MMA equipment: Find out all the equipment MMA fighters need and how they use them

MMA equipment: Find out all the equipment MMA fighters need and how they use them

Kevin Omuya
April 19, 2024 at 5:22 AM

Unlike boxers and kickboxers, mixed martial artists must practice all facets of combat, from exciting ground grappling to more subtle foot hitting. They also need additional mixed martial arts gear to ensure their safety. This article lists top MMA equipment and their uses.

MMA equipments
Kickboxer shows his mouthguard and gloves(R). A shot of a young man training in a boxing ring. Photo: Stock photos
Source: Getty Images

Table of Сontents:

In mixed martial arts (MMA), hitting is a part of the game (knees and elbows are also legal), so fighters must wear protective gear when training. The amount of MMA equipment bag they need is directly proportional to their training intensity.

List of MMA equipment

Mixed martial arts is designed with the utmost care to guarantee the fighters' safety and performance. The following is an explained list of MMA equipment names and their uses.




Protecting teeth while competing and training.

Hand wraps

Protection of hands when training or fighting competitively.

MMA gloves

For working on strikes, such as jabs, hooks, and uppercuts.


Protect the skull from harsh blows.

Groin protector

Essential for male private organs while competing

Shin guard

Protecting shins when training or sparring.

Rash guard

Protect from rashes and infections

MMA shorts

Flexibility and mobility during a fight

Elbow/knee pads

Protects elbows and needs from harm

Ankle supports

Extra cushioning for joint movements

10. Mouthguard

Mouth guard
Joe Joyce walks and shows off his mouthguard before the Commonwealth Heavyweight Championship bout at the O2 Arena, London. Photo: Nick Potts
Source: Getty Images

Whether grappling or striking, a mouthguard will keep the fighters' teeth, jaw, and gums safe. All mixed martial arts competitors wear mouthguards.

Teeth, unlike other body parts, cannot regenerate after damage. Hence, it is crucial to take extra precautions to avoid cavities. For this reason, mouth guards exist, which can absorb impact and shield the teeth from harm.

Most professional fighters invest in inexpensively fitted mouthguards. Amateurs sometimes do with boil-and-bite guards, which can still provide adequate protection.

9. Hand wraps

Hand Wraps
Female athlete wraps hand before kickboxing. March 27, 2019. Photo: EmirMemedovski
Source: Getty Images

A hand wrap is a roll of fabric wrapped around the hand. Wearing one before striking can help prevent injuries to the tendons, bones, and wrists. Most martial arts fighters wear them to support their wrists.

3. MMA gloves

MMA gloves
Fabio Turchi during the Boxing Cruiserweight - Fabio Turchi vs Stefan Mihailov on July 27, 2022, at the Impianti Sportivi Isolotto in Florence, Italy. Photo: Lisa Guglielmi
Source: Getty Images

Mixed martial artists wear gloves to prevent hand and finger injuries while striking. MMA gloves are not like regular boxing gloves; they are custom-made to let you grapple and hit. All mixed martial arts fighters wear MMA gloves.

When training for mixed martial arts, MMA gloves are a must-have piece of gear. Properly fitting gloves are essential for sparring since they prevent harm to both your hands and your opponent's or partner's.

Unlike boxers, mixed martial artists often use smaller, lighter gloves that provide protection but permit grappling. Their lack of visual impact belies the significant improvement in the protection they provide over a bare fist.

4. Headgear

Head gear
A close-up portrait of a young girl aged 11 years, she is wearing protective headgear and boxing gloves, ready to compete in a competition on May 6, 2016. Photo: Solstock
Source: Getty Images

When grappling or hitting, fighters must protect their head and face using headgear. Additionally, it aids in avoiding bruises and wounds. While mixed martial arts (MMA) helmets are not strictly required, they are strongly encouraged for novices and amateurs.

Because mixed martial arts sparring is more holistic and less concentrated on the head, headgear is less prevalent in MMA than in boxing. Lighter and more fun than other forms of boxing, emphasising technique rather than heavy blows, are many sparring approaches.

5. Groin protector

Groin protector
Aboxer's groin protector: Photo: Model Photos
Source: Getty Images

A groin protector keeps one's privates safe while grappling or striking. Male martial artists wear it when competing. Although this one is more geared towards men, some options are available for ladies.

When you take a substantial hit, you risk injuring your most delicate area—the groin. Even the hardest guys cannot withstand the effects of a good groyne hit.

6. Shin guard

Shin guard
A Young Caucasian man putting on a taekwondo combat shin guard on his leg in 2021. Sportswear. Photo:
Source: Getty Images

When striking, shin protectors prevent damage to the lower extremities. They offer support during struggling and help avoid cuts and bruises. In martial arts that rely on hitting, practitioners wear shin guards.

Invest in striking shin guards if your workouts include grappling and stand-up sparring. The designs of these shin guards are mostly inspired by those used in Muay Thai, a prominent kickboxing form frequently used in mixed martial arts.

7. Rash guard

Fighters often wear compression shirts called rash guards to keep their skin from getting rashes or infections, particularly when grappling. It aids in avoiding bruises and wounds.

Martial artists who focus on grappling always wear rash guards. Wearing a cotton T-shirt during most training sessions is not advisable during martial arts.

8. MMA shorts

MMA Shorts
A detailed view of Alex Pereira of Brazil's fight shorts in the UFC light heavyweight championship fight on April 13, 2024, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo: Jeff Bottari
Source: Getty Images

During mixed martial arts fights, fighters typically wear shorts. The shorts are made of sturdy material that can withstand wear and tear, providing complete mobility.

There are now more varieties of shorts than ever before in combat sports. When compared to other sports, mixed martial arts tend to be more lenient on what competitors may wear.

9. Elbow/Knee pads

Elbow support
A fighter puts on his elbow pads and other protective gear before starting a fight on March 11, 2006. Photo: Mayra Beltran
Source: Getty Images

Sparring with more brutal strikes, such as elbows and knees, is generally avoided by beginners due to the inherent risk of the hard bones and the ease with which one might inadvertently harm their sparring partner. Wearing protective gear can ensure the training partner stays unharmed when you employ elbows in sparring. Protecting your elbows or knees from harm is as simple as donning a cushioned covering over the affected joint.

10. Ankle supports

Ankle support
A detail of the leg of a black professional boxer wearing an ankle brace in 2002. Photo: AirImages
Source: Getty Images

Fighters frequently use ankle braces for multiple reasons. The elasticised ankle supports provide extra cushioning for their joints while they move.

In addition to reducing the risk of tendon strain and pulling, they keep the joint warm, which improves its function. The materials also determine how much protection they provide while kicking bags or cushions.

Frequently asked questions

The best MMA equipment comes in different gears: headgear and gloves. Here are the most asked questions about critical MMA equipment.

What does MMA stand for?

Combat sportsman, or mixed martial arts, is a combat sport that combines elements of several martial arts styles. It includes boxing, wrestling, judo, jujitsu, karate, and Muay Thai, often known as Thai boxing.

What do you need to fight MMA?

It takes a lot of stamina to endure even a short bout of mixed martial arts. Knowing the ins and outs of grappling is essential to becoming a formidable fighter. You need to be a master of speed, force, and flexibility to get the most out of your strikes.

How do MMA fighters prepare for a fight?

It is common for fighters to begin training eight to twelve weeks before the fight. Strength, conditioning, and technique work usually take up most of the first half of training camp. As the battle draws near, fighters devote more time and energy to game planning and sparring.

Final word

Mixed martial artists rely on a wide range of MMA equipment brands crafted to boost performance, lessen the danger, and encourage endurance in the sport. Mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters can improve their training and performance in the ring by paying close attention to and learning how to use these tools.

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Kevin Omuya
Kevin Omuya is a Content Writer with 4 years of experience who joined Sports Brief in 2022. In 2019 he held a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism & Digital Media from KCA University.