Choosing the best MMA gloves is one of the important elements for your workout gear. Mixed martial arts requires grit, determination, toughness, and a quality pair of MMA gloves. The right pair of MMA gloves is vital for both practice and competition. Other than your mouthpiece and solid defense, your MMA gloves are your only protection during combat.
That being said, there are different mixed martial arts gloves for grappling, boxing, fighting, sparring, training, competition, and hitting the bags, so it’s important to pick the right gloves for the right application. Keep reading to discover 10 of the best MMA gloves on the market today and learn how to choose the right pair for you.
Best MMA Gloves 2018
|UFC Official Fight Glove||XL|
|Hayabusa Ikusa Hybrid Glove||XL|
1. Hayabusa Ikusa – Best 4 oz MMA Gloves
The exterior of the glove is made of quality leather and the interior features moisture wicking lining for cool, dry, and slide-free hands all fight long. If you’re a serious fighter in search of serious MMA glove, the Hayabusa Ikusa is without a doubt one of the best options available.
2. UFC Official Fight Gloves – Best MMA Gloves for competition
UFC Official Fight Gloves are the only glove approved for use by the UFC in the octagon. Constructed of genuine leather and high-impact foam, they feel great, provide superior protection, and take a beating.
The real beauty of these gloves, however, is their excellent all-purpose design. In addition to fully adjustable wrist wraps for ease of use and maximum support, they have an open palm design for better grappling and clinching. Meanwhile, the smooth seaming and surface of the gloves make them great for striking as well.
Despite this one potential flaw, the gloves are versatile and made to withstand endless hours on the mat. If you’re searching for great all-purpose MMA gloves for training and competition, UFC Official Fight Gloves definitely fit the bill.
3. Hayabusa Leather Kanpeki Elite 3 – Best Leather MMA Gloves
There’s nothing more manly than brown leather, especially brown leather MMA gloves. Designed to provide rugged comfort and durability, Hayabusa Kanpeki MMA gloves feature triple-layered padding to protect both you and your training partner.
While they’re ideal for kickboxing, muay thai, grappling, and mat training, you won’t want to hit the heavy bag with them. They’re also a bit stiff until broken in, but this is standard with MMA most MMA gloves and leather products. If you’re not into the black and white look and want a back to basics four-ounce glove that just plain works, look no further than the Hayabusa Kanpeki.
4. Venum Attack – Best Combination of Looks and Performance
Speaking of performance, in addition to superior Skintex leather, Venum Attack MMA gloves comes equipped with multi-layered foam for shock absorption, reinforced fingers, and thumbs, and easy-to-use Velcro clamping wrist straps for a near perfect fit.
Although Venom Attacks may take a while to break in, once they do, they’re ideal four-ounce MMA glove for amateurs and competitors of all skill levels.
5. Hayabusa Ikusa Hybrid – Best MMA 7 oz Gloves
Very few, if any, MMA gloves can compare to the Hayabusa Ikusa Hybrid in terms of design, versatility, and overall performance. The remarkably comfortable gloves have been scientifically engineered for maximum shock absorption when striking.
Meanwhile, its tapered fit and premium lining provide terrific flexibility for grappling and groundwork. Best of all, however, is its Dual-X closure system, which provides excellent fit and wrist support.
When you factor in the Hayabusa Ikusa Hybrid’s cutting-edge, moisture-wicking interior liner and comfortable inner padding, there is little that this glove can’t do. From sparring and hitting bags to grappling and groundwork, if you want a great MMA glove that’s as versatile as your skills should be, the Hayabusa Ikusa Hybrid might become you go-to glove of choice.
6. Everlast MMA Striking Training Boxing Glove – Best MMA Gloves for Strike Training
You may not want to wear the Everlast MMA Striking Training Gloves going into your next MMA competition, but if you’re on the hunt for a great glove for daily strike training, it’s definitely worthy of a spot in your gear bag.
Plus, it has a Velcro wrist support that makes the gloves easy to take on and off as well. Although its thick padding and curved finger design limit their use when it comes to grappling and BJJ, it’s one of the best strike training gloves on the market today.
7. Harbinger Men’s WristWrap – Best MMA Bag Gloves
You can’t be a great striker and improve your standup game without putting some time in on the bags. The Harbinger WristWrap Bag Glove is made for this very thing.
With a moisture-wicking NoSweat interior liner as well, you can pound away for hours with minimal sliding and maximum comfort. Although they fit tight at first, if you’re looking for extra support and protection when practicing your strikes on the BOB or other heavy bags, you might want to give the Harbinger WristWrap Bag Glove a look. You’ll be glad you did.
8. Combat Sports MMA Sparring Training Gloves – Best MMA Sparring Gloves
A traditional grip bar gives them added comfort, while multi-layered foam and extended padding provide increased knuckle and finger protection. Unlike some sparring or striking gloves that make you sacrifice versatility for added protection, these Combat Sports gloves have just the right amount of padding and an excellent overall design. This allows them to be used for other MMA disciplines as well.
Plus, like any good MMA gloves should be, they’re super well-made and durable as well. In fact, with double-stitched palms and a quality leather construction, they should provide you with several years of sparring action.
If you’re in need of a quality glove for sparring and working on your combos, the Combat Sports MMA Sparring Training Gloves are a solid option.
9. RDX Maya Grappling Sparring MMA Gloves – Best MMA Grappling Gloves
Making a great grappling glove is easier said than done. However, the guys at RDX have mastered the art and make one of the best grappling gloves around.
Engineered for mixed martial arts action, RDX Maya Grappling Sparring MMA Gloves are made of tough and durable Maya hide leather, a thoughtful performance-minded design, and a ton of features that make it stand out at the front of the pack.
Needless to say, if you like to grapple and take the fight to the mat, the RDX Maya Grappling Sparring Gloves are an obvious choice. Like all RDX gloves, they’re available in several color options as well.
10. RDX Cow Hide Leather MMA Grappling Gloves – Best MMA Gloves for Beginners
RDX Cow Hide Leather MMA Grappling Gloves are some of the most comfortable MMA gloves I’ve had the pleasure of using. Available in red, black, or blue, these modern and technologically advanced gloves are the perfect combinations of performance, protection, durability, and comfort.
Unlike many MMA gloves, which are made of synthetic leather, these RDXs are constructed of 100 percent cowhide leather and come double-stitched. In terms of performance, they feature Polymax Tri-Slab C3 padding over the knuckles, EZ-Velcro closures, and advanced moisture-wicking inner linings.
On the subject of comfort, the RDX Cow Hide Leather MMA Grappling Glove competes with the best of them. Thanks to their genuine cow hide construction, they take a while to break in. However, once broken in, they’re some of the toughest and most comfortable MMA gloves your hard-earned money can buy. Yep, they’re that good.
Best MMA Gloves – Buyer’s Guide
MMA gloves provide protection, versatility, movement, and freedom. Unlike boxing gloves, they’re designed to help you switch from grappling to striking and vice versa, all the while protecting your hands, wrists, and opponents’ faces as well.
Why You Should Use MMA Gloves
With a fingerless design, MMA gloves are ideal for grappling. Meanwhile, with different degrees of padding, they protect your knuckles when striking as well. Certain wrist enclosures, such as those found on Hayabusa gloves, provide excellent wrist support too.
MMA Glove Weight
• 4 ounces – Regulation weight for the UFC and a wide variety of MMA competitions.
• 7 ounces – A popular weight for MMA hybrid and sparring gloves.
4-Ounce vs. 7-Ounce MMA Gloves
Many MMA competitions require fighters to wear 4-ounce MMA gloves. The main role of the glove is simply to protect your knuckles and other parts of your hand upon impact. Many fighters choose to use wraps as well for added hand and wrist support.
It’s important to note, these gloves are not designed for hitting heavy bags and aren’t ideal for sparring and mitt work. If this is your main priority, a pair of the 7-ounce glove will serve you much better.
How you plan on using the gloves will help determine which type is best for you. For instance, for grappling training and competition, a pair of 4-ounce MMA gloves would be best. For training and sparring, however, you will be much better off with a pair of 7-ounce hybrid or grappling gloves. These heavier gloves provide more padding and protection for both you and your training partner.
What Not To Use MMA Gloves For
• Heavy Sparring – Unlike boxing gloves, MMA gloves don’t provide adequate protection for heavy sparring. For heavy sparring sessions, a hybrid or sparring glove with added padding and protection is recommended.
• Hitting the Heavy Bag – Using lightweight MMA gloves for heavy bag work will risk injury to your hands and wrists. For hitting the bags, a pair of quality bag gloves is ideal.
What to Look for in an MMA Glove
There are a variety of poor quality MMA gloves out there to choose from, some of which can be downright dangerous for both you and your training partner. Here are some important factors to consider and things to look for when choosing the MMA gloves for you:
This may seem obvious, but you need to keep your budget in mind when shopping for MMA gloves. Fortunately, you don’t have to break the bank for a quality pair of MMA gloves. In fact, as you can see from the gloves reviewed above, the average price for MMA gloves is only $40-$70. Unless part of a sale or promotion, you shouldn’t pay much less than $40. Doing so will likely result in a huge sacrifice in terms of quality, protection, and performance.
The materials of a glove should be your next consideration. Although some synthetic leather gloves may be okay, the MMA gloves are typically made of genuine leather. In addition to being much more durable, leather gloves are often softer and easier on the faces of opponents and training partners as well.
Many novices mixed martial artists fail to consider the edges of their gloves. Unfortunately, much poor quality MMA gloves have sharp edges due to inferior materials and/or design. A good pair of MMA gloves should have smooth, rounded edges to minimize cuts and abrasions. Exposed Velcro and raised stitching are important to keep in mind as well because these can also lead to unnecessary cuts and damage.
The type and amount of padding used for MMA gloves can vary greatly from one glove to the next. The UFC standard is one inch of padding across the knuckle area. Padding anywhere else than the knuckle area is completely irrelevant.
Since the primary job of MMA gloves is to protect your hands, make sure to pick out a pair with sufficient padding. That being said, too much padding can lead to discomfort and poor flexibility, hampering your grappling game.
Not long ago, picking out a pair of MMA gloves that actually fit well was easier said than done. Today, however, glove makers have solved this dilemma by focusing on fit and offering a wide variety of sizes for fighters to choose from. Nonetheless, it’s important to size your hands and pick out the right size in order to enjoy maximum comfort and protection.
Buy Right, Buy Once
You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars for a quality pair of MMA gloves, but investing a few dollars more for a great pair of gloves can provide you with much better protection, comfort, and performance. A quality pair of mid-range MMA gloves will also last for years and save you money in the long-run.
In addition to wearing out faster, a cheap pair of MMA gloves made out of vinyl will not only lead to unnecessary cuts and scrapes. With inferior padding, your knuckles may poke through as well. Not only will cheap vinyl and poor padding potentially harm your hand, but your training partners won’t appreciate these design flaws either.
Take Care of Your Gloves
The more you spend on MMA gloves, the longer they will last. However, you just can’t throw them in your gear bag and forget about them all week long.
If you’re going to neglect your gloves and not take care of them, you might as well buy a cheap $10 pair each month. By doing your best to take care of your gloves, they’ll repay you a million times over and take care of both you and your training partners for months or even years to come.
A good pair of MMA gloves is a must for any mixed martial artist, regardless of skill level. Whether you’re hitting the mats for the first time or a seasoned pro, you need a quality pair of gloves to protect your hands while providing you with enough movement and flexibility to properly execute grappling and submission techniques.
As you can see, there are some MMA gloves out there to choose from, and you don’t have to blow your budget to pick out a quality pair. So, consider your needs and step your game up with a great pair of MMA gloves today!