What Size MMA Gloves Do I Need?

What Size MMA Gloves Do I Need?

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If you’re looking to get into MMA, one of the first things you’ll need is a pair of gloves. 

Things may get a little bit confusing, however, as there are different types and sizes of MMA gloves used in different situations. These various gloves themselves come in different sizes, which adds a bit more confusion to the process. 

So, to answer your question, what size MMA gloves do I need, I’ll break down the various gloves weights you’ll require, when you’ll be needing them, and how to pick the right size. 

Let’s get to it.

Types of MMA Gloves

If you rock up to training wearing 4oz professional competition gloves, you might get some funny looks. 

Typically at training, you’ll wear larger, more padded gloves in order to offer your hand and wrist more protection, as well as any training partner that you’re sparring with. 

With that said, let’s take a closer look at the different sizes of MMA gloves. If you don’t want to read the ins and outs of each type of glove, here’s a quick list:

  • Competition gloves: Professional 4oz. Amateur 6oz. 
  • Sparring/ Grappling Gloves: 6oz-7oz.
  • Training Boxing Gloves: 12oz-16oz.

Competition Gloves

what size mma gloves do i need

As the name suggests, these gloves are reserved for competition only. This is due to the fact that they’re significantly smaller than other types of MMA gloves and therefore offer much less protection. 

Professional MMA fighters compete wearing 4oz gloves. This is true across all weight classes and genders, unlike boxing, where the weight class determines the size of the gloves. 

Amateur MMA fighters are required to wear 6oz gloves at a minimum. While still lacking in significant padding, that extra pid of cushion goes a long way in offering protection to those not yet at the professional level. As well as this, a lot of amateur leagues will require fighters to wear shin guards. 

Sparring/ Grappling/ Training Gloves

what size MMA gloves do I need?

Sparring is essential fighting practice, where you put your techniques into action against a training partner. Sparring tends to be significantly toned down compared to an actual fight, but given that you’ll likely be landing punches on your opponent, a good amount of padding is needed. 

Some professional fighters are even toning down the amount of sparring that they’re doing. This is in the hopes of preventing taking any unnecessary damage in training. This should hopefully give you an idea of why protective gloves are needed. 

Although sparring is nowhere near the intensity of a real fight, accidents do happen, so a solid pair of padded gloves is definitely recommended. 

Sparring gloves are sometimes also referred to as grappling gloves, with the term often being interchangeable. 

Typically these gloves will weigh between 7-8oz, and feature padding that encases the entire length of the hand, from the wrist to the tip of the fingers. Of course, the inside of the glove will remain open, providing enough hand dexterity that allows you to maintain a grip on your training partner. 

Boxing Gloves

what size are MMA gloves

Believe it or not, a solid pair of boxing gloves is recommended for anyone looking to learn MMA. This is due to a couple of reasons. 

Firstly, boxing is a primary element of MMA, and as such, a lot of your time will be spent drilling and developing your boxing techniques. A lot of MMA gyms will have separate boxing classes that focus solely on striking with your hands. Similarly, a lot of MMA fighters will spar using boxing gloves. This is due to the fact that they offer the wearer’s wrist the most amount of support, as well as cushion the impact of any blows, landed. 

Secondly, I always recommend a good pair of boxing gloves for bag work. The best boxing gloves will allow you to run through a heavy bag working with minimal damage to your hand. It really makes me cringe when I see people hitting the heavy bag with no gloves on at all, MMA gloves are bad enough, but not wearing gloves is just asking for trouble.  

Boxing gloves come in a variety of sizes, from 12-16oz. The heavier the glove is, the larger it will be and the more protection it will offer. 

What Size MMA Glove Do I Need?

Ok, now that we know the various types of gloves you’ll need, how do you go about picking the right size?

Each brand will have its own sizing guidelines, so it’s definitely possible to be one size in a particular brand and a different size in another. 

After I’d been training for 6 months or so, I decided it was about time I got another pair of gloves, and thought I’d try a different brand. When they turned up, I couldn’t believe how different they felt on my hand. 

I know there is a bit of a break-in period, but the size was completely different, so I ended up exchanging them for the size down.

Just to illustrate this point, below are two size charts for a couple of my favorite MMA brands, Engage and Venum. 


SizeWidth (CM)(Length CM)
Medium17 – 21cm22.5cm
Large21 – 23cm23.5cm
Extra Large23 – 26cm24.5cm


SizeHand Circumference
Small16 – 18cm
Large/ Extra Large22cm+

As you can see, Engage measures their sizes completely differently from Venum. Engage uses width and length, whereas Venum uses circumference. What’s more, Engage has structured their sizes differently too, having S/M gloves, and L/XL gloves, compared to Venum’s S, M, L/XL options.

With that in mind, always read the size guidelines. If there are none on the site, then drop the company an email. Even better would be to go into a store and try them on, but decent MMA shops are few and far between, and 90% of the time I buy my stuff online or from my gym.

How Should MMA Gloves Fit?

First and foremost, MMA gloves should be comfortable to wear. If they’re comfortable, they’re not going to distract you and require adjusting halfway through a sparring session. You should be able to train, without really thinking about your gloves at all. 

In terms of feel, the gloves should be nice and tight to your hand, with minimal amounts of slippage. Obviously, you don’t want them to be too tight to the point where they restrict your hand movement, but to conform to your hand and flex with your finger’s movements. 

On the other hand, you definitely don’t want them to be too loose, to the point where you need to keep tightening every couple of minutes. 

A good way to tell that a glove is too big is if there is excess room between your wrist and the glove itself, even when it is fastened as tight as it can go. If there is a ton of room between your glove and your wrist, then you probably need to go a size down. 

Ill-fitting gloves are a big distraction, so be sure to get the right pair and you’ll have one less thing to worry about at sparring.

Final Thoughts

Given the fact that you’ll be wearing these gloves every time you go to training, it really is important to find a pair that you like and that fits well.

If you’re just starting MMA, I’d recommend getting a pair of sparring/ training gloves alongside a pair of 14oz boxing gloves. This gives you a good amount of versatility in your training, meaning that all aspects of your training will be covered. 

If you’re in need of a new pair of gloves, I’d recommend checking out our article on the best MMA gloves for some great options.

Again, definitely be sure to measure your hand and consult any size chart when you’re looking to pick up a new pair of gloves. 

If you’ve got any questions at all on what size MMA gloves you need, please feel free to get in touch via the comment section below. 

Thanks for stopping by!

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