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Best MMA Gloves (20+ Gloves Reviewed for Sparring and Heavy Bag)

Maybe you’re new to MMA and looking for the best mma gloves or maybe you’ve been training for a bit and ready to upgrade your gloves – well we’ve got you covered.

If you’re ready for your first mma class and are planning to show up with 4 oz, fingerless mma gloves you’re making a big mistake!

At a Glance

Best Overall MMA Gloves: Fairtex FGV18
Runner Up: Combat Sports
Best for Beginners: Venum Challenger
Best Hybrid: Fairtex FGV18
Best Heavy Bag Gloves: Top King
Best Sparring Gloves: Fairtex FGV18
Best Budget MMA Glove: RDX
Best Premium Glove: Hayabasa T3 MMA glove

Our Top Tips for Buying MMA Gloves

  • General MMA Glove Buying Tips:
    • Always ask your gym/coaches for what glove they recommend
    • If you’re a beginner, go with a glove with some solid padding and thumb padding* like the Fairtext FGV18 (..you definitely want to avoid any thumb sprains)
    • Do not show up to your first day with 4 oz gloves* (these are competition gloves)
    • Even for sparring you should still go with the “puffy” glove version (and not the gloves you see pro MMA fighters wear)
  • Comparing Different types of MMA Gloves
    • For MMA positional training, where it’s 90% grappling with very light strikes, you can go with 4oz gloves
    • However, for sparring or striking training only, many times, people will use full size boxing or muay thai gloves (and not mma sparring gloves)
    • Lastly, for specific MMA sparring you will likely use 7oz hybrid gloves. (again, for sparring always go with the “puffy” glove version and not the fingerless glove style)
  • Last note: you may see people training in MMA with different types of gloves – for example they may use boxing, kickboxing, or muay thai style gloves depending on the type of training they are doing
  • On Beginnger MMA Training and Protection
    • MMA gloves don’t offer much wrist support so it’s recommend to use hand wraps for added support when training

Best MMA Gloves Ranked and Reviewed

1. Fairtex FGV18

PROS AND CONS
Excellent choice if your focus is striking (over grappling)
Good hybrid* glove
+ Great protection
Good fist padding
–  Lacks some wrist support
Synthetic leather
Not ideal for grappling

These Fairtex FGV18 are the perfect sparring glove if that’s what you’re looking for. Whereas other mma gloves may feel flimsy or lack padding like those from Sanabul or Everlast, these are designed with sparring mind and with more than enough padding.

The only con is that it may lack some wrist support (as many mma gloves do) to combat this you can use hand wraps which is recommended when training with any mma glove.

Lastly, these aren’t recommend for bag work or grappling work since the size will definitely inhibit grips and submissions.

2. Combat Sports

PROS AND CONS
Awesome value
+ Excellent hybrid* glove
+ Good Padding (especially on thumb/wrist)
+ Excellent quality
Take some time to break in
Run a bit small

These Combat Sports gloves are another top recommend MMA glove from us.

The only reason they aren’t rated as highly as the Fairtex gloves is that the padding is a bit stiffer, and they dont have as much wrist support as the Fairtex gloves.

As always we recommend going with “puffies” for MMA training, so these hybrid gloves fro

3. Top King

PROS AND CONS
Excellent choice for mitt or bag work
+ Snug fit
+ Great wrist support
Good fist padding
+ Breathable and quick-drying
Can be a bit too tight before being broken in

If you’re looking for mma gloves for heavy bag training or mitt work, these Muay Thai style gloves from Top King are our number one recommendation.

The reason why these are perfect for heavy bag training is because they offer some great wrist protection and padding around your fist while still being a Muay Thai style glove which offers more mobility when compared to boxing gloves.

Keep in mind that these gloves are more compact and fit more snug than most. If you want a more “pillowy” Muay Thai style glove you can check out the Fairtex BGV1

4. Venum Challenger MMA Gloves

PROS AND CONS
Excellent fit
+ Decent protection for MMA style gloves
 Synthetic leather
Can be a struggle to get them on and off
Not meant for heavy bag training

If you are planning to do some grappling with light strikes these gloves from Venum are our top pick.

Sometimes people in my gym who are getting ready for an MMA fight will train pure jiu jitsu with these gloves to get used to the feeling of grappling and submitting people while wearing mma gloves.

Finally, these really shouldn’t be used for heavy bag training due to their lack of padding. Again, as you continue your MMA journey, you’ll find that you’ll use different gloves depending on the type of training you ar doing.

It’s not uncommon to train striking or striking-based sparring with boxing gloves or muay thai gloves and save the MMA gloves for light strikes, grappling, and competition.

5. Hayabusa T3 MMA Gloves

PROS AND CONS
Top quality material and construction
+ Good hybrid* glove
+ Excellent wrist support
Runs smaller (may need to size up)
– A bit pricier
Require a bit of a longer break in time

These Hayabusa T3 gloves are another good option for Hybrid MMA gloves. If you are planning to do some grappling with light strikes these gloves from Venum are our top pick.

Hayabuse is known for their excellent padding and wrist support in their boxing gloves and their mma glove is no different.

The one thing to keep in mind is that these run small and will fit more snug so you may need to size up.

6. Xmartial

PROS AND CONS
Slick and minimal design
+ Pretty durable and decent quality of materials used
Not really for heavy bag training
Not recommended for sparring

Xmarital is pretty popular for the martial arts gear. They have some decent quality across all their gear and apparel, but I’d say their standout features is their designs.

I’ve owned a bunch of their gear and have never had an issue with their durability and fit. Again, with more affordable gear (like items from Sanabul or Elite) you may have issues with them breaking down quickly, but I’ve never had an issue with Xmartial gear.

7. RDX MMA Glove

PROS AND CONS
Affordable
+ Decent hybrid* glove
+ Good Padding
Not very durable

So if you’re looking for a more affordable hybrid MMA glove, you should consider these gloves from RDX.

With more affordable gloves the main concern is quality of materials used and durability. If you’re new to MMA and just trying it out then by all means go with a more affordable pair of gloves.

However, if you stick with it, I recommend upgrading to a better pair ~6 months in and consider a brand like Fairtex, Combat Sports, or Hayabusa.

8. Isami MMA Pounding Gloves

Isami MMA gloves are designed and produced in Japan. They have some great padding and are of pretty high quality. These are pretty much considered the Winning boxing gloves of MMA. So basically, premium, top of the line gloves with a price point to match.

The standout, unique feature is that they have a side bar included in the glove for throwing hammer fists. They are great for hard sparring (at ~70-80% power).

These also come one size fits all – and actually fit most hands pretty well.

9. Revgear

PROS AND CONS
Affordable
+ Decent hybrid* glove
+ Good Padding
+ Excellent fit
Like some other mma glove may be uncomfortable for pinky finger

Now we are getting into the more affordable mma gloves.

The things to watch out for affordable mma gloves are fit, durability, and quality of material.

However, if you’re looking for an affordable glove we recommend going RDX or Revgear if you want to go the affordable route.

For me, these gloves fit great. While other have said they had a problem with the way it fit their pinky finger I haven’t had that issue.

10. Liberlupus

PROS AND CONS
Affordable
+ Average hybrid* glove
+ Durable
Run smaller
Wrist band unable to be adjusted for smaller wrists
A bit tedious to take on and off
Not for heavy bag work

These MMA gloves by Liberlupus are some of the most popular on Amazon with nearly 6K reviews as of this writing.

These are surprisingly durable for their price point so you can expect to get a good amount of usage from them.

With any of the competition style MMA gloves, they are not recommend for heavy bag training due to lack of support and padding and are only recommend for very light sparring or an actual competitive MMA fight.

11. UFC MMA Glove

PROS AND CONS
Good for getting autographed (and not for actual use)
Poor fit
Not the best value

In our opinion, these gloves are overpriced, with poor padding, and really don’t fit great. I would recommend avoiding these gloves, even for beginners since you are likely paying for the name instead of quality.

If you are looking for better MMA gloves of higher quality and at a more affordable price point, check out Fairtex, Combat Sports, Hayabusa,, or Revgear

12. Sanabul

PROS AND CONS
Decent MMA sparring glove
+ Good wrist support
Run smaller
Not very durable (many reviews mention stitching issues)

These “puffies” from Sanabul are more affordable and are a decent buy for beginners looking to get into MMA training.

Like other more affordable mma gloves, the stitching seems to be the first thing to go with these gloves, and they tend to go fairly early on. However, if you are looking for a decent beginner pair these may be an option for you.

13. Everlast

PROS AND CONS
Affordable
Not the best padding
Have a strong chemical smell initially
Not durable (many reviews mention stitching issues)

First off, I’m not the biggest fan of Everlast.

I feel their quality has gone down significantly over the years, and they tend to be the type of gear that someone buys when the first get into a martial art only to try to save money only to later replace it in the very near future.

If you want brands at a similar price point at a much higher quality check out mma gloves from Revgear and RDX.

14. Jayefo

PROS AND CONS
Very affordable
Not the best padding
Poor sizing
Not durable (many reviews mention stitching issues)

So these are probably some of the most affordable MMA gloves on this list. With that said, you can likely expect some of the same issues as other affordable MMA gloves – stitching not being the best, poor sizing/fit, and not the greatest padding.

If you are taking a fitness class and want a pair of MMA gloves to do some light striking, these may be for you.

15. Brace Master

PROS AND CONS
Pretty affordable
Not the best padding
Poor sizing (should size up)
Not durable (many reviews mention stitching issues)

Another affordable pair of MMA gloves by Brace Master. The synthetic leather and stitching may wear out quickly, but for the price these are decent.

Again, these gloves are not for heavy bag work due to their lack of fist and wrist padding.

16. Zooboo

PROS AND CONS
Extremely affordable
Not very durable
Difficult to take on and off
Not durable (many reviews mention stitching issues)

Basically, like other cheaper gloves, these are decent for the price but don’t expect them to last long.

If you dig the design, these are comparable to the other gloves shown above (Bracemaster and Jayefo).

What Are the Different Types of MMA Gloves?

Grappling MMA Gloves

Grappling MMA gloves are generally 4 oz fingerless MMA gloves that MMA fighters may use for grappling training to simulate the gloves they will be wearing on fight day.

These are not meant to be used with full contact sparring. However, they can be used for light striking during grappling training.

Sparring MMA Gloves

Sparring MMA gloves are crafted to provide maximum safety while shielding your hands.

Again, sometimes MMA fighters will wear Muay Thai or Boxing gloves for full contact sparring with heavy striking. So people may refer to them as sparring MMA gloves (even though they are designed for Muay Thai or Boxing.

In general, the distinguishing aspect of these gloves is the extra cushioning they provide compared to other counterparts.

Hybrid MMA Gloves

Hybrid MMA gloves are round in the front instead of having individual fingers so they’re harder to grapple with than grappling gloves, and the padding is not as thick as sparring gloves. (see the Faritext FGV18)

When compared head-on with standard MMA gloves, hybrid MMA gloves sweep in effectively bridging the gap. They are characterized by the fusion of open-finger flexibility common to MMA gloves and the knuckle padding usually seen in boxing gloves.

MMA Fight Gloves vs MMA Training Gloves

MMA fight gloves are the gloves you see professional MMA fighters wear. They are the fingerless gloves and are usually ~4oz.

While MMA training gloves used in practice are generally “Hybrid gloves” that are sometimes referred to as puffies.

In practice you don’t want to be throwing strikes with MMA fight gloves unless you are doing light sparring.

MMA Gloves vs Boxing Gloves vs Muay Thai Gloves

There are some key differences between MMA gloves, boxing gloves, and Muay Thai gloves

MMA gloves offer:

  • the most flexibility
  • can easily be used for grappling
  • does not offer great knuckle padding or wrist support

Muy Thai gloves have:

  • more padding and better wrist support than MMA gloves
  • offer more flexibility and freedom of movement than boxing gloves (but less than MMA gloves)

Boxing gloves:

  • offer the most padding among all gloves
  • offer the most wrist support
  • limit movement
  • are not meant to be used for clinch work or grappling at all

Here’s a quick table breakdown comparing MMA gloves vs Boxing gloves vs Muay Thai Gloves:

Feature/FactorMMA GlovesBoxing GlovesMuay Thai Gloves
PurposeDesigned for grappling & striking in MMA.Designed primarily for punching in boxing.Designed for punches, clinches, and kicks.
WeightTypically 4-6 oz.Typically ranges from 10-16 oz.Typically ranges from 8-16 oz.
PaddingLighter padding on the knuckles.Heavy padding, especially on the knuckles.Balanced padding for fists & backhand.
DesignExposed fingers for grappling.Fully covered fingers & thumb for protection.Fully covered fingers & slightly flexible thumb.
Wrist SupportProvides some wrist support but usually less than Muay Thai gloves.Strong wrist support to prevent hyperextension.Good wrist support, but might be slightly less than boxing gloves.
Use CasesMMA fights, training for both striking and grappling.Boxing matches, boxing training & sparring.Muay Thai fights, training & clinching.

What Are the Best MMA Gloves for Heavy Bag Training?

MMA gloves for heavy bag training should have a combination of adequate padding, sturdy construction, and enough flexibility to comfortably form a fist.

If you are doing intense heavy bag training, you should strongly consider using a Muay Thai style glove like the gloves from Top King or a boxing style glove like the Hayabusa T3 Boxing Gloves

We do not recommend intense heavy bag training with pure MMA style gloves since they lack the padding and wrist support that Muay Thai or boxing gloves provide.

What Are the Best MMA Gloves for Sparring Training?

Moving on to the trainers’ favorite stage of any MMA practice, the sparring training.

The best MMA gloves for sparring are the Fairtex FGV18, Combat Sports, or Hayabusa T3 MMA Gloves

Sparring gloves need to provide enough protection to minimize the risk of injuring your sparring partner, whilst still allowing you to properly execute your techniques.

What’s the Best Brand of MMA Gloves?

The best MMA gloves are Fairtex FGV18, Combat Sports, and Hayabusa.

In our opinion the best brands of MMA gloves are: Fairtex, Combat Sports, Hayabusa, and Revgear

While all of these range in price, these are all solid brans of MMA gloves that are well made, durable, and most importantly are comfortable to train in.

Among the brands mentioned Revgear is the most affordable while Hayabusa is the most premium.

What MMA Glove Brands Should You Avoid?

Among all the gloves mentioned, we recommend avoiding gloves from these brands:

  • Everlast
  • UFC
  • Sanabul

From our experience big brand MMA glove makers liker Everlast and UFC tend to sell lower quality gloves with a price mark up purely on brand name.

Additionally, brands that sell gloves for a cheaper price, generally don’t last long. Brands like Sanabul and Jayefo make some very affordable, entry level mma gloves but don’t expect these gloves to last.

If you’re looking for a more affordable glove, I recommend checking out Revgear or RDX.

What MMA Gloves Do Most People Wear?

Most people I train with at my gym wear RDX, Fairtex, Venum, Hayabusa, and Revgear.

While popular brands will change from gym to gym, these brands are all pretty safe to buy for your first MMA glove.

What to Look for When Buying MMA Gloves?

Training Intention

First off, consider what type of training you’ll be doing with these gloves.

  • If you are doing more heavy bag work, you may want to consider a Muay Thai style or boxing style glove.
  • If you want a glvoe that you can wear when grappling and for light sparring you can go with a competition glove
  • Lastly, if you are planning on doing heavy striking, you should go with the puffy version of MMA gloves or even consider wearing boxing gloves for heavy striking sparring

Size and Weight

from Fairtext.com

When selecting MMA gloves, the first factor to consider is the size and weight. The size of the glove directly correlates with the fit and comfort level experienced during training or fighting. The weight, on the other hand, can be a crucial determinant of how effectively you can execute punches and strikes.

It’s important to remember that smaller gloves might offer more speed and precision, but they may also provide less protection due to reduced padding.

Protection (Padding)

This will obviously come back to training type and intention, but protection should always be top priority.

While all MMA gloves supply some level of protection, it’s crucial to find a balance between safety and functionality. Padding preserves your hands and wrists from injuries, so a thicker padding will typically provide better injury prevention but might restrict movement.

Materials Used (Leather vs Synthetic)

With genuine leather, you get the added advantage of durability and quality (usually at a higher price point). This material is robust, hard-wearing, and is known to stand the test of time. However, it’s important to remember that it may not be as flexible initially, and will need some breaking in before reaching peak comfort.

In contrast, synthetic leather provides a more affordable option This material, often dubbed as PU leather, faux leather, or Maya leather, is designed to mimic the natural properties of leather, offering a more flexible and lightweight product. It manages to offer these benefits at a lower price point, although longevity may not be as impressive as real leather.

Breathability

Breathability is another key factor when determining which MMA gloves are right for you. As you train or fight, your hands naturally heat up and sweat. A glove that doesn’t provide ventilation can not only be uncomfortable but can also lead to issues such as skin irritation or infections. Therefore, a glove that offers adequate breathability is vital.

Some MMA gloves feature a more breathable material; mesh panels are one such example. These allow air to circulate freely, helping to keep your hands cooler during your workout or fight. Others incorporate perforations into their design, which also assists in promoting airflow.

How Do you Clean and Maintain MMA Gloves?

To clean MMA gloves, after training you should wipe them down with a damp cloth with warm water and gentle soap and then let them air dry in an open space.

Basically, you want to avoid having them stay closed up in your bag sweaty after class.

There are other options like glove deodorizers too if you find you gloves are getting a permanent smell

Link: To see more glove cleaning options check out our post here on how to clean boxing gloves.

What Size MMA Gloves Should You Get?

The size of the gloves is typically determined by measuring the circumference of your hands. If your gloves are too small, they can curb the blood flow, causing discomfort during training sessions. Conversely, large gloves can slip out during use.

You want your MMA gloves to comfortably hug your hands without restricting the movement of your fingers. Essentially, your gloves should feel like an extension of your hands. Keep in mind that brand sizing can vary, and it’s always a good idea to try on gloves before purchasing them if possible.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Should I Wear Hand Wraps with MMA Gloves?

It is recommend to wear hand wraps with MMA gloves. However, if your gloves are too snug or if they are specifically made to not be worn with hand wraps like the Onx X- factor glove

Ultimately, MMA gloves do not offer much protection when compared to boxing or Muay Thai gloves and are specifically lacking wrist protection. So wearing hand wraps will provide that extra protection for your hands and wrists.


Do People Use MMA gloves for Boxing and Heavy Bag Training?

Most people do not use MMA gloves for boxing and heavy bag training. In fact, we recommend going with a pure boxing or Muay Thai style glove for heavy bag training.

MMA gloves simply do not offer enough protection for intense heavy bag training sessions.


What Gloves Does Conner McGregor Use?

Connor McGregor frequently wears higher end Adidas or Cleto Reyes boxing gloves.

He has also in the process of releasing his own line of MMA gloves named: ‘McGregor FAST’ MMA gloves. Many people also compare these to the X factor gloves released by esteemed MMA coach Trevor Wittman.

The big difference is that Wittman’s gloves are more for striking whle McGregor’s gloves are more of an MMA style glove that offers better options for gripping and grappling.


What Gloves Should You Use to Spar in MMA?

The ideal gloves for sparring are normally heavier and larger than competition gloves, providing more padding and protection. Gloves typically ranging from 7 to 10 oz are frequently employed for sparring due to their superior shock-absorbing properties.

You should use “puffies” or padded MMA style gloves for sparring like those from Fairtex, Combat Sports, or Hayabusa.


When Do You Start Sparring in MMA?

You generally start sparring after a couple months of MMA training – all depending on your gym of course.

You should start sparring with a training partner who you trust and make sure to keep the striking very light.

Sparring and being able to take a punch can be scary but with the right coach and training partners you can ease into it safely and slowly.


Do MMA Gloves Hurt Your Hand More than Boxing Gloves?

Boxing gloves are padded generously and aim at safeguarding the boxer’s fists from the heavy blows exchanged during a match. On the other hand, MMA gloves, with their distinct open-finger design and lighter padding, emphasize versatility to accommodate the multifaceted nature of mixed martial arts, including strikes, grappling, and submissions.

MMA gloves, due to their minimal padding and open design, can expose your hands to higher injury risk during striking, particularly if the technique is flawed or the gloves are improperly fitted. This is why their use during heavy bag workouts or intense sparring is usually discouraged.

Comparatively, while boxing gloves may cushion your hands more effectively during high-impact punches due to their plentiful padding, they are not entirely risk-free. They can lead to wrist or knuckle injuries if they are improperly fitted or used incorrectly. In both cases, it’s rather the misuse of the glove than the glove itself that leads to potential hand harm.


How Tight Should MMA Gloves Be?

When it comes to fitting MMA gloves, the rule of thumb is that they should feel snug but not tight enough to restrict blood circulation or finger movement.

Gloves that are too loose won’t provide the necessary support and protection, which may lead to hand or wrist injuries. However, if they’re overly tight, they can limit your hand’s mobility, which is crucial for effective striking and grappling.

When trying on the gloves, check if your fingers reach the end of each finger slot. Bunching indicates that the gloves are probably too big. Pay attention to whether the strap around your wrist is snug without cutting off circulation. It should stabilize the hand within the glove and prevent unnecessary movement, which might occur if it’s too loose.

It’s important to note that gloves might slightly stretch over time, fitting more comfortably after a few sessions. However, the initial fitting process should follow these guidelines since noticeably tight gloves will likely remain uncomfortable and restrictive, hindering your performance.


Why Are MMA Gloves Fingerless?

MMA gloves are fingerless to enable options to better grapple with your opponent. Exposed fingers and palms makes it much easy to grab, grapple, and submit your opponent.

Whereas boxing gloves offer very little if any ability to grab your opponent MMA gloves must offer maximum freedom of movement to work wrestling and submissions.


Can You Use MMA Gloves in Boxing?

You shouldn’t use MMA gloves in boxing.

Boxing gloves are designed with boxing in mind and offer more padding and wrist support for your hand. Whereas MMA gloves are designed with very little padding and freedom of movement to be able to grapple.

For light striking you can use MMA gloves, but for sparring or heavy bag training you should use boxing gloves.