MMA Gloves Vs Boxing Gloves: How Are They Different?

To say that gloves are unarguably the most piece of equipment a fighter should wear is an understatement. If any, it’s a two-piece of holy grail that can either make or break a fighter’s performance.

In the practice of MMA and Boxing, the gloves used by each respective fighter are actually different. Perhaps you might find this surprising, but I’m here to confirm such news to you.

But really, it shouldn’t come as a surprise because MMA and Boxing are two different sports so their hand equipment should differ as well – as it’s supposed to. Thus, let me tell you how they differ in terms of types, fingers wraps, padding, and hands wraps.

a guide between MMA gloves vs boxing gloves

The Types of MMA Gloves

1. Competition gloves 

As the name suggests, these gloves are used for competitions, especially the official ones. Regardless of your mastery level, be it professional or amateur, these gloves should be used when fighting inside the cage.

For the professionals, a standard size of four ounces in padding is advised. While for the amateurs, a standard size of 6 oz is recommended.

 2. Sparring gloves 

Another one is these sparring gloves which are mainly used for sparring exercises. In terms of weight, these gloves are heavier than the abovementioned competition gloves.

 In fact, they have a standard size of seven ounces so the fighters will be well-protected during any sparring activity.

These gloves are another hand equipment used in mixed martial arts bouts. They are mainly used during training sessions where grappling is commonly practiced, hence the name.

Out of all gloves, they have the slightest amount of padding with less constraints on the fighters’ fingers. Therefore, they allow the fighters to move their hands more freely when needed.

Which one hits harder? MMA gloves or boxing gloves?

The Types of Boxing Gloves

1. Bag gloves

The first one on the list is the big gloves which are more fit for doing strenuous exercises such as punching heavy bags. In fact, these gloves are specifically designed for this purpose.

However, using these types of gloves for boxing or sparring is not recommended. As for its standard size, it ranges from eight to sixteen ounces. Pretty heavy, right?

 2. Sparring gloves

Onto the next one is these sparring gloves which are the same ones to that of MMA. They are designed primarily for protection during athletic and sparring activities.

There are many available sizes for this one but the most common ones range from four to twenty ounces. You can also opt to have it custom-made so the gloves will fit your hands more comfortably.

3. Competition gloves

These are more or less like a sparring glove, but it is specifically designed for official competitions. Particularly, they are used in line with the international boxing’s standards of fight.

All in all, they have lesser padding compared to the other gloves. Hence, a standard size of eight to twelve ounces is typically seen.

4. Lace-up gloves

Finally, we have the lace-up gloves. To be frank, you are only advised to use these gloves if you’ve already reached the level of a professional in boxing.

What’s good about these gloves is its flexibility which means it can be either used for training or official competition. Generally, it fits a standard size of eight to sixteen ounces. If you’d ask me, it is a pretty good deal.

They Differ in Terms Of:

The Fingers Wrap

Depending on which glove is used, it has this certain padded compartment that wraps your fingers like mittens. This also adds to the factor of comfortability for the fighters’ sake.

As for MMA fighters, the finger wraps tend to separate the fingers just like any other gloves and leave the final knuckles and fingertips exposed. This is a particular design for the purpose of grappling actions during the match.

The Amount of Padding

The other factor to be considered when nitpicking the difference is to look at the estimated amount of padding. For one, boxing gloves are typically made with a high amount of padding with a pound of soft material.

On the other hand, MMA gloves are sleeker, thinner and less padded.

 Hand Wraps

The last one perhaps is the use of hand wraps. For boxers, it is quite a necessity to keep their wrists protected since they do a lot of punching. Hence, the size of their hand wraps is extra loaded to accommodate that much of a stress.

While in MMA, hand wraps aren’t much of a priority. But they do have one which is characterized with a more compact material with little spaces between hands.

Final Words

MMA and Boxing may use different types of gloves, but their objective remains the same. Amidst the disparities, the primary goal is to win the fight. 

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