The Difference Between MMA and Boxing Gloves

The Difference Between MMA and Boxing Gloves

While both gloves are used in fight sports, their similarities end there. Gloves aside, both fight sports have a different set of rules and conventions. Both have different means of competing for the athletes involved and both wear or use different equipment or gear, included of which are the gloves.


Gloves used for boxing are rather different than the ones used in MMA, the differences of which we’re going to discuss and show you below.

  • Fingers.One of the most visible differences between the two fighting gloves would be how they treat the finger’s fingers. Boxing gloves wrap all the fingers in a padded compartment, much like a mitten. On the other hand, MMA gloves leave the final knuckles, as well as the fingers exposed. The latter’s design works rather well for MMA fighters as they need room to use much of their hands when grappling during matches.
  • Padding is also quite different between these two fighting gloves. For boxers, their gloves usually have heavy padding, often having more than a pound of soft material. MMA gloves are much sleeker, thicker and have less padding. Again, the way boxing and MMA works are the key reason behind why the gloves’ paddings are different and designed as such.
  • Boxing gloves are also much larger and their closure often encompasses a fighter’s forearm. Meanwhile, MMA gloves are usually much like fitness gloves and rarely go up to the top of the wrist.
  • Wrist wraps. Boxers need to use wrist wraps to protect both their wrists and hands from the impact of their punches. Because of this, the insides of a boxing gloves are much larger so as hands with wrist wraps can fit. On the other hand, MMA fighters have no need for wrist wraps in competition, which is why their gloves have little space between it and the hand.


As you can see, MMA fighter’s gloves are different because their needs are different. They don’t need as much padding because they don’t throw as many punches. Also, added padding is not necessary as MMA fights don’t just rely on punches, but also kicks, grapples, takedowns, submissions, and so on and so forth.

While an MMA fighter’s glove may seem to offer much less protection, it’s designed as such to offer as much of it as possible. If it had padding, grappling would be much harder and it’d be dangerous to do. The same goes for boxing gloves if they had less padding, as it would result into more powerful punches and possibly, higher chances of trauma.

If you’retraining in MMA, you’ll want to train using MMA gloves, even if your main focus for now is the bag. This way, you’ll get used to the feel of the gloves and it makes it easier for you to transition from training to the inside of the ring once you manage to get yourself in a competitive match.

That said, be sure that you invest well in your gloves, whether it be for boxing or for MMA. After all, your gloves will be your most trusted training partner, so you might as well choose one that’s comfortable to use and one that lasts you for a long time.

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