Best MMA Gloves for Every Need 2023 (Essential Guide)

Are you wondering what the best MMA gloves are?

In this article, we’ll present the best MMA gloves for every need, such as:

  • The best MMA gloves for beginners
  • The best MMA gloves for heavy bag training
  • The best MMA gloves on a budget (under $30)
  • The best MMA gloves for sparring/training
  • The best MMA gloves for grappling
  • The best MMA gloves for competition/fighting

What Are the Best MMA Gloves for Beginners?

The best MMA gloves for beginners are 7 or 8-oz MMA sparring gloves, preferably 8-oz. These are the best MMA gloves for beginners because the first pair of MMA gloves a beginner uses should offer maximum protection, which 8-oz does.

In terms of 8-oz MMA sparring gloves, the UFC ones are the only real contender. They have great padding and they’re naturally curved to avoid eye pokes (common among beginners).

Also, they have an open palm design and the fingers move independently. Each finger moving freely with a full range of motion means grappling isn’t restricted in any way, so beginners can use these gloves for both striking and grappling, grappling only, and sparring – they’re a very well-rounded glove for beginners.

They’re made from durable synthetic leather and the padding inside is double-layered high-density EVA foam.

Best of all, they’re inexpensive and cost only $40. This makes them the perfect MMA gloves for beginners who don’t want to break the bank on the first pair of gloves which they can use for all their MMA training needs while remaining the most protected.

UFC 8oz MMA Sparring Gloves – L/XL – MMA Gloves, White, Large/X-Large
  • Open palm design
  • Comfortable finger compartments
  • 25mm EVA foam protection in striking area

What Are the Best MMA Gloves for Heavy Bag Training?

It’s ill-advised to train on a heavy bag with MMA gloves because the maximum protection is 8 oz. Elite MMA fighters in the top MMA promotions overwhelmingly use boxing gloves when they’re hitting the heavy bag because they offer a lot more padding for the protection of their hands and wrist.

However, MMA gloves can be used for heavy bag training, but it’s recommended the training be mostly kicks, knees, and elbows with some less powerful punching to practice accuracy and technique, as well as having hands wrapped properly.

In this case, the best MMA gloves for heavy bag training are the 7 and 8-oz MMA sparring gloves because they have the most padding. As mentioned above, the UFC glove is a great option, as are the Combat Sports Max Strike MMA Training Gloves.

The Combat Sports Max Strike are the best MMA gloves for heavy bag training because they have 2 inches of molded foam padding, whereas most other MMA gloves have 1 inch or less.

Heavy bag training is known to wear away MMA gloves the fastest of any use, but as the Max Strike’s are made from genuine leather (not all over), they’re made to last and also offer better moisture-wicking ability.

Also, when the hands are fully opened they have some resistance, but for a closed fist, there isn’t any resistance – making them suited to striking rather than grappling.

Also, these gloves don’t have individual fingers, meaning when one finger is moved they’re all pulled in the same direction – again making them more suited to heavy bag training rather than grappling as it helps the user keep their hands in a fist and not moving fingers.

Although minor, the extra padding thickness means they’re harder to grapple with as it stops the hands from getting through the smallest gaps for underhooks and submissions. It also makes them better for heavy bag training as the padding is known to be quite firm and not the best for sparring.

Lastly, these gloves are known to have great wrist support and a long wrap-around wrist strap which can be used to tighten as pleased, ensuring maximum protection for repeated strikes to a heavy bag.

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Combat Sports Max Strike MMA Training Gloves
  • 2″ of molded foam padding– making it the safest training glove in MMA.
  • Comfortable– ergonomic fit.
  • Hinged knuckle allows for a full range of motion.

What Are the Best MMA Gloves On a Budget?

There are many great options for the best MMA gloves on a budget, but there are a few standouts. 

They are the RDX MMA Grappling Gloves, Sanabul Essential Hybrid Sparring Gloves (7-oz), and the Everlast Pro Style MMA Grappling Gloves. All three pairs are under $30, have thousands of at least 4.5/5 star reviews, and have great durability and value for the price.

The Sanabul Essential Hybrid Sparring Gloves are the best Sparring MMA gloves on a budget ($28). They have high protection for sparring/striking as they have 7-oz impact foam padding and they’re also made from faux leather.

They’re decent for grappling as they’re open palm design and have individual fingers for the user to move them freely, but the padding extends quite far over the top of the fingers which can restrict them slightly when it comes to grappling. For this reason, they’re definitely best suited to sparring and not grappling.

The RDX and Everlast Pro are designed for the purpose of grappling and both offer the best MMA gloves on a budget. The Everlasts have EverDri moisture-wicking lining to keep the hands dry – thus making them great for grappling.

The RDX grappling gloves are pre-curved to reduce strain on the hands and use maya hide leather for great durability.

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RDX MMA Gloves Grappling Sparring, Maya Hide Leather, Boxing Gloves Men Women Muay Thai Martial Arts Training, Half Finger Adjustable Mitts Wrist Support Kickboxing Cage Fighting Punching Bag Workout
  • UNPARALLELED FIST SUPPORT – Experience the pinnacle of fist support with our premium MMA grappling gloves. Featuring…
  • SEGMENTED PRE-CURVED DESIGN – Say goodbye to hand strain and welcome a new era of efficiency. Our RDX MMA sparring…
  • STEADFAST WRIST SUPPORT – Our mixed martial arts gloves for men feature a dual Quick-EZ hook-and-loop closure system,…

What Are the Best MMA Gloves for Sparring/Training?

The best MMA gloves for sparring are the Hayabusa T3 LX Leather 7oz MMA Sparring Training Gloves. They’re great for sparring as they offer 7 oz padding and they’re also made using quality full-grain Italian leather, making them the most durable and comfortable MMA gloves on the market.

Unlike other gloves, the Hayabusa T3 LX also has a patented dual-X closure system for the wrist. This gives them the best wrist support of any glove and it also makes them the only MMA glove which doesn’t require hand wraps. If hand wraps are preferred, it’s advised to buy a size higher.

This makes them fantastic for all training and sparring as not needing hand wraps saves time (and money).

They also save time because they’re ideal for all MMA training, from striking to grappling to submissions, there’s no need for changing gloves throughout a session. If you’ve just had a grappling session and want to end by sparring, you can immediately hop in without having to wrap your hands.

Also, a common nuisance when MMA sparring is the shifting of gloves because fighters have to adjust them while avoiding being hit. These gloves prevent this as they have an exclusive y-shaped grip across the palm as well as a dual-X closure system to stop any shifting of the glove.

Plus, the multi-layered impact foam is the perfect height so as to not prevent grappling, and it’s also slightly curved (as a hand is) to prevent hand fatigue by ensuring there’s no resistance with an open or closed hand – again making them very comfortable for any type of sparring or training performed.

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RDX MMA Gloves Grappling Sparring, Maya Hide Leather, Boxing Gloves Men Women Muay Thai Martial Arts Training, Half Finger Adjustable Mitts Wrist Support Kickboxing Cage Fighting Punching Bag Workout
  • UNPARALLELED FIST SUPPORT – Experience the pinnacle of fist support with our premium MMA grappling gloves. Featuring…
  • SEGMENTED PRE-CURVED DESIGN – Say goodbye to hand strain and welcome a new era of efficiency. Our RDX MMA sparring…
  • STEADFAST WRIST SUPPORT – Our mixed martial arts gloves for men feature a dual Quick-EZ hook-and-loop closure system,…

What Are the Best MMA Gloves for Grappling?

The best MMA gloves for grappling are actually 4 oz fight gloves rather than MMA grappling gloves. The purpose of grappling gloves is to have less padding so grappling is unrestricted. In this case, it’s better to use 4oz fight gloves as they have less padding and can get you prepared for competition.

Overall, the best MMA gloves for grappling are the Hayabusa T3 LX Leather 4oz MMA Fight Gloves

They have all the same features as the Hayabusa T3 LX Leather 7oz Sparring Gloves (mentioned above), except for having no thumb padding and 3 oz less padding overall. This makes them more suitable for grappling as they’re lighter and have zero restrictions on the fingers.

The other features they have are the y-shaped grip across the palm to stop any shifting of the glove. Combined with being made from full-grain Italian leather, they’re the most comfortable MMA fight gloves on the market.

What’s best is, buying these gloves as your grappling/training and fight gloves saves you from having to buy two pairs of MMA gloves – the Hayabusa’s serve multiple purposes.

Hayabusa T3 LX Leather 4oz MMA Fight Gloves for Men & Women – Brown, Small
  • THE ULTIMATE MMA TRAINING & FIGHT GLOVE: You need a glove that can endure high-intensity Mixed Martial Arts training….
  • NO-SHIFT DESIGN PROVIDES COMPLETE CONTROL: The Y-Volar palm design prevents your gloves from shifting as you train or…
  • WORLD RENOWNED WRIST SUPPORT: Customize your fit with two interlocking straps for a comfortable, secure fit with…

What Are the Best MMA Gloves for Competition/Fighting?

Regulated amateur and professional MMA promotions provide fighters with the necessary fight gloves, so there isn’t really a need for buying them. However, as mentioned above, fight gloves are the best for grappling training as they’re the least restrictive gloves.

So, if you want to buy some MMA gloves for competition/fighting, here are some of the best options on the market.

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Combat Sports Pro Style MMA Gloves
  • 5-ounce weight as mandated by state athletic commissions
  • Full 3/4-inch padding that allows increased safety of the hands and opponent
  • Open palm that allows full gripping capabilities
Hayabusa T3 4oz Pro Style MMA Gloves for Men and Women – Black, Small
  • The Hayabusa T3 MMA gloves are ideal for combat, sparring, or striking. They are perfect for athletes of all levels and…
  • The pre-curved design helps reduce hand fatigue during sparring or competition and the Dual-X closure is unmatched when…
  • The Hayabusa Y-Volar design delivers superior stability and control over the standard MMA glove. A consistent, contoured…
Venum “Challenger” MMA Gloves, Black, Large/X-Large
  • 4 oz. density, PU leather
  • Layered Foam for better protection and shock absorption
  • Exclusive Velcro strap system for hand pre-positioning

The Bottom Line

Overall, the best MMA gloves for a range of different needs are manufactured and sold by the most reputable MMA brands. The higher-priced MMA gloves are always the better option, as they simply have better materials and design which improves everything.

However, the three budget options provided are also excellent options for a variety of MMA needs for beginners and intermediates. You may also be interested in an affordable buying guide for a beginner’s essential MMA gear.

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