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What Size MMA Gloves Do I Need? (Fully Explained)

Gloves are the single most important part of the game when it comes to safety, not just in MMA, but in other combat sports as well. Its main purpose is to absorb the force of the impact and prevent both fighters from sustaining serious injuries. But how do you know what size MMA gloves you need?

MMA gloves come in different weights and sizes and the key is to find the one that fits you perfectly. First, you need measure the size (breadth) of your hand by measuring the widest area of your hand where your fingers meet the palm, just below the knuckles. But be sure to exclude the thumb out of the measurement. Next, use this number to pick the right size of MMA gloves that fit your hand:

Hand CircumferenceSize of the gloves (in stores)UFC official gloves sizes
5.5” – 6.5”YMWomen’s Strawweight/Bantamweight
6.5” – 7”YLWomen’s XS
6.7” – 7.2”SMen’s XS
7.2” – 8.7”M/RMen’s Small/Medium
8.2” – 9.7”LMen’s Medium/Large
9.2” – 10.2”XLMen’s Large/Extra large
Over 10.2”XXLMen’s 2X large/3X large/4x large

Some students also have a pair of full padded boxing gloves which they use while hitting the pads, working on a heavy bag, or standup sparring. If you want a pair of those, then use the following measures:

Your weightHand CircumferenceSize of the gloves
85-115 pounds5.5” – 6.5”8oz
115 – 130 pounds6.5” – 7.5”10oz
130 – 165 pounds7.5” – 8.5”12oz
160 – 195 pounds8.5” – 9.5”14oz
195 – 205 pounds and over9.5” – 10.5 “16/18oz

Keep reading this article to learn more about different types of MMA gloves, and which ones are the right for you.

How to choose the right size of MMA gloves (step by step)?

Whether you want to become a pro fighter, or you just want to train MMA for self-defense, choosing the gloves that fit your hands should not be a hard task. Though it may all sound confusing at first, finding the right size is not rocket science. The only thing you need to do is to measure your hand, and weight (optional), and you can hit the “buy” button or go to the store.

Measure the size (breadth) of your hand

The first thing you need to do is to measure hand circumference, which is very simple. Take the measuring tape and wrap it around the widest area of your lead (dominant) hand where your fingers join the palm just below the knuckles. Be sure to exclude the thumb and keep it out of measurement. Next, go to the store to buy the gloves in person, or search for the right size online.

Choose the gloves that fit your size

The size of MMA gloves is standardized and here are the sizes you can choose between to find the right one:

Hand CircumferenceSize of the gloves           (in regular stores)UFC official gloves sizes (in UFC stores)
5.5” – 6.5”YMWomen’s Strawweight/Bantamweight
6.5” – 7”YLWomen’s XS
6.7” – 7.2”SMen’s XS
7.2” – 8.7”M/RMen’s Small/Medium
8.2” – 9.7”LMen’s Medium/Large
9.2” – 10.2”XLMen’s Large/Extra large
Over 10.2”XXLMen’s 2X large/3X large/4x large

How should MMA gloves feel when you wear them?

The gloves that fit perfectly are neither too tight nor too loose. Tight gloves might feel like they provide extra support to your wrists and knuckles. But at the same time, it would restrict the motion of your hand when you are throwing strikes and grappling. On the other side, the glove that is too loose is a bit risky to wear because it allows the wrist to move upon impact, which often results in an injury.

You need a glove that fits snugly around your wrist and knuckles without causing any discomfort when you are clenching or moving your hand. Even if you need M size gloves on paper, be sure to try the bigger and smaller ones just to feel the difference.

Bear in mind that MMA gloves are like shoes when they are brand new and a bit stiff. You need to wear these a couple of times to elaborate the stitches and then it would fit even better. 

Buying the gloves online vs in person

MMA gloves are one of those things you need to try before buying. Yes, the size is standardized, but again, it may vary due to various factors as the production differs between manufacturers. Despite the fact that 10 OZ is your size, these might feel too tight or loose when you put them on.

This is a bit of a problem because, in this day and age, most people prefer to buy online without trying the gloves in person. If you are in that situation, then be sure to check whether that online store has a returning policy in case you picked the wrong size or something else is wrong.

What are the different types of MMA gloves?

There are different types of MMA gloves and it is crucial to know them all before you hit the store. Here is a detailed explanation of all types of MMA gloves:

Training gloves

Training gloves are used when you are working on a bag, hitting the pads, or grappling with your partner. These gloves are a bit lighter, do not have much padding, and are designed so that your fingers have a lot of space to move around. This makes training gloves close to ideal for BJJ and wrestling classes where you need light and flexible gloves to move around and execute various techniques. Despite the lack of padding, most of the students also use these gloves while doing light work on the heavy bag or drilling the combos on the pads.

Sparring gloves

As its name suggests, this type of MMA glove is used in sparring and the emphasis of the design is on hand protection and prevention of injuries. As a result, these gloves are more padded and are much heavier than other types (around 7 or 8 ounces). More padding helps the hand absorb the force of the impact, and with that, prevents knuckle, wrist, and other types of injuries. The padding ranges from 1 to 1.5 inches and you can also find sparring gloves that are 2 inches thick. These gloves usually feel light and do not restrict fighters’ movement during striking or grappling.

On top of that, most sparring gloves are curved which keeps the fingers in the natural position and pointing down. This prevents fighters from extending their fingers and landing eye pokes.

Competition gloves

MMA gloves used in pro matches are 4OZ open-fingered gloves, while the ones used in amateur competition are a bit heavier 6oz (around 170 grams). These gloves have very thin padding and wearing hand wraps is mandatory when you are using competition gloves. There is not much padding or support to the knuckles, so you need hand wraps to prevent injuries.

Do you need to wear hand wraps in MMA training?

Yes, be sure to always wrap your hands before putting on MMA gloves as this adds more protection to both wrist and the knuckles and prevents injuries. Hand wraps will keep your wrist straight and add more padding which helps the hand absorb the impact and it also prevents the knuckles from moving.

You see, hand injuries are the most common injuries in MMA, mainly because fighters wear small open-fingered gloves that offer little to no protection. Since the only way to succeed in fighting sports is to work hard and be consistent, you have to think a lot about protecting body and avoiding injuries. This is why just about every student who is serious about their training wears hand wraps, and you should too.  

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