Best MMA Gloves: Quick Guide with TOP 15 Gloves Reviewed 2018

With the popularity decreasing in boxing and more and more fight fans switching their loyalties to the UFC and WEC, it is no wonder that sales of MMA gear have risen dramatically, especially if we’re talking about the best MMA gloves.

MMA gear has quickly become a big business.

Not only has the fan base increased but so have the people who enjoy participating in the sport.

Most of the participants, of course, are amateurs and are receiving the benefits of a physical activity that has cardio and other health benefits and learning self-defense at the same time.

Very few are working towards the pros. Let’s take a look at the most important factors to consider when choosing the best MMA gloves.

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Best MMA Gloves

My Rating

Review

 Top PickHayabusa Ikusa MMA GlovesCheck Price on Amazon.comHayabusa Ikusa MMA Gloves5 StarsRead Review
Fairtex Ultimate Combat MMA Gloves
Check Price on Amazon.com
Fairtex Ultimate Combat Open Thumb MMA Gloves4.8 StarsRead Review
Everlast Train Advanced MMA 7Check Price on Amazon.comEverlast Train Advanced MMA 7-Ounce Training Gloves4.5 StarsRead Review
Combat Sports MMA Sparring GlovesCheck Price on Amazon.comCombat Sports MMA Sparring Gloves4 StarsRead Review

What to Think About Before You Buy

Different varieties of glove

MMA Grappling Gloves

For grappling practice, you want a light glove that lets you use your entire hand and thumbs.

Normal fight gloves, MMA sparring gloves, and general training gloves can all be used for grappling.

MMA Training Gloves

If you are a competitive MMA fighter you will need to ensure that you have a set of gloves for training as well as a pair for competing. As you train you will need more protection for practice and put pressure on your hands for longer periods than you would whilst in the ring.

It is also worth investing in two pairs of gloves so that the more expensive pair can be saved for fights, which will mean that they will last much longer than if you used one pair for both purposes.

Training gloves are generally heavier than competition gloves or standard gloves, coming in at anything from 8-16 ounces. The extra padding will definitely make your training sessions much more comfortable.

Competition Gloves

Competition gloves will generally have a lot less padding than training gloves, as they are likely to be worn for a shorter period of time.

There are a few pairs of gloves that would be suitable for training as well as fighting, but I would always recommend that you buy two sets of gloves for ultimate performance.

If gloves are 5 ounces or larger then they will not be accepted in competitions by UFC.

I would never recommend using fighting gloves to spar as this can be very dangerous for your hands.

You can buy hybrid gloves or use the same gloves for different applications, but as a serious athlete, it is always better to invest in the right equipment for each aspect of the sport you participate in.

Glove Size

The size of the glove that a fighter should get depends on the width of one’s hand.

Sizes range from small (7 inches) to extra large (8.5 inches). While some gloves are wider, they all continue to have the same weight in order to offer a fair fight while in the ring.

A simple method to determine the size of the glove you’ll need is to measure the circumference of your hand, just below the knuckles. If you’re right-handed, use your right hand and vice versa.

Materials

It is important to consider what material you want your gloves to be made out of. Leather is always the best option for gloves, or if you cannot afford full leather gloves then make sure the main parts of the glove are.

If you choose leather gloves you will need to make sure that they are treated regularly and that they are stored away properly if you are not going to use them regularly.

Polystyrene gloves will still need to be stored away but they will not need to be treated, so they are a popular choice for many fighters.

As you will soon find out, some gloves are padded a lot more than others, but the UFC guidelines state that there must be at least 1 inch of padding over the knuckle area and this should the standard.

The purpose of wearing gloves is to protect your hands so there should be no arguing over the amount of padding that your gloves have.

Most gloves are made from synthetic materials as they are more durable than cotton gloves, which can still be bought, but are much less popular and may be more expensive because of this.

Best MMA Glove Brands

  • Everlast – Everlast has done well and listened to the MMA fighters to give them what they want — a sturdy, padded glove that provides protection for the hands & knuckles yet still flexible enough to lock in a kimura.
  • Fairtex – Fairtex are a great option if you are intending to use gloves longterm as they are very durable and I am always impressed by the quality and design of these iconic gloves.
  • Hayabusa – Hayabusa makes great quality gear, equipment and clothing. With a product lineup featuring everything from foot-grips to heavy bags, you can even buy a box of Jiu Jitsu black belts to hand out haphazardly like the Nogueira brothers. Hayabusa gloves are some of the best MMA sparring gloves on the market and I have never been disappointed with any I have tried.
  • Combat Sports – Combat are the #1 selling MMA fight gloves in the world because they cater to cage fighters desires and are designed to meet the needs of professional MMA fighters.

Price

Keep in mind that when you first walk into an MMA gym, you aren’t going to be able to put on a pair of gloves and start sparring right away.

Instead, it’s going to take months before they let you throw your first punch. Therefore, MMA fighting gloves may not be a primary purchase that you make when you first start training.

Keep in mind that in certain promotions, like the UFC, they have their own official fight gloves and you won’t be able to wear your own.

mma fighters

Do you wear hand wraps under MMA gloves?

Absolutely!

You should use some sort of wrist wrap to protect the wrist during sparring. The Velcro closure is not enough.

Using a wrap not only protects your wrist, but it stabilizes it, maintaining the power of your punch. If your wrist bends during the punch, some energy is lost there. Not good!

Bending the wrist at the moment of impact is a quick way to a wrist injury. Properly wrapping your wrist will keep it tight and secure on impact.

Even the best MMA boxing gloves need to be used with the support of a wrist wrap.

Can you use MMA gloves on a heavy bag?

When you hit the bags, do not use heavy sparring gloves nor super light competition MMA gloves.  You need protection when hitting the bag, but be careful not to overdo it.

Sparring gloves are heavier 12 to 16oz, and will quickly wear the bag out. They are great for protecting your partner during training, but not ideal for the bag.

The best MMA gloves for a heavy bag is lighter, between 6oz to 12 oz MMA glove is appropriate for the punching bag.

A few good, lightweight gloves that you can use to rock the punching bag are the Revgear Deluxe pro gloves (link to Amazon.com), or the RDX MMA 6oz gloves (link to Amazon.com), both reviewed below.

Note: Do not use competition weight gloves for the punching bag. They do not have enough padding and protection. And always wrap hands and wrists.

Now, let’s finally get to the part we’ve all been waiting for…

TOP 15 Best MMA Gloves with Reviews 2018

Fairtex Ultimate Combat MMA Gloves – Open Thumb

Fairtex Ultimate Combat MMA Gloves

Review: If you’re a professional fighter, or even an amateur with a couple matches behind you, you’ve probably already clicked the button to add this to your cart, since there’s no question that Fairtex gloves are the real deal.

Pros:

  • Open thumb loop offers good control while grappling
  • Super snug hand compartment for good control
  • Between 4 and 4.6 oz, depending on size
  • Handmade from quality leather

Cons:

  • Some do not like the open thumb with the thumb loop

Takeaway: Popular, handmade gloves. Perfect for everyone from the beginner to the seasoned MMA fighter.

Everlast Train Advanced MMA 7-Ounce Training Gloves

Everlast Train Advanced MMA 7

Review: Already with the know how of making high quality fighting gear for years, with the rise in popularity of MMA, Everlast is looking to grab market share from the more established brands in the industry.

Pros:

  • 7oz, a good option to consider as one of the best best mma bag gloves
  • Open palm style
  • Everfresh liner to prevent smell from developing

Cons:

  • Not enough wrist protection, wear wraps.

Takeaway: The freedom of an open palm, with the protection of a glove.

Combat Sports MMA Sparring Gloves

Combat Sports MMA Sparring Gloves

Review: These MMA training gloves have a simple get and an aesthetically pleasing design and are highly durable. There is not need to change your gloves during your training sessions as you can strike and grapple in these gloves.

These gloves can certainly withstand high levels of pressure, with multiple layers of padding for your comfort.

Pros:

  • Open palm design
  • Fit Snugly
  • Well padded
  • Vegan, synthetic leather

Cons:

  • Not a lot of wrist support. Wear wrist wraps.

Takeaway: Best bang for the buck, as far as MMA gloves go.

Hayabusa Ikusa MMA Gloves

Hayabusa Ikusa MMA Gloves

Review: The Hyabusa Ikusa MMA Gloves, at 4 oz., are official regulation weight MMA gloves. Ultimate stability and responsiveness is delivered via their Y-Volar design by keeping the glove tight to the hand.

The patented Dual-X Wrist Closure offers the superb wrist support for so you can strike with 100% power.

Pros:

  • 4 oz regulation weight gloves
  • Dual wrist closure for added wrist stability
  • Snug fit

Cons:

  • These run small

Takeaway: Well built, regulation weight MMA gloves.

Anthem Athletics Predator MMA Gloves

Anthem Athletics PREDATOR MMA Gloves

Review: These bare bones Anthem MMA gloves focus on performance, not on extras like marketing and added bling. The gloves fit close to the hand, stay in place, are made of quality leather and all that at only 4 oz.

Pros:

  • Made from quality cow hide
  • 4 oz, competition weight
  • Triple density impact absorbing foam

Cons:

  • No thumb padding or protection, completely uncovered thumb.

Takeaway: High performance competition weight gloves.

RDX MMA 6 oz Gloves

RDX MMA Gloves Grappling

Review: Durable, synthetic and moisture wicking MMA glove with a D cut palm.

Pros:

  • Thumb sheath, stabilizes glove
  • Synthetic and durable material
  • 6 Oz Gloves

Cons:

  • Thump is long and narrow

Takeaway: Good choice. Some of the best MMA training gloves.

RDX MMA Gloves Grappling Sparring

RDX MMA Gloves Grappling Sparring

 

Review: This MMA glove sports forceful graphics, has a unique palm design with an open thumb and shock absorbing shell shock gel over the knuckles.

Pros:

  • Shock absorbing Shell shock pad installed over the knuckles
  • Perspiration wicking inner material
  • Glove mold to your hand for ultimate control and performance
  • Leather mini cuff under the primary Velcro strap for wrist stability

Cons:

  • Run large, especially at the finger.

Takeaway: Protection, stability and dexterity: Best mma sparring gloves.

Venum Attack MMA Gloves

Venum Attack MMA Gloves

Review: Well padded, firm yet flexible, with added wrist support from the adjustable wrist wrap.

Pros:

  • Multilayer foam shock absorption
  • Thumb protection pad
  • Sturdy wrist wrap.
  • 4oz gloves

Cons:

  • Finger openings run small on all sizes

Takeaway: Among the best MMA gloves for quality, protection and durability.

Hayabusa T3 MMA Gloves

Hayabusa T3 MMA Boxing Gloves

Review: These 4oz competition weight gloves offer superior wrist support and go the extra mile with splinting technology which keeps the thumb and wrist aligned.

Pros:

  • Multi-directional dual X closure
  • Splint technology helps thumb and wrist align properly for powerful punches
  • Antimicrobial technology to ward of foul odor

Cons:

  • Runs slightly small

Takeaway: The best wrist support!

Hayabusa Tokushu 4oz MMA Gloves

Hayabusa Tokushu 4oz MMA Gloves

Review: These Hayabusa Tokushu MMA gloves are built to give a beating and then some. The stitching stays and the foam does not compress.

Pros:

  • Dual X multi-direction inner and outer wrist support
  • 4oz MMA gloves
  • Y volar palm design ensures glove stays close to the hand.

Cons:

  • These gloves require a break in period of between 10 to 20 uses.

Takeaway: If quality is what you are after, these are the best MMA training gloves.

Revgear Deluxe Pro MMA Gloves

Revgear Deluxe Pro MMA Gloves

Review: These heavily padded 7 OZ gloves are perfect for the heavy bag, and work for sparring too.

Pros:

  • 7 oz gloves
  • Excellent padding, very protective gloves
  • Padded at the thumb

Cons:

  • Run large, sort of. These are designed specifically to wear with wraps, so take that into account when sizing.

Takeaway: Perfect for hitting the punching bag, they will save your hands. Best MMA gloves for heavy bag.

Hayabusa Leather Elite Kanapeki MMA Gloves

Hayabusa Leather Kanpeki Elite 3 4oz MMA Gloves

Review: Hayabusa makes one of the best MMA sparring gloves available. These premium full grain leather gloves are no exception.

Pros:

  • Made from high quality full grain leather
  • Dual X inner and outer wrist wrap Hayabusa is known for. Superior wrist support.
  • Y volar palm design allows for an open palm, while keeping the glove securely in place.
  • X-Static XT2 anti microbial fabric to inhibit growth and keep odor at bay

Cons:

  • More expensive than others

Takeaway: Premium quality, superior design 4oz competition weight MMA gloves.

RDX MMA Grappling Gloves

RDX MMA Grappling Gloves

Pros:

  • Full grain cowhide leather
  • Extra long wrist strap for added wrist stability
  • “Nalba Palm”  open palm design for superior grappling
  • Shock absorbing foam and sheet built-in

Cons:

  • Heavily padded, therefore low feedback and “feel” for punches

Takeaway: A great MMA glove at a lower price point, with similar quality

Sanbul Essential MMA Sparring Gloves

Sanbul Essential MMA Sparring Gloves

Review: As a newcomer to MMA gloves, I wanted to see if Sanbul can stand up with the big boys. Initial reports are positive, folks like these gloves for their excellent price point and versatility. Excellent choice for beginners.

Pros:

  • Very good quality, especially considering the price.
  • Padded thumb. Well padded
  • Long wrist wrap
  • Appropriate for multiple disciplines.

Cons:

  • Run small, and not for heavy bags.

Takeaway: Excellent price point, seamless transition between moves.

Venum Impact MMA Gloves

Venum Impact MMA Gloves

Review: These Venum gloves are hand made in Thailand from synthetic leather.

Pros:

  • Multi layer foam, well padded
  • Long wrist wrap for ample wrist stability
  • Open palm design means easy grappling and pick up of objects

Cons:

  • Takes a few uses to break in

Takeaway: Apt grappling gloves.

Conclusion

Traditional boxing gloves wrap around as much as half a fighter’s forearms and are held in place by laces similar to those on your shoes.

Mixed martial arts gloves rarely cover more than the top of the wrist and are held closed with a wrapping strap and Velcro tabs.

Modern boxing gloves are also available with the strap-and-Velcro closure, a style used more often in training than in competition.