best mma gloves

10 Best MMA Gloves Reviewed & Compared

BEST VALUE

best mma gloves
Combat Sports Training Gloves

PREMIUM CHOICE

best mma gloves
Fairtex FGV15 MMA Gloves

OUR PICK

best mma gloves
Fairtex FGV18 MMA Gloves

When it comes to MMA, there’s no more important piece of gear than gloves. 

You wear them the entire time your training, they protect your hand, and they protect your sparring partner or opponent. 

With that in mind, it’s safe to say that getting the right gloves for the job should be a high priority. 

Fortunately, you’ve come to the right place. 

We’re going to break down the 10 best MMA gloves you can find. 

Whether you’re looking for new training gloves, or you’ve got a fight coming up and require a solid pair of 4oz gloves, this guide has you covered. 

Let’s get to it.    

Best MMA Gloves for Sparring & Training

1. Fairtex FGV15 Sparring Gloves – Best MMA Gloves for Sparring

best MMA gloves

The Fairtex FGV15 Sparring Gloves are 5oz gloves made by one of the most reputable brands in combat sports.

When it comes to MMA gloves for sparring, these are definitely on the smaller side of things, given that they only weigh 5-6oz depending on the size you get. This is something to be aware of, as you won’t want to be throwing your strikes will full force, as they’re only slightly more padded than competition gloves. 

This really comes down to personal preference, so if you’re looking for a slightly more padded glove, I’d recommend the Fairtex FGV18, which I’ll discuss next. 

With that said, you’ll struggle to find a more durable pair of MMA gloves than the FGV15s, given that Fairtex opted to use genuine leather materials. Although this does mean that there’s a bit of a break-in period, where the gloves feel fairly stiff for a week or two. In my opinion, though, it’s a worthwhile trade-off given that these gloves will last a very, very long time. 

Having used the gloves many times, I can say that they’re extremely comfortable and fit very well to the hand. The gloves themselves are curved in their design, encouraging your hand to make a fist whilst you’re wearing them. For me, this is one of their best features, as my hand is always prepared to throw a punch. 

The main drawback to the Fairtex FGV15s is their price, being one of the most expensive options on our list. 

If you’re new to MMA and only train once or twice a week, these might be a bit overkill. However, if you’re training frequently and are in need of top-tier, comfortable, and durable gloves, the price tag is definitely worth it. 

If you want a bit more information on these gloves, I’d recommend checking out our full Fairtex FGV15 MMA Gloves review for a full breakdown.

Pros

  • Made from genuine leather materials
  • Extremely comfortable
  • High quality padding
  • Secure hook and loop closure system

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Could be considered too light for as sparring glove

2. Fairtex FGV18 Sparring Gloves

best mma gloves

Up next we’ve got another top-tier option from Fairtex, this time with their FGV18 8oz sparring gloves. Being slightly more padded than the FGV15s we just discussed, these are a great option for MMA practitioners looking for high-quality sparring gloves. 

Their design is very interesting, and you can definitely see Fairtex’s Muay Thai influence on the gloves. Still, though, the open palm and fingerless design make them great for MMA sparring, as your hands aren’t too restricted and easily have enough mobility for grappling situations. 

As with a lot of the Fairtex gloves, genuine leather is used in their construction, offering a ton of durability. My Fairtex gloves have been some of the longest-lasting gloves that I’ve used, which is largely due to the fact that they’re made with real leather materials. 

The gloves make use of a hook-and-loop closure system that both provides stability to the wrist and keeps the gloves fitting snugly to the hand. 

Another great aspect of virtually all of Fairtex’s gloves is their foam padding. Some gloves that I’ve used in the past become misshapen after a while, however, I’ve never had that issue with Fairtex. The padding provides ample cushioning and I’m always impressed with how well the gloves retain their shape, even after months of use. 

Again, their price tag is slightly on the more expensive side of things. With that in mind, I’d recommend these if you’re serious about training and need a pair of gloves that are going to withstand regular sessions.

Pros

  • Made from genuine leather materials
  • Extremely comfortable
  • High quality padding
  • Secure hook and loop closure system
  • Multiple color variations

Cons

  • Expensive

3. Sanabul Battle Forged Sparring Gloves – Best MMA Gloves for Grappling

best mma gloves

Up next we’ve got another great option from Sanabul, this time with their Battle Forged Sparring gloves. This is a step up both in terms of quality and price from their Essentials range, and are a fantastic option for anyone looking for a solid pair of MMA gloves. 

The overall design of these 7oz MMA gloves makes them perfect for the various elements of MMA, whether that be grappling, striking, or a blend of both. This is thanks to the glove’s open palms and flexible padding, which allows optimum finger and hand dexterity, perfect for grappling training.

As with a lot of these high-end gloves, the Battle Forged MMA gloves make use of a moisture-wicking lining. As I mentioned earlier, this helps to prevent sweat from soaking into the gloves, which can end up smelling pretty awful

The hook and loop closure system provides ample stability and secures the cloves snugly to the hand and wrist. There’s nothing more annoying at training than having to constantly adjust your gloves, so it’s nice to not have that worry. 

Finally, the Battle Forged Gloves are priced extremely reasonably, offering a ton of value for money. 

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Top quality padding
  • Secure hook and loop closure system
  • Multiple color variations

Cons

  • Somewhat boring design
  • Not a lot of thumb padding

4. Sanabul Essentials MMA Gloves – Best 7oz MMA Gloves for Beginners

best mma gloves

If you’re a beginner looking for good a quality, budget-friendly pair of gloves, then you really can’t go wrong with the Sanabul Essentials MMA Gloves. The whole Sanabul Essentials range is very impressive and offers a ton of quality for a very reasonable price, and their gloves are no different. 

The Sanabul Essentials MMA gloves weigh 7oz, making them the ideal weight for sparring, pad work, and general training. 

My favorite aspect of these gloves is the thumb enclosure design. A lot of gloves leave the thumb fairly exposed with minimal padding, which isn’t the case with the Sanabul Essentials. This is particularly ideal for beginners who may accidentally miss-throw a punch, allowing this extra padding to protect both the wearer and their sparring partner. 

I also really like the minimal design of these gloves, which come in 6 different color options such as all black, red, and black and black and copper. This is awesome for those of you that like to have your gear matching and looking similar. 

When it comes to the price of the Sanabul Essentials, you really can’t complain as they’re very budget-friendly. This makes them ideal for beginners looking to get their first pair of gloves, and may not want to spend a lot on a sport they’re just trying out. 

Of course, given the low price tag, they’re not going to be the most durable pair of gloves in the world. That said, they are made out of good-quality synthetic leather, feature reinforced stitching, and have been battle tested by some of the most well-known fighters in the world.

Overall, these are without a doubt one of the best MMA gloves for beginners.

Check out our full Sanabul Essentials MMA Gloves review for a full break down.

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Good thumb padding
  • Secure hook and loop closure system
  • Multiple color variations
  • Extremely affordable

Cons

  • Not the most durable pair of gloves
  • Not a lot of thumb padding

5. Engage MMA Gloves – Best Hybrid MMA Gloves 

best mma gloves

Engage is very much one of the new kids on the block and has really made a big impact with its modern designs and high-quality fight wear and gear. Based out of Australia, they have the backing of some of the most well-renowned fighters in the world such as Israel Adesanya and Alexander Volkanovski. 

Their hybrid MMA gloves possess a pre-curved design that allows your hand to easily make a fist. I personally love this, as it helps to keep your hand in a tight fist when you’re throwing a punch. If you’ve ended landed a punch with a floppy hand, it isn’t too pleasant and can cause an injury, so this is an awesome feature that shouldn’t be overlooked. 

Engage makes use of moisture-wicking materials that help to prevent sweat from being absorbed into the gloves. If you’ve been training for some time, I’m sure that you’re aware of the smell that can build up in MMA gloves.

Fortunately, this material helps to negate this, however, it won’t eradicate it entirely. Still, it’s a nice touch, and definitely goes a long way in terms of hygiene and cleanliness. 

Similar to the Sanabul gloves I just discussed, the Engage MMA gloves have a nice thumb-sleeve design. This thumb-sleeve provides the thumb with an unhindered range of motion, whilst offering it a solid amount of padding and protection. Pair this with the open-palm design, these are some of the best gloves for both striking and grappling, perfect for MMA sparring. 

Lastly, these 7oz gloves possess some of the best padding around. Using a singular piece of injected foam, the padding on these gloves does a fantastic job of reducing impact and cushioning the hand. 

In terms of price, the Engage MMA gloves are very reasonable. They’re not the cheapest gloves you’re going to find, nor are they the most expensive.

Pros

  • Great looking design
  • Good thumb padding
  • Suitable for all areas of MMA training
  • High quality padding

Cons

  • Not a lot of color variations

6. Combat Sports MMA Training Gloves – Best Budget MMA Gloves

Last up on our list we’ve got an extremely popular pair of gloves that I’m pretty sure every gym around the world has at least one pair of lying around. My current gym has a few pairs of these that beginners use before they buy their own pair. 

The Combat Sports Gloves offer everything you need; good padding, a comfortable design, and a solid closure system. They’re made using synthetic material, which isn’t the most durable, but provides the most bang for your buck. 

They won’t be winning any awards in the style department, but if you’re looking for a solid and durable pair of gloves to get you started, then you really can’t go wrong with these. 

I don’t want it to seem like I’m bashing these gloves, they’re classic and extremely well-regarded. Conor McGregor was even wearing these during an open workout ahead of his infamous fight against Khabib at UFC 229.

Pros

  • Extremely affordable & a ton of value for money
  • Good thumb padding
  • Suitable for all areas of MMA training
  • High quality padding

Cons

  • Not a lot of color variations
  • Basic design
  • Padding can be a bit big depending on your hand size

7. Everlast MMA Gloves

While Everlast is extremely well known in the realm of boxing, they’ve released a number of well-regarded pieces of MMA gear, with their gloves being an extremely popular choice amongst MMA practitioners. 

The Everlast MMA Gloves feature top-quality foam padding, offering ample protection to the hand and knuckles.

Everlast has also gone all out to ensure a stable and comfortable fit. Utilizing both a hook and loop closure system alongside an elasticated cuff, the Everlast Gloves fit securely and comfortably to the hand. 

It’s also worth noting that all of the seems and finger slots have been reinforced. This helps to ensure the gloves don’t fray or unravel, which is particularly important given the rough demands on MMA gloves. 

All in all, a solid option for anyone needing a reliable pair of gloves.

Pros

  • Extremely affordable
  • Top quality padding
  • Secure hook and loop closure system
  • Multiple color variations

Cons

  • Not the most durable pair of gloves

Best Competition MMA Gloves

If you’re a bit further along on your MMA journey and are looking to compete, then you’ll likely be needing a pair of 4oz gloves. 

I wouldn’t suggest rocking up to a sparring session with these gloves, as you’ll definitely not be making any friends and will likely not be allowed to wear them.

With that said, let’s take a look at some of the top 4oz gloves you can find for MMA. 

1. Venum Challenger MMA 4oz Gloves – Best 4oz MMA Gloves

Up first we’ve got the Venum Challenger MMA gloves, which are probably the most popular choice amongst MMA practitioners, I see them literally everywhere. This is likely because they’ve been around for a long time and have a very good reputation. 

On top of that, these gloves are priced extremely affordable and are very well made. Although made from synthetic leather, the gloves hold up very well over time, and given that you’ll only be wearing these to compete, durability isn’t such a massive issue. 

I think their style is a bit outdated, but at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter what you look like. As long as the gloves are comfortable and fit correctly, that’s the most important thing. You’ve also got a few different options in terms of colors, such as all black, black and white, and black and grey. 

You really can’t go wrong with a brand like Venum, they’ve been around for ages and even make the gear that the UFC uses. Pair this with their high-end build quality and reasonable price tag, and it’s pretty easy to see why these are such a popular pair of gloves in the MMA community.

Pros

  • Great value for money
  • Made using high quality materials
  • Multiple color variations
  • Good all round padding

Cons

  • Dated design

2. Sanabul Battleforged 4oz MMA Gloves

I won’t get into too much detail about these, as they’re essentially the same as the 8oz Battle Forged gloves, just with less padding. 

That said, Sanabul makes use of top-of-the-line engineered leather, high-quality foam padding, and an ergonomic design that fits the hand perfectly. Plus, the hook and loop closure system does a fantastic job of securely fastening the Sanabul Battle Forged Gloves to your wrists. 

As with all of Sanabul’s gear in the Battle Forged line, you’ve got 3 color options: black, white, and brown. 

These are definitely on the pricer side of things for a 4oz pair of gloves, but considering the overall quality, look, and feel of these gloves, the price tag makes a lot of sense.

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Top quality padding
  • Secure hook and loop closure system
  • Multiple color variations

Cons

  • No thumb protection

3. Sanabul Essentials 4oz MMA Gloves

best mma gloves

Next up we’ve got the Sanabul Essentials 4oz MMA gloves

These are by far the cheapest 4oz gloves on our list, however, don’t be misled by the cheap price tag, as these offer a very reasonable level of quality. Professional fighters such as Gilvert Burns and Sean O Malley have all put their name behind these products and are often seen using them. 

Sanabul has utilized what they call “performance-engineered leather” in these gloves, which is basically a fancy term for synthetic leather. Although a cheaper alternative to genuine leather, these gloves offer a robust and durable build quality that can easily withstand the rigorous demands of MMA competition. 


As with all the best MMA gloves, these make use of a hook and loop closure system, ensuring that the gloves remain fasted to your wrist for the duration of the bout. Pair this with the high-quality, curved padding, and you’ve got yourself a protective and comfortable pair of gloves perfect for competing in MMA.

Pros

  • Extremely affordable
  • Top quality padding
  • Secure hook and loop closure system
  • Multiple color variations

Cons

  • Not the most durable pair of gloves

What Gloves Do I Use?

I can’t stand when I read other articles out there and it’s clear the author hasn’t entered a gym once in their life, just writing a load of trash in the hopes of getting a few clicks. 

With that said, I think it’s worth putting my money where my mouth is and discussing what MMA gloves I use…

And that would be the Fairtex FGV15 5oz MMA gloves. I’ve had these gloves for a long time and they’re by far my favorite out of any gloves I’ve used in the past. 

Although they’re a bit smaller and lighter than my previous gloves, I just love how they fit my hand and how they encourage my hand to make a fist when I’m training. When I’m sparring I do make a conscious effort not to throw with full force, given that they’re only slightly more padded than 4oz competition gloves. 

That said, I can’t recommend these gloves enough. If you think 5oz is a bit too lightweight, I’d suggest checking out the 7oz FGV18s, as they’re equally as good, just with a bit more padding. 

How to Choose the Top MMA Gloves

Right then, still unsure what gloves you want to get?

No problem!

We’re going to break down how to choose the right MMA gloves, so you know what to look for when shopping around. 

Type of Glove

First things first, there are several different types of MMA gloves designed for different elements of MMA training. Knowing what you’re going to be using the gloves for will directly impact what sort of gloves you’re going to need. 

Competition

If you’re looking to compete in MMA, you’ll be needing a pair of competition gloves.

Most competitive MMA gloves are going to weigh 4oz. These feature very little padding and are designed to allow the maximum amount of hand and finger dexterity. While some gyms do allow their students to wear 4oz gloves in sparring, the vast majority of gyms I’ve encountered reserve 4oz gloves exclusively for competing. 

Training/ Sparring

After you’ve been training for some time and have picked up an appropriate level of skill, the chances are you’ll want to put this to the test in sparring. For this, you’ll be needing a pair of sparring gloves. 

Sparring gloves can vary in weight and size, from as little as 5oz up to 8oz. It really comes down to personal preference and there is no right or wrong size you should be using, as long as it’s within that range. 

Material

The best MMA gloves will usually be made out of genuine leather. Although more expensive, genuine leather is a lot more durable than synthetic or fake leather alternatives. 

The main downside to genuine leather gloves is the break-in period. It can take some time for the gloves to loosen up and may feel rigid for a few weeks. 

Padding

The quality of gloves padding is an extremely important factor to take into consideration. The most protective gloves will use multiple layers of padding to reduce the impact on the wrist and hand. 

A lot of training gloves will also have padding alongside the thumb sleeve, which is something I always like in a pair of gloves. Without this additional thumb padding, it’s very easy to clip your training partner with your thumb, which in turn can cause unwanted cuts. 

Wrist Strap

For me, I always look for gloves that have a secure hook and loop fastening system. It’s extremely annoying having to refasten and adjust my gloves mid-way through a sparring session, so a good quality wrist strap is a must. 

MMA Gloves FAQs

What Weight/ Size MMA Gloves Should I Get?

Knowing what size MMA gloves you need is important. I’ll bullet point below what sort of gloves should be used for each situation:

  • Competing: 4oz (or whatever the organization you are fighting for requires). 
  • Training/ Sparring: 5-8oz
  • Heavy bag training: 14-16oz boxing gloves

In terms of size, each brand will have its own sizing chart that you should look at before you buy a pair of gloves.Similarly, sizes will differ from brand to brand, so it’s extra important to check the size chart if it’s the first time you’ll be wearing that brand’s gloves.

Can I Hit a Heavy Bag With These?

We’ve got a whole article on whether you can use MMA gloves on a heavy bag, so I’d recommend giving that a read for a more in-depth discussion.

The short answer is yes you can, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Instead, I would suggest using boxing gloves, usually around 14-16oz. This will offer your hand the most amount of protection and greatly reduce the risk of getting an injury, especially when compared to using MMA gloves. 

How Many Pairs Should I Have?

This really comes down to how often you train, and if you compete. If you’re only training once a week, one pair should be fine. If you’re training frequently, a couple of pairs can be a good idea. 

Even when I air out my gloves after training, the next day they can still be a bit damp from sweat. If this is the case, I’ll wear my other pair to training that day and often find myself rotating between the two. 

If you’re going to compete in MMA, you’ll also need a pair of 4oz gloves (or the appropriate size for the organization that you’re competing in). 

What’s the Difference Between MMA Gloves and Boxing Gloves?

Although Boxing and MMA do have some similarities, the gloves that are worn for each sport are significantly different. 

Firstly, boxing gloves encompass the entire hand, whereas MMA gloves typically feature an open-palm design with exposed fingers. This in turn allows the wearer to grip their opponent during grappling exchanges. 

The next major difference is in the size and weight of the gloves. MMA gloves range from 4oz-8oz, whereas boxing gloves range from 8oz-16oz. This additional size and weight mean that boxing gloves provide significantly more protection than MMA gloves. 

How Much Do MMA Gloves Cost?

MMA gloves vary wildly in price. You can pick up a pair of lower-quality, generic gloves for as little as $20. 

On the other hand, for top-quality gloves from a reputable brand, you can expect to pay anywhere between $50-$80. 

Of course, there’s a whole range of gloves in between, so there are plenty of options no matter your budget. 

Should MMA Gloves be Tight?

Yes, and well, no. MMA gloves should fit snugly to your hand with minimal to no slippage. That said, they shouldn’t be too tight and cut off circulation, nor should they restrict the amount that your hand and fingers can move. 

It’s a fine balance, but if you consult the brand’s sizing chart, you should be able to find a pair that fit just right. 

Best MMA Glove Brands

Venum

Venum is without a doubt one of the most recognizable names in combat sports gear. In fact, they took over from Reebok as the official outfitter of the UFC. If their gear is good enough for the UFC, then it’s going to be good enough for me. 

Although starting from humble beginnings, Venum has become one of the go-to brands that I always recommend. Their designs are striking, and their gear very durable, however, they are usually one of the more expensive options.

Fairtex

Fairtex is a massive name in the Muay Thai space. Being based out of Thailand, they possess decades of experience making some of the best fight gear in the world. Fairtex is known for using the best quality materials and making extremely long-lasting gear. 

With that though, comes a price tag. They’re definitely not cheap, and as such, probably not ideal for beginners. That said, a lot of my gear is from Fairtex, and I’ve never been disappointed by anything I’ve got from them in the past.

fairtex logo

RDX

RDX is my number 1 recommended brand for beginners. Their gear is very affordable, and considering the price tag, very reasonable in terms of quality. They’ve been around for decades at this point, and have amassed a ton of knowledge that is evident in all of their gear. 

If you’re new to MMA and looking to get your first few pieces of gear, I’d recommend checking out our full RDX MMA gloves review for more information.

Engage

I first came across Engage when I saw a post about them on Israel Adesnya’s Instagram.

I’ve bought various pieces of gear and clothing from them now, and I have to say, I’m very impressed. Their style is very unique and their gear is very good quality and definitely comparable to some of the big brands out there such as Venum.

Sanabul

Sanabul offers a variety of different fight wear, gear, and equipment and is very popular amongst both beginners and experienced MMA practitioners. What I love about Sanabul are the different ranges that they have, catering to different needs. For example, their Essentials line is designed for beginners shopping on a budget.

Plus, they do a ton of the MMA community that I respect, such as their Fighter Series. Overall, a great company with awesome gear.

Final Thoughts

Well there we have it. Hopefully, you’ve been able to find the best MMA gloves for your needs. 

There are a ton of options out there, with brands coming and going all the time. 

Understandably, this can make things a bit tough for beginners, so if you have any questions at all, please feel free to reach out, or get in touch via the comment section below. 

Thanks for stopping by. 

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