Do MMA Fighters Wear Cups? (Here Is The Truth!)

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Hello! Welcome to my "Do MMA Fighters Wear Cups?" article!

Punches, kicks, elbows, knees, and etc... These, along with other forms of strikes, are all used in combat sports, especially in MMA. And because it is the sport where you get hurt, it is almost inevitable to acquire some injuries.

Speaking of attained injuries, there are some that are normal for the sport, and a few that everybody wants to avoid because it happens through an unnecessary, illegal, and dangerous manner.

Groin shots or nut shots, as the sport calls it, are one of the most painful injuries, so they are deemed illegal by the sport. That is why, there are protection gear devised specifically for this.

As for MMA fighters, other than gloves, there is another protection called "cups". And no, these are not the ones you used for drinking water or other beverages. In this article, we will be finding out whether MMA fighters really do wear cups. If yes, then why?

If you are interested and excited to know the truth, then be sure to read the whole article and leave a comment or what you think about it in the comment section below!

Do MMA Fighters Wear Cups?

MMA fighters wear and use protective gear such as gloves and mouth guards. Accidents and injuries always have the chance to happen whether inside the octagon or during your training.

For men in particular, yes, they are required to wear cups. This is to protect their groin region. Even though low blows or groin shots are illegal, they can happen sometimes. So fighters have to wear cups.

In fact, The UFC's Athlete Uniform Policy is very strict towards this! That is basically the straightforward answer. However, let me elaborate more on this. Let's start with the different benefits of using cups.

Benefits Of Wearing A Cup

Easier to stretch

Whenever you are about to participate in a competition or you are about to train, it is very important to perform stretching before anything else. This is to warm up your muscles, to keep them healthy and of course, achieve flexibility.

There are types of cups that can help you in enhancing this and to have a better performance. One of them are compression shorts.

Moreover, these types of cups can aid your movements in groin stretches. Basically, this will greatly enhance your performance and can help you in avoiding groin region strains.

Protection From Serious Injuries

Of course, the most obvious reason or benefit of wearing cups is for protection. Always remember, no matter how good you are, there will always be chances of receiving accidental strikes in your groin area.

Without cups, receiving these strikes can lead to serious injuries which usually takes weeks or even months for you to recover from! You will be required to receive surgical procedures. In fact, although it is rare, you may even have permanent damages.

These cups are made to provide important padding for you. This will redistribute impacts. This means, the hits you receive will less painful if not bearable.

Not wearing cups will really put you at serious risks.

Keeping Things In Place

To male MMA fighters out there, another concern is to control the movement of your lower body parts whenever you are training or fighting!

Cups are designed to keep things in place without restricting your movements! But keep in mind, it actually depends on what type of cups you use.

Moreover, it is important to choose the one that fits your body type and of course, your fighting style.

Types Of Cups For Male MMA Fighters

Apart from the requirement of wearing cups, the UFC policy is very specific in what is allowed and prohibited. The types of cups that fighters use should fall in line with the UFC regulations. Furthermore, these should not include extra padding and prohibited materials.

Apart from this, whenever you choose which type you will use, it mostly depends on its durability, utility and comfort. With that being said, here are the types of cups for male MMA fighters.

Compression Shorts

As you can see, compression shorts look pretty similar to casual shorts. But they have a built-in cup. You can easily wear these shorts and they are adjustable.

Apart from that, as I said above, compression shorts are great for groin stretching. Moreover, they can help in enhancing your performance.

But sometimes, they can be too fitting and tight. So whenever you are about to purchase one, be sure that you have the right size and fit to avoid any movement and performance hindrances.

Do MMA Fighters Wear Cups

Shock Doctor Adult Compression Short with Bio-Flex Protective Cup


The jockstraps are actually more traditional. Usually, they are made with elastic and a drawstring which provides easy adjustment.

Moreover, the elasticity of the jockstrap gives you an enhanced and better flexibility. However, if it is your first time, it can be hard and a bit weird when you wear it. So i suggest that you use them even when you are training to get used to it.

Do MMA Fighters Wear Cups

Shock Doctor Athletic Supporter Jockstrap

Muay Thai Style Cups

Muay Thai-style cups are tie-ons, usually with 3 strings. These can help you with the adjustment of the cup. Moreover, the cup is commonly lined with foam which will absorb the impact of the strikes you will receive.

This will also allow to have a better performance in different techniques in Tae Kwon Do, Jiu Jitsu, Tai Chi and many more. Furthermore, Muay Thai-style cups provide great comfort.

Do MMA Fighters Wear Cups

Fairtex GC2 Muay Thai Steel Cups

Always Decide On What's Best For You

Since you already know the types of MMA cups available out there, it is time for you to choose which one you should use!

To be honest, it all depends on you. Not everyone has the same taste and it is just entirely different from one person to another. Some of you may like the jockstrap and some like the Muay Thai-style cups or the compression shorts.

In the end, it will always depend on your preferences. There are certain things you need to consider when you are buying. Apart from the quality and price, there are three things you should look out for.


To be honest, wearing cups can be strange at first, especially if you do not have the right fit. Apart from that, your cups should have good airflow to help in absorbing sweat from your groin region and keep it cool.

Otherwise, bacteria will spread and become unhygienic. With that being said, be sure that you are comfortable with the cups you will use.


Another thing for you to consider is the durability of the product. Make sure that the material of the cup is hard but not too tight.

Usually, manufacturers use poly-carbonate to create the cups. Basically, your cup must be durable and hard but not rigid. If you do get it, rigid cups can actually affect and hinder your performance and can even endanger your health.


The main purpose of cups is for protection, especially in your groin region. So you better make sure that the one you use is not loose and should stay in place.

You simply cannot stop the fight just to adjust your cups, right? With that reason, MMA experts highly recommends compression shorts since they stay in place. Straps on the other hand may come undone.

Moreover, you can easily adjust compression shorts with its waistband.

Do Women MMA Fighters Wear Cups?

Since we already answered the question to "Do MMA fighters wear cups?", yet we focused on the male perspective. How about the female fighters? Do they have to wear cups?

Obviously, the answer is no. Yes it is a requirement to use protective cups, but women restricted by the UFC policy and regulations.

But then again, women are still at risk of receiving low blows. There is no ideal solution for this, unfortunately.

Women MMA fighters are encouraged to adjust their training to be able to grow and build stronger and more versatile groin muscles. Moreover, there are actually exercises for them to perform that can improve blood flow and improve groin stretching.

Once you do, you will be able to take hits in the groin region. But still does not guarantee that it won't be painful.

Bottom Line

To all the beginners out there, I understand if you think that wearing cups is a bit weird and strange. But always remember that they are very important for your protection and safety. And it is even required, in the male's case, to use them.

Moreover, always follow your preferences. After all, you will be using it and not someone else.

Thank you so much for reading my "Do MMA Fighters Wear Cups?" article! If you have comments or questions, feel free to leave them below in the comment section!