How To Choose MMA Gloves (Find The Right Type!)

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Hello! Welcome to my "How To Choose MMA Gloves?" article!

Embarking on the road of Mixed Martial Arts, most popularly known as MMA, you will not only have to be knowledgeable about the physical aspects of it, but you also have to be wary of the other things that are vital in the sport.

Whether you are a professional or still a beginner, it is a requirement to have good knowledge of choosing the right equipment or gear for the right applications. In this article, we will be focusing on a gear that is most often neglected, the MMA gloves.

You may not know this because most MMA gloves you see look a lot like each other, but there are actually different types for different purposes. Choosing the right one will not only help you to get the best out of training but it also will ultimately protect you from getting injured.

Here is how to choose MMA gloves. Be sure to read the whole article to really learn all about it!

Difference Between MMA Gloves and Boxing Gloves

For starters and beginners, MMA and Boxing gloves are different. Just by comparing the two, you can already see the distinction. MMA gloves are smaller and lighter (mostly 4oz), while Boxing gloves are bigger and heavier (8oz-18oz).

It is actually quite simple. As you can see in the pictures above, Boxing gloves completely covers the hands, while MMA gloves exposes the fighters' fingers and palm which allows for performing grapples and various submission techniques.

Boxing gloves have thicker paddings. This is intended because in Boxing, the fists are the only weapons used. Unlike in MMA, you have other ways to strike your opponent. You have your 8 limbs, grapples, clinching and even ground work.

Types Of MMA Gloves

Now, let's get through the different types of MMA Gloves available. Knowing them is very essential because each of these types has its own purposes.

So when you choose MMA Gloves, you should know the purpose first. Here are the 4 types of MMA Gloves.

MMA Sparring Gloves

The first one we have are the MMA Sparring Gloves. What makes these distinct from the others is the extra padding present at the outer side of the gloves. Moreover, it is its most obvious feature.

Sparring Gloves are mainly designed to protect you and your opponent. The padding may either be present in each finger or across all of the fingers with a bigger surface. You can see an example of each in the picture below.

Fairtex FGV18 Super Sparring MMA Gloves

  • Hybrid design features thick padding on knuckle for maximum safety
  • Extra padding on the wrist and thumb
  • Very easy to form a fist and provide maximum comfort

MMA Grappling Gloves

The MMA Training Gloves are kind of a mix between MMA Sparring Gloves and MMA Bag Gloves. Furthermore, this type is crafted in a way that it can find balance between protection and fingers and thumb mobility.

With that, they are excellent for pad work, punch mitts, grappling, soft bag work etc.

If you are still starting out, I recommend you to get this type and use it in your daily routine. However, once you will be serious about taking MMA as a part of your lifestyle, then I suggest to choose the other types.

Using this type of glove for sparring or heavy bag work may end up with you and/or your partner having injuries. Now, we don't want that, right?

how to choose MMA Gloves

Sanabul Essential MMA Grappling Gloves

  • Provides full dexterity while grappling
  • Performance Engineered Leather construction means durable material that’s easier to clean and maintain
  • Innovative hook and loop closure system

MMA Bag Training Gloves

Unlike the MMA Sparring Gloves which are designed to protect you and your opponent, the MMA Bag Gloves are meant to provide the best protection for you, regardless of the receiving side, which is of course, the bag.

In other words, it is meant to protect only you from injuries. Moreover, heavy bag workouts are essential in your training routine. It can help you enhance your technique, power and even your footwork.

However, it is one of the most intense workouts you will do that requires protection to your hands and wrists. MMA Bag Gloves can handle the work.

They are often  less flexible than the other types, have denser and firm padding to keep it small and provide better protection at the same time and wider wrist support.

Moreover, some of them have a grip bar located on the inner top part of the palm to achieve a stronger and better fist.

how to choose MMA Gloves

Everlast Advance MMA Striking/Training Gloves

  • Anatomical thumb padding provides increased protection without decreasing mobility|
  • Closed cell Durafoam padding
  • 18"" hook & loop wrist strap w/ tri-sect closure for extra support & protection
  • Reinforced finger loops with anatomical thumb padding

MMA Competition Gloves

Finally, the last type is the MMA Competition Gloves. Basically, these are made for the real deal. Moreover, they are designed to protect you and your opponent from having cuts. Yet at the same time, they are not made to soften your blows and strikes.

NEVER use this type of glove during your sparring sessions because it can end up badly for either you or your partner.

Take note that the demands and requirements for MMA Competition Gloves may vary from one organization or league to another. So be sure that you meet them first, before purchasing and using one.

But as a thumb rule, competition gloves weigh 4oz-6oz, which will depend on your hand size.

how to choose MMA Gloves

UFC Official Fight Glove

  • Comfortable gel protection in knuckle area
  • Tight, secure fit
  • Great wrist support & knuckle protection
  • Premium leather construction

Buyer's Guide and Tips

I have noticed a lot of fighters who use gloves WITHOUT handwraps, which is really crazy. Comparing the MMA Gloves and Boxing Gloves, the MMA ones already provide less protection right?

Yet, boxers still use handwraps to protect their hands. With that, MMA fighters need handwraps more! In fact, during competitions, you will be required to use them. So if you are uncomfortable with it, you better get used to using them ASAP.

You can also opt to use MMA handwraps which are more elastic and shorter. They are 120", instead of 180" which is the length of traditional boxing handwraps.


Another thing that you should consider in how to choose MMA Gloves is of course, the size. In each brand of gloves, they have their own sizing guide.

So be sure to follow it and get the right fit! Below are pictures of the sizing chart of some brands that sell MMA Gloves.

Materials and Price

Most of the time, MMA Gloves are either made from synthetic leather or genuine leather. Between them, the synthetic one is designed to last longer, however, with the technology we have today, there's not much of a difference.

Genuine leather feels more comfortable at the expense of the price. Synthetic leather gloves are cheaper and the price range is from $30 to $120.

What I can recommend you is to not always opt for the cheaper ones because they tend to be in low-quality, increasing the risk of you having injuries.

So always aim to get the ones that really fit you and they don't have to be the most expensive one in the market, you know?

Cleaning your MMA Gloves

Choosing and owning a pair of MMA Gloves won't be complete if you don't know how to take care of them and clean them. Moreover, you must do it to make sure that they can last long.

When using these gloves, it is inevitable that you will sweat in them, even if you use hand wraps. If you just leave it as it is, then your gloves will absorb bacteria and odor a lot faster.

Unlike boxing gloves, MMA gloves are actually easy to clean. The following below are some tips that you would want to follow.

  • Do not leave your gloves under the heat of the sun because the materials can easily break.
  • Do not put and wash them in a washing machine.
  • Do not leave them inside your gym bag.
  • After using them, leave your gloves in a cool place and let them dry and breath air.
  • Use an anti-bacterial spray in cleaning it.
  • And of course, always use handwraps for better protection and hygiene.
  • So that's all you have to know on how to choose MMA Gloves! It is very important that you buy and use the ones that are really comfortable and meet your preferences.

    Bottom Line

    Moreover, do not forget the important factors that you should consider such as the material, quality and of course, the type of glove.

    Also, do not forget to use handwraps! They may be uncomfortable at first, but trust me, they are a great help. So try using them now so that you can get used to them!

    Thank you so much for reading my "How To Choose MMA Gloves?" article! If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below!