why dont boxers use mma gloves

why dont boxers use mma gloves

Why Don’t Boxers Use MMA Gloves?

Boxing and mixed martial arts (MMA) are two popular combat sports that have their own distinct set of rules and equipment. While boxers wear traditional boxing gloves, MMA fighters use smaller, open-fingered gloves. This article aims to explore the reasons why boxers don’t use MMA gloves, considering various aspects of the sports.

1. Different Fighting Styles

Boxing and MMA have different fighting styles, which influence the choice of gloves. Boxers primarily use their fists to strike, focusing on punches to the head and body. In contrast, MMA fighters employ a wide range of techniques, including punches, kicks, elbows, and grappling. The open-fingered design of MMA gloves allows for better grip and dexterity during grappling exchanges.

2. Protection and Impact

Boxing gloves are designed to provide more padding and protection to the hands, reducing the risk of injury during extended boxing matches. The added padding helps absorb and distribute the impact of punches, potentially minimizing the damage to the opponent. MMA gloves, with their smaller size and less padding, prioritize mobility and allow for more precise strikes.

3. Hand Speed and Agility

Boxing gloves are generally larger and bulkier than MMA gloves, which can hinder hand speed and agility. The smaller size of MMA gloves allows fighters to throw quicker punches and react faster to their opponents’ movements. This increased hand speed is crucial in MMA, where fighters need to defend against various types of strikes and takedowns.

4. Grappling and Submission Techniques

MMA gloves are designed to facilitate grappling and submission techniques. The open-fingered design allows fighters to grab and control their opponents more effectively during clinches and on the ground. In boxing, grappling is not allowed, so the gloves are primarily focused on protecting the hands during striking exchanges.

5. Tradition and Rules

Boxing has a long-standing tradition of using gloves, dating back to the Marquess of Queensberry rules in the 19th century. These rules standardized the use of gloves to protect fighters and ensure fair competition. Boxing gloves have become an integral part of the sport’s culture and are required in professional and amateur boxing matches. MMA, on the other hand, has evolved from various martial arts disciplines, and its gloves reflect the diverse techniques used in the sport.

6. Impact on Scoring

The use of different gloves in boxing and MMA can have an impact on scoring. In boxing, judges often consider the number and quality of punches landed on the opponent’s head and body. The larger gloves in boxing may lead to more frequent and visible strikes, potentially influencing the judges’ perception of the fight. In MMA, where a wider range of strikes is allowed, the scoring criteria are more diverse and take into account other factors such as takedowns and submission attempts.

7. Training Specificity

Boxers train extensively with boxing gloves to develop their punching technique, accuracy, and power. The use of specific equipment helps them become proficient in their chosen sport. Similarly, MMA fighters train with MMA gloves to better adapt to the unique demands of their sport, including grappling, striking, and transitioning between different techniques. The use of different gloves during training allows athletes to optimize their skills for their respective disciplines.

8. Safety Considerations

The safety of the fighters is a primary concern in both boxing and MMA. The padding in boxing gloves helps reduce the risk of serious injuries, such as fractures or concussions, during prolonged boxing matches. The increased padding also provides some protection to the opponent, making it less likely for fights to end quickly due to a single powerful punch. MMA gloves, with their reduced padding, require fighters to be more cautious with their strikes, potentially leading to quicker finishes and a different risk-reward dynamic.


The use of different gloves in boxing and MMA is primarily driven by the distinct fighting styles, techniques, and rules of each sport. Boxing gloves prioritize hand protection, impact distribution, and prolonged matches, while MMA gloves focus on versatility, grappling, and faster strikes. Both types of gloves serve their purpose in their respective sports, contributing to the uniqueness and excitement of each discipline.

why dont boxers use mma gloves

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