impact a glove can absorb, whether it be via striking or blocking, so please don’t skimp on the purchase of MMA gloves. They are your first line of defense.
Plus, offensively speaking, what good are you, and the effectiveness of your strikes, if your hands and wrists constantly ache while training and after scrapping on the mat for some time, especially if you break a few of your precious bones?
However, you should match your gloves to your training particulars as best as you can. MMA sparring gloves are not a substitute for good competition gloves. Just like fight-game gloves will not be the best choice for your regular MMA gym workout, including hitting the heavy bag.
The best MMA gloves for a good heavy bag workout come in at between 6 oz. to 12 oz.
So, owning at least two pairs of gloves, perhaps more, is the best way to keep your gloves in good condition while switching between your different styles of workouts.
Key Factors in Buying MMA Gloves
Purchase a Good Name Brand
If you’re a novice to the sport, you might feel more comfortable with purchasing a name brand, one that you’ve heard others in the gym discuss and deem the company MMA-worthy, not to mention worthy of your hard-earned moola.
Everlast, Hayabusa, UFC, Faritex, Venum, and Title all make good to great MMA gloves. But you will want to investigate for yourself which company makes the best for your particular training and/or fighting needs.
Fortunately for you, I am here to help move you along with the decision-making process.
Buy Leather Gloves
Secondly, most MMA equipment experts will tell you that leather gloves are your best option, and they’re absolutely correct. Leather is more durable and just feels better as it envelopes your fists of fury.
Hey, I love the smell of fresh leather as it connects with someone’s face, but that’s just me.
Additionally, the leather surface makes it easier to clean (sweat, blood, and dirt) and less likely to trap unpleasant odors due to rigorous, gut-busting training and fighting.
Sure, you’ll pay more for the leather varieties, but it will last you a lot longer as you progress in the sport.
Layered Foam Padding
Look for MMA gloves with ample foam, layered padding. The cheaper brands will use basic foam, crappy padding. You will be able to tell the difference in quality by the way it feels to the touch. Cheaper gloves will be made with stiffer, inflexible foam. Whereas layered padding will allow for more protection without sacrificing glove flexibility.
Stay Away From Gloves Made in Countries like China and Pakistan, as those countries will lower costs with cheaper, short-lived materials.
MMA equipment experts will tell you that the best quality gloves are made in Thailand, where combat sports are a religion.
Therefore, Thailand-produced MMA gloves are usually made with the best possible materials: leather, layered foam, and strong velcro straps.
Buy Ones with Solid, Stay-On Wrist Straps
Always buy MMA gloves with well-fitted velcro wrist straps, the kind that will make your hand feel secure and stable when throwing a punch. The gloves shouldn’t shift, nor move in any way whatsoever when training or fighting.
As the months go by, cheaper gloves with flimsy straps will start to unravel with continued use, making it difficult to get into any type of training rhythm, as you will keep stopping to fight or train just to keep securing your janky straps.
Add Wrist Wraps
Whatever gloves you choose to buy, I highly recommend purchasing good wrist wraps as well, to add further stability and security to your hands and wrists. A secure wrist, one that doesn’t bend on impact, will pack a devastating punch.
The more secure a wrist is, the better, especially when it comes time to competing in the octagon. You’ll thank me later, trust me.
Here are MMA gloves (training, grappling, and competition), in no particular order, that stand out among a crowded field for a variety of reasons.
- Venum Undisputed 2.0 MMA Gloves (Competition Gloves)
If you are brave enough to enter an MMA training ring or an octagon, the Venum Undisputed 2.0 is arguably the best way to go.
Let’s start with the high-grade stitching and fine quality Napa leather that forms the outer portion of the gloves.
Next, the gloves are made with inner layered foam for greater protection. Follow that up with high wrist support with an adjustable strap and an exclusive Velcro strap system for single hand pre-positioning and you have the makings of amazing fighting gloves. .
Plus, not to mention, it’s handmade in Thailand, of course.
Because of all the above-average features, I give Venum Undisputed 2.0 a 9.25 rating out of ten.
- 2. Hayabusa Ikusa MMA Gloves (Competition Gloves)
These great fitting competition-level gloves (4oz) deliver an unmatched fight feel for superior combat performance.
Hand-crafted with the exclusive patented Dual-X™ closure system, these premium gloves provide awesome wrist support and a striking force ability matched by few competitors.
Each glove is engineered with an ultra-reactive inner core complex and advanced moisture-wicking interior lining, for the utmost hand and ligament protection with zero glove shifting, not to mention added comfort.
Due to all of the gloves’ nice attributes, I will rate it at 8.5 out of ten.
- 3. Hayabusa T3 MMA Gloves (Competition Gloves)
The pre-curved design helps cut down on hand fatigue during sparring or competition and the Dual-X closure is unparalleled when it comes to hand and wrist security and stabilization.
The Hayabusa Y-Volar features a consistent, contoured fit that stays securely in place whether you’re grappling or trying to take an opponent’s head clean off his or her shoulders.
The attention to detail and craftsmanship guarantees gloves that are as durable and resilient as the fierce athletes who use them.
The design alone gives Hayabusa Gloves a high rating, but add in the hand and wrist safety factor, and it comes in it a 9.0 out of ten.
- Venum Attack MMA Gloves (Competition Gloves)
The Venum Attack MMA Gloves are on the expensive side, but surely worth it.
They are a topnotch fit for competition and built with premium Skintex leather construction for improved durability and performance.
The gloves sport a multi-layered foam system for enhanced shock absorption and its long-lasting protection is perfectly made for the serious MMA combatant.
Plus, the gloves feature a unique velcro clamping wrist strap for a perfectly safe, customized fit, bar none. Plus, they look badass — the most important factor (kidding), but I digress.
With all those fantastic extras, a 9.0 rating (out of ten) is well deserved.
- Hayabusa Tokushu Regenesis 4oz MMA Gloves (Competition Gloves)
These stellar MMA gloves are made with an ergonomically-improved 30 percent pre-curve design to reduce hand stress and optimize injury prevention.
Furthermore, its Dual-X wrist closure generates ultimate wrist support for absolute punching power and ultimate hand and wrist protection. When it comes to a secure fit and maximum stability, the gloves’ proven Y-Volar design delivers on both sides of the combat equation for overall better-fighting performance.
Not to mention, its anti-microbial technology delivers anti-odor properties while not washing out for the duration of the gloves’ existence. Not bad, if you ask me.
All those amazing technical factors give Hayabusa Tokushu Regenesis gloves a 9.25 rating out of ten.
- Venum Challenger (Competition Gloves)
Like I have mentioned before, Venum MMA gloves run with a higher price tag than other gloves, but the quality makes the extra cost worth it in the long run.
First, the gloves are seemed with high-density threads, to keep the gloves from tearing on the sides, where most gloves seem to wear out first.
Next, Venum is top-notch when it comes to safety, featuring layered protective foam to absorb a measure of impact and a built-in wrist support system that protects the fragile bones of the wrist.
Additionally, the gloves are made with flexible, breathable materials.
How can the Venum Challenger Gloves receive anything less than a 9.5 rating out of ten?
- Brace Master MMA Gloves (Competition)
As like many other high-quality gloves, the Brace Master features durable construction, seamed with high-grade thread for longevity. Plus, it’s breathable and made with a moisture-wicking lining for optimal comfort.
But the gloves are more affordable for fighters looking to save a little money without sacrificing quality. The one knock on the Brace Master Gloves is it’s not made for heavy strikes. So, it won’t hold up against the heavy bag.
Anyway, when all is said and done, the Brace Master MMA Gloves come in with am 8.25 rating out of ten.
What I really like about these gloves is that they feature a unique palm design with an open thumb and shock-absorbing shell shock gel over the knuckles for solid punch protecting.
But then there are the added bonuses, which include: it’s made with an authentic cowhide leather for a long life, sports a dazzle fabric inner lining that wicks sweat away while providing a comfortable feel to the skin, not to mention less hand slippage.
Lastly, the gloves have a double-strap Quick-EZ hook-and-loop with a wide strap and a mini-understrap that provides unprecedented wrist support.
But, with the RDX MMA Gloves, it’s best to find a brick-and-mortar store to try them on, as they tend to run a little big.
The knuckle protection and the palm design alone make RDX MMA Gloves worth the purchase. But all the other cool features make them among the best sparring gloves on the market, giving it a 8.75 rating out of ten.
Already known for making superior boxing gloves for countless years, Everlast has been using its glove-making knowledge and technology to produce top MMA gloves for a few years running.
The Everlast Train Advanced MMA 7-Ounce Training Gloves are a testament to the company’s commitment to quality, and are perfectly-suited for hitting the heavy bag in preparation for a big fight or just to get in tiptop shape.
Or, perhaps, just working off that office stress that has been bugging you for some time now, sans the bruised knuckles you can surely do without.
The special features include: an anatomical thumb padding which provides increased protection without decreasing mobility, closed cell Durafoam padding for better impact absorption, 18-inch hook and loop wrist straps with tri-sect closure for extra support and protection, reinforced finger loops with anatomical thumb padding, and an EverFresh liner to prevent a god awful odor from developing with continued use.
As you just read, with all those wonderful technical add ons, the Everlast Train Advanced MMA Gloves earn a solid 9.0 rating out of ten.
- UFC Official Fight Gloves (Competition)
Hey, did you think UFC would be left off the list? I think not. The king of kings in the brutal sport of MMA wouldn’t be denied.
These 4oz UFC sleek-style MMA gloves get a five-star rating on Amazon, and for good reasons.
First, as you probably guessed, all the UFC fighters wear them. Well, what did you think? Come on now.
Anyway, they have to be good or UFC would get a bad name in the area it can do without looking bush league.
That aside, the gloves feature comfortable gel protection in the knuckle area, a tight, secure fit, great wrist support and knuckle protection, and premium leather construction for that near-everlasting glove duration MMA athletes so desire.
If you keep improving, who knows? You might make the UFC’s octagon in the near future, so you might as well get accustomed to them now, right?
UFC Official Gloves get a 9.0 rating out of ten because the company covers all the main areas that comprise overall good fighting gloves.
If you rather not risk your life in an official UFC octagon just yet, but still want to train like a pro (well, almost) while looking cool, there are the UFC 7oz Grappling/Training Gloves.
These seven ounce gloves are built with durable engineered leather, an open palm design, additional thumb protection, and outfitted with a hook and loop closure for a secure, adjustable fit. All the features to get you in fabulous ring shape while Dana White scouts your MMA skills.
Plus, Amazon customers have them rated with four stars at the moment. I rate them at a solid 8.25 out of ten because all the basic areas for well-designed gloves are covered.
If you’re new to grappling, the Everlast Pro Style is perfect for you as you train in the ancient art of wrestling.
Made with refined glove padding, the gloves provide a more ergonomic fist shape for improved comfort and flexibility for grabbing and clutching your opponent.
Additionally, Everlast’s EverDri Technology has a moisture-absorbing lining that keeps you hands dry, and its full wrist wrap strap provides superior wrist support and allows for a more customizable fit while attempting to submit your mortal mat enemy.
With an inexpensive price tag and an Amazon rating of four, with 441 ratings, this is an excellent purchase for the novice MMA grappler.
All the factors — good glove padding, a nice fit, excellent comfort, high-level expandability, and solid moisture wicking — earn the Everlast Pro Style MMA Grappling Gloves an 8.75 rating out of ten.
- TITLE Conflict MMA Training Gloves
These 7 oz. training gloves are quite the find as they are inexpensive and very good quality to boot.
First, the durable engineered leather outside of the gloves delivers long lasting wear and winning results while either training outside the ring or fighting for your proverabile life inside it.
Secondly, there’s the shock absorbing layered foam over the knuckles and back of fist for ultimate hand safety and broken bone protection.
Then there’s the wrap around wrist strap with hook-and-loop closure for a secure fit for better striking ability, with offers a much less threat to jamming your wrist or worse, a fractured wrist, which could take months to heal.
Furthermore, the anatomically correct individual finger loops are triple reinforced and ideal for all of your training demands.
Last but not least, there’s the added segmented thumb padding, which provides additional coverage for the MMA athlete and his or her training partner, of course.
All those exceptional, special features warrant Title Conflict MMA Training Gloves with a 9.0 rating out of ten.
Please keep in mind that your MMA gloves taste might change as you become more experienced. What we like brand-wise now, may be different in the future, as companies do alter its products every now and again, for whatever reasons.
— Jerry Del Priore