In the world of MMA, few names are as big as Venum.
Any UFC fan will be well-acquainted with the brand, given that Venum MMA gear is worn at every event.
So, if Venum’s good enough for the “big show”, is it safe to assume their gear will be good enough for me?
Well, today we’re going to find out.
Over the last couple of months, I’ve been testing out the Venum Challenger 3.0 Sparring Gloves, putting them through the wringer, and gathering my thoughts…
So, let’s dig into our Venum Challenger MMA gloves review, and see what they’re all about.
Venum Challenger Gloves Overview
The Venum Challenger MMA gloves are 8oz gloves designed for MMA training and sparring. The 8oz padding provides ample protection to both the wearer and their sparring partner, with these being one of the most padded gloves I’ve used for sparring. Venum use a unique wrist strap design that provides incredible support and stability to the wrist. Although pricey, these are some of the best gloves I’ve used for sparring.
Venum Challenger MMA Gloves Review
Fit & Comfort
Alright, let’s first discuss how these gloves felt when wearing them.
Virtually all MMA gloves, or even boxing gloves for that matter have a bit of a “break in” period. This is where they feel a bit stiff and rigid on the hand and haven’t yet loosened up.
As you would expect, the Venum Challenger’s definitely had this rigid feel to begin with, however felt a bit more comfortable after a couple of weeks of wearing them.
My biggest concern when I first started using these gloves was the pinky finger sleeve. It felt pretty uncomfortable for a while as if it was pulling my little finger away from my wedding finger. You can see what I’m talking about in the image above, which I took not long after I first got the gloves.
That said, after a couple of weeks of using these gloves (on a fairly regular basis), this sleeve loosened up and I stopped noticing any kind of discomfort in my little finger.
It’s worth mentioning that I’m 5’7” and weigh around 150lb give or take. I opted for the medium size, which could have contributed to the pinky finger discomfort.
Anyway, once the gloves had broken in they felt pretty damn great.
The wrist strap design is by far my favorite aspect of these gloves. The Velcro closure system is awesome, I don’t know what else to say. The level of support that this offers is pretty much second to none.
The glove stayed nicely in place, and my wrist felt extremely secure and stable – what more could you want?
Durability and Material
Boxing purists will tell you that genuine leather is the only way to go when looking for gloves…
And while there is some element of truth in that statement, times have changed and the quality of faux/ synthetic leather gloves is now substantially higher.
The Venum Challenger Sparring Gloves are the perfect example of this. Although made from synthetic leather material, the gloves a made to an exceptionally high quality and are insanely durable.
I’ve used these gloves a lot, and there is no sign of cracking, peeling, or any other tell-tale signs that the gloves are reaching the end of their days.
You can obviously tell that they’ve been worn and used, but to be honest, I’m incredibly impressed with how well these gloves have held up given how much I’ve used them.
I’ve said this in a number of other reviews, but it’s often hard to comment on the visuals/ style of a piece of gear. Everyone’s got their own opinion on how things look, so not everyone will agree with me here.
That said, I’m a big fan of how these gloves look.
I opted for the all black design, which is mostly matte black, with a glossy looking material used for the Venum logo and other branding.
While I’m no design expert, I do like how this looks and there’s a good contrast between the two materials. With some of the other all black gloves that I own, branding and design aren’t too visible, and you can’t really tell who makes the gloves. Fortunately, this isn’t the case here.
Anyway, if all black isn’t really your style, you can pick these up in a few different color ways, which you can check out below.
MMA is a unique combat sport, in that it blends various different disciplines into one. This means that MMA gear needs to be versatile and able to perform in all areas.
Given that these are sparring gloves, you’ll be wearing these in striking, clinch, and grappling exchanges.
In the striking department, these felt great. I really like the feel of 8oz gloves, having mostly used 6/7oz gloves in the past, I really liked the additional padding that these offered (as did my sparring partners I’m sure).
That said, when grappling, especially in the clinch, these were noticeably larger than my Fairtex’s and RDX’s. This was most noticeable in the clinch, especially against the wall/ cage where you’re jostling for a superior position.
Of course, this is true of all MMA gloves, but I did notice it more than with some of my slightly lighter/ smaller gloves.
As a whole, I’m incredibly impressed with the Venum gloves. They feel great, look great, and allow me to perform my best with no distractions.
Venum is known to be an expensive, maybe even overpriced brand and these gloves definitely align with its expensive image.
So yes, they’re fairly expensive, but to be honest, I’d say that the price matches the quality here. Compared to some of the cheaper $20-$30 gloves that I’ve used and reviewed, there’s a noticeable difference in the feel and quality.
With that in mind, I feel like the price tag is justified, and am happy with the value for money that these gloves offer.
Considerations to Make When Buying MMA Gloves
When it comes to buying a pair of MMA gloves, there are a few things that you should take into consideration. I won’t go too deeply into each one, as that isn’t the point of this article.
That said, if you are interested in the Venum Challenger Sparring Gloves, I do want to make sure that they’re going to be right for your situation, and your expectations.
Given that MMA incorporates various different disciplines/ combat sports, a variety of gear is required, which is used when training certain aspects.
For example, if you’re heavy bag training, you’ll probably be wearing big, 14/16oz boxing gloves. If you’re sparring, you’ll probably be wearing shin guards, a mouth guard, and some form of sparring gloves.
Given the name of the Venum Challenger Sparring gloves, these should be used for sparring. I’ve written a whole article on whether or not you should use MMA gloves on a heavy bag, but the short answer is ideally not.
With this in mind, it’s important to be sure that the intended use of these gloves matches up with what you’re looking for.
Price is a tricky one, as everyone is shopping on a different budget.
That said, I will typically advise beginners to go for a cheaper, yet well-known brand, such as Sanabul or RDX. This is because beginners will likely not train as often, and who knows how long they’re going to stick with MMA.
If you’ve been training for a while, competing, and looking to take MMA a bit more seriously, this is when I suggest spending a bit more on a pair of gloves. A high price tag will often (not always) come side by side with quality and durability.
While this is my take on things, there really isn’t any right or wrong when it comes to spending X amount of MMA gloves. Spend what you think is right, do a bit of research, and chances are, you’ll be happy with your new gloves.
There are few things as annoying in training as bad-fitting gloves. Too small, and they’re incredibly tight, uncomfortable to wear, and are an all-around pain in the ass.
On the other hand (pun intended), gloves that are too big are equally as annoying. They feel bulky, slip around a lot, and you spend more time adjusting the wrist strap than you do sparring.
With that in mind, always, ALWAYS, check out the brand’s size guide and do your best to align the gloves with your measurements.
Do bear in mind the sizing will vary from brand to brand.
So, if you’re large with one brand, that doesn’t necessarily mean another brand’s large gloves will fit as well.
Who is Venum
Venum is an extremely well-known brand in the MMA and combat sports space.
They’ve been around for a long time and make a variety of gear, from BJJ gis to boxing gloves. Due to gear being pretty expensive, they have got a bit of a reputation for being a bit over priced.
That said, they’re gear is usually high quality and nearly always looks amazing.
They’ve most recently partnered with the UFC, supplying all UFC fighters with attire to be worn when competing.
Similar Gloves I Recommend
Were the Venum Challengers not your style? Too expensive? Maybe a bit boring in their design?
Whenever we do a review, we always recommend a couple of other options, similar to the gloves that we’re reviewing.
The below gloves that I recommend have been extensively tested by myself, and have been reviewed by me in the past.
Fairtex FGV15 Sparring Gloves
These have been my go-to sparring gloves for a long time now, and are by one of, if not the best pair of MMA gloves I’ve ever used. They’re 5oz gloves, so pretty lightweight for sparring, and are made from handmade genuine leather material.
They’re pretty expensive, however, if you train regularly and need a solid pair of gloves, then they’re a great option.
Read our full Fairtex MMA gloves review for more information.
RDX F6 Kara Sparring Gloves
If you’re on the hunt for something a bit cheaper than the Venum Challengers, then the RDX F6 Kara Sparring Gloves are another great option.
They’re 7oz sparring gloves that are incredibly budget-friendly and feel very comfortable on the hand. Yes, they’re not quite as durable as the Venum Challengers but cost significantly less. In terms of value for money, you’ll struggle to find a better option than the RDX F6 Sparring Gloves.
Read our full RDX MMA gloves review for more information.
Venum Challenger MMA Gloves Review: The Verdict
Ok, crunch time…
Do I recommend the Venum Challenger MMA Gloves?
Yes I do…
However, only if you’re training on a regular basis and need a pair of gloves that can withstand frequent use. There are much better value-for-money options out there, such as the Sanabul Essentials gloves or the RDX sparring gloves.
That said, If budget isn’t an issue, and you’re looking for high-end, durable gloves, then you really can’t go wrong with the Venum Challengers.
If you have any questions at all, please do feel free to reach out to us either in the comment section below or via our contact page.
Thanks for stopping by.