Whether you’re a professional fighting or training to be one, you need a good pair of MMA sparring gloves. The right gear is key to protect your trainers and yourself while hitting the bag, pad work or partner drills. Getting the right pair of gloves can mean the difference between injury to yourself and your partner or a safe and effective training session.
The most common differences between mma sparring gloves and boxing gloves are the size, padding distribution and thumb protection. Both types of gloves come in a variety of sizes and weights to suit different training needs. Typically, fights are contested with 10 oz or less of padding and sparring is done with bigger 7 oz MMA gloves.
In addition, MMA gloves are usually designed with open fingers to facilitate clinching in grappling, so the fingers tend to be smaller than boxing gloves. Moreover, the thumb is usually left more open than in boxing gloves and some brands even get rid of the grip bar altogether to free up the thumb for grabbing.
Another important difference is that MMA gloves do not allow blocking as much as boxing gloves, because MMA defense is more focused on parrying and evasive movements. The lack of blocking also means that MMA gloves are thinner than boxing gloves, which helps with striking speed and accuracy. In general, MMA gloves have more padding on the knuckles and less padding around the palm. Gants mma sparring