All sports come with necessary gear that has been designed and developed over decades of continuous improvement to the sport in terms of craft, technique, and safety. Some contact sports require gloves by law but they are different based on the requirements of the sport itself.
Boxing, for example, requires padded gloves because the sport mainly consists of mid-range contact with blows to the head, face, and sensitive body parts that could cause internal bleeding while MMA needs no such padding as combat requires very close contact with grabs and throws, although head and body blows are also a part of the sport.
Some considerations of MMA gloves include:
- The weight of the gloves
- The role of the weight
- Male and female preference
The weight of an MMA glove has a small range while different scenarios might require different weights and the preference of glove weight varies from fighter to fighter.
What is the Weight of an MMA Glove?
Modern MMA gloves have been developed from an older glove first required in Shooto, a Japanese contact sport. The low padding, fingerless design was perfect for a sport that requires precision striking and close contact grabbing while being extremely light in weight as opposed to a boxing glove
At only 4 to 6 ounces in weight, the standard MMA competition glove makes it possible to hit harder and with more force to a targeted area than a standard boxing glove. When compared with a 16-ounce boxing glove, the time to peak force is significantly reduced and at a much higher rate of up to 5 times.
However, this data is from a controlled and rigid experiment and as such is open interpretation with many possible variables that can change over the course of a fight and many professional boxers such as Floyd Mayweather use a lighter 10-ounce boxing glove when taking part in a professional bout. So, whether an MMA glove is better than a boxing glove is subject to opinion.
What are the Different Weights Used For?
The lighter 4-ounce glove is usually worn by professionals while amateurs are assigned the 6-ounce pair but there are other gloves available that vary in size and weight such as sparring gloves that can weigh up to 7 ounces. Heavier gloves provide more protection due to the padding inside which makes up for the bulk of the total weight of the glove.
Because of the fingerless and tight-fitting design of MMA gloves, they are unisex and don’t require a specific fit like boxing gloves, which although are branded as unisex, actually aren’t. Women’s boxing gloves are tighter inside to accommodate a smaller fitting hand and can be lighter in weight than that of the men’s gloves.
Do Men and Women Use Different MMA Gloves?
One of the best design aspects of MMA gloves is that what gloves are used is essentially based on the combatant’s preference. Just because a fighter is female doesn’t mean that they need any more protection than a male fighter and their fighting style dictates their glove preference.
This freedom of selection, with limits, of course, helps each participant of a match to be able to fight on their own terms with the equipment that they prefer, just like they can wear what they like from an approved range of combat clothing.
That being said there are rules surrounding the gloves that are permitted in an MMA match. The gloves must be open-handed, open-fingered, and provide support to a combatant’s wrist with the use of a velcro strap that can be tightened to each fighter’s preference.