UFC gloves usually are seen as competitive wrestling gloves (although there really are three separate classes), and they're typically open-filled and small. Additionally, they usually have between six and eight ounces of padding. These types of gloves were designed specifically to offer maximum protection for the fighter, while leaving the hands free and available for various grappling tactics such as choke fighting and submission moves. They are made of a durable rubber and feature stitching on the knuckles that offers comfort and extra security for the wearer. Some fighters prefer to use a combination of both open and closed gloves during training.
The actual padding in an authentic UFC glove is made from either cowhide or foam, and it's completely customized for each fighter's individual needs. Foam is the most common padding type used in MMA, and it's incredibly comfortable to wear, allowing for great mobility and gripping power. In addition, it conforms to the natural shape of your hand perfectly, providing an additional level of support. If you have issues with blisters, call your MMA coach to tailor a foam glove to your particular size and weight requirements.
Unfortunately, the original closed-faced design of UFC gloves was outlawed after the implementation of the new closed-fisted design in the UFC match against Liquid nitrogen. Due to this banned alteration, however, some fighters began utilizing open fingernails during their matches to avoid the metal needles. This is referred to as "curved gloves." Although it can be extremely difficult and inconvenient to wear MMA gloves with open fingernails, some fighters began forging ahead anyway. They would wear their favorite MMA gloves, cut their own fingernails in order to conform to the contours of their chosen pairs, and then proceed to use their crooked nails throughout their matches.
The first modifications to UFC gloves that were made during the march of UFC twenty fifth anniversary were inspired by the first ever " Pancrase" match. Featured on MTV two years prior to the UFC event, this match featured a vicious battle between Ken Shamrock andapese Kimo Leopoldo from Brazil. Shamrock easily defeated Kimo, but despite his victory, the judges ultimately awarded the match to Leopoldo due to Shamrock's inability to produce enough steam to get out of the first few seconds with his strikes. Shamrock claimed that he had been cutting his finger nails with a bandage earlier in the day, and therefore, did not feel any pain with his strikes.
Since Shamrock's loss, the fighters competing in UFC events have utilized a variety of different items in order to beat the man down inside the octagon. After all, the original closed-fist design was effective, but some fighters were still frustrated with the lack of power these gloves provided. A major revision to the UFC gloves occurred at the start of the UFC twentieth anniversary event when the company created two new designs. First, the "Pro Fit" design was built for the heavier fighters who also needed to take the extra five pounds required to comfortably compete in the UFC. Next, the "Spartan Ultimate" gloves came into play, which featured an elasticated wrist that allowed for a heavier fighter to wear the gloves, as well as gain a bit of height in order to make himself more appealing to the audience.
Regardless of whether or not the design of the UFC gloves was changed in order to make them more attractive for the audience, they proved very effective in the octagon. However, some MMA fighters are still skeptical about the effectiveness of such products, especially since the first production of UFC gear was met with much skepticism from the MMA community. In the aforementioned March ofmma article, I discussed some of the reasons that the new UFC gear is beginning to reach the mainstream, and how they could provide MMA fans with a better product to root for.
"I think it's great," said Cussler after being shown the new strap on his gloves, "they're definitely smaller, and I'm not the fastest fighter in the world, but I've always been able to outlast my opponents anyways, so I think it's a good thing. " Another MMA trainer agreed, "The new UFC gloves look good. They're not that bulky, I can move around with it, and I can't see what the disadvantage is, unless you're going to put your hands in there, like a real man." Said Cussler, "I just don't see why people don't buy them, because they're so comfortable. It seems as if they're just made for striking, and I don't see any striking need in a MMA fight."
According to UFC light-heavyweight champion and longtime UFC commentator, Joe Rogan, the new gloves will be made to be about an inch longer than the original cage gloves, and will come in at about twelve ounces per pair. Also, there are no more D-Laws on the new MMA gloves, as all they have is a logo on the side. However, there is word from inside the company that additional changes may be coming soon, such as shorter hand times. Six ounces per pair is the standard for MMA gloves, and no fighter is expected to wear anything less than that. If you want the most protection, you'll want to stay away from anything less than an extra-light weigh-in, and you'll also want to make sure you're wearing the proper padding for the weight class you're in.