MMA is the world’s most exhilarating and fastest growing sport. MMA gyms are popping up across the globe, teaching students how to punch, kick, defend takedowns, and submit opponents. Whether you’re someone who is training to be a professional fighter, someone who wants to learn self-defense, or simply a hobbyist, the MMA universe has something for everyone.
I’ve been a lifelong fan of MMA, since the days of the Pride Fighting Championship. I’m also a BJJ purple belt who practices Muay Thai, so I have a lot of experience in combat sports gyms and the equipment necessary to get started.
In this list, I’ve compiled my top 10 MMA training equipment.
Table of Contents
- 10 Best MMA Training Equipment
- 1. Diamond MMA Cup & Compression Shorts
- 2. Everlast Training MMA Gloves
- 3. Venum Elite Standup Shinguards
- 4. FIGHTR Premium MMA Mouthguard
- 5. Hayabusa T3 Adjustable MMA Headgear
- 6. Elite Sports MMA Rash Guard
- 7. SOTF Breathable MMA Shorts
- 8. Fairtex Curved MMA Pads
- 9. DEFY Grappling Dummy
- 10. Century B.O.B. Punching Dummy
- Final Thoughts
10 Best MMA Training Equipment
Safety should be the top priority for anyone interested in MMA. Whether you’re a grizzled veteran who’s preparing to step into the cage or a complete novice who’s ready for their first lesson, preventing injury is vital for MMA training.
That’s why my first recommendation for MMA training equipment is this MMA cup and compression shorts system by Diamond MMA. This MMA cup is widely considered the best on the market, even being endorsed by UFC commentator and podcaster Joe Rogan.
The compression shorts come with a pocket that holds the cup in place, so you don’t have to worry about it becoming disjointed during the heat of combat. It offers top-notch protection, comfort, and range of motion. You won’t have to worry about being sidelined due to an illegal groin strike while wearing this MMA cup.
Some people may refer to MMA as cage fighting, but one thing you can’t call it is bare-knuckle fighting. Unlike boxing, muay thai, and other striking sports, MMA has its own distinct gloves that allow for grappling as well as punching. If you’re in the market for MMA training equipment, you’re going to need a good pair of MMA training gloves.
My recommendation are these MMA training gloves by Everlast. Although known primarily for their boxing gloves, Everlast also makes great MMA gloves. They fit comfortably and have a velcro strap for easy removal. The inside is also lined with a moisture-wicking material, which is great for when you’re sweating buckets in the middle of combat.
These training gloves are weighted slightly heavier than standard 4 ounce MMA gloves, meaning you’ll get added resistance while training. They’re also designed for added protection, both for your hands and training partners compared to standard MMA gloves.
If you’re a fan of the UFC, you’ve probably heard of the devastating shin injuries that have happened to fighters. Conor McGregor, Anderson Silva, and Chris Weidman are the most prominent examples of what can happen when a fighter’s shins are made vulnerable during training.
That’s why my next recommendation for MMA training equipment are these shin guards by Venum. These guards are manufactured in Thailand, the home of Muay Thai, a sport where having conditioned shins is essential.
These shin guards strike the perfect balance between protection and conditioning. You want enough force absorption to prevent injury while training, but also enough impact to condition your shins for the rigors of real combat. Unsurprisingly, the UFC’s official apparel partner has found a way to do that with these MMA shin guards.
We’re not quite done with safety equipment, yet! Wearing a mouth guard is so important that a referee will interrupt the action if a fighter’s piece comes flying out during the action. If you don’t want to end up like the UFC’s Devin Clark, then finding a quality MMA mouthguard is an essential piece of MMA training equipment.
My top recommendation for an MMA gum shield is this premium mouth guard by FIGHTR. The product is easy to mould around your teeth, offering the highest quality protection whether sparring or in the cage. It also comes with a portable storage case, which is nice for when you’re packing your gym bag and don’t want to put something that’s been in your mouth with the rest of your stuff.
FIGHTR is known for their high-quality fightwear and gear, even offering a lifetime warranty for this product.
The last piece of safety MMA equipment on this list may be the most important. CTE is a major concern for MMA athletes, so protecting your noggin during MMA training is crucial. While you won’t be able to use headgear in an actual MMA fight, they’re used during sparring to prevent concussions.
My recommendation for MMA training headgear is the T3 Adjustable MMA model by Hayabusa. Unlike other combat sports headgear, this one comes across the chin, keeping it stable during the heat of battle. It also covers most of the area on the cheek, a sensitive part of the face that is easily cut during a fight.
It fits comfortably and doesn’t move around while in use, something that bothers a lot of fighters about MMA headgear. Although designed with striking in mind, it can also be used during grappling to prevent cauliflower ear.
Although not considered safety equipment, rash guards are a staple of MMA training equipment due to their ability to protect a fighter’s skin. Staph infections are common in the world of MMA and can be fatal if left untreated. That’s why finding a high quality MMA rash guard is one of the first things you should do before heading to your local MMA gym.
My recommendation is the MMA rash guard by Elite Sports. Consistent use and abrasion can cause rash guards to fall apart rather quickly if they aren’t well made, something that Elite is well aware of. Their products use the highest quality materials and last longer than any other rash guard I’ve used.
Elite Sports is one of the most respected brands in the world of fightwear, so all of their products are made with fighters in mind.
The next piece of apparel you’ll need to train is a good pair of MMA shorts. Unlike other athletic shorts, MMA shorts are designed to optimize your range of motion and feel comfortable no matter what position you may find yourself in. Whether training at home or at the gym, you’re going to need quality shorts as part of your MMA training equipment collection.
My recommendation are these MMA shorts by SOTF. Some MMA shorts only come with fitted velcro style closings, but these come with velcro and a drawstring, making adjustment easier. They’re flexible, comfortable, and don’t limit your movement.
The thing I like most about SOTF MMA shorts is how stylish they are. Some of the designs are really intricate and always badass, contrasting them with other brands that can be rather plain. Who says MMA training equipment has to be boring?
Whether you’re in the gym or at home, one of the most important pieces of MMA training equipment is quality pads. Hitting pads is an essential part of MMA training equipment, and poorly made products have a tendency to fall apart after a few too many rounds. Unlike boxing mitts, MMA pads also need to be large enough for all kinds of strikes.
That’s why my recommendation is these curved MMA pads by Fairtex. Fairtex is a well known brand in the MMA and Muay Thai world, manufacturing all of their products in Thailand. These pads come in a pair as well as a variety of sizes, with a handle and adjustable strap on the back for easy holding.
I personally love that these MMA pads come with targets. The curved design makes it easy for my training partner or coach to adjust the position of the pads depending on what kind of strike I’m throwing, whether it’s a punch, kick, knee, or elbow.
There are some things in MMA that can only be experienced two ways: during an actual MMA fight, or with an MMA grappling dummy. One of things is “ground and pound,” or the act of striking your opponent while on the ground. One of the greatest mixed martial artists of our era is Khabib Nurmagomedov, who practiced his ground and pound on dummies.
My recommendation is the MMA grappling dummy by DEFY. It comes in a variety of sizes, ranging from 4 to 6 feet. It ships unfilled, giving you the option of choosing which material you’d like to use. Some people use shredded newspaper or cloth, but I personally prefer filling my dummies with sand.
In addition to practicing ground and pound, you can also use an MMA grappling dummy to practice submissions and positioning without having to worry about injuring your partner. This makes it a vital piece of MMA training equipment.
Good ol’ Bob is a staple of MMA training equipment. B.O.B. actually stands for “body opponent bag,” providing a free standing heavy bag that simulates punching a person rather than an inanimate object.
The B.O.B. Punching dummy by Century is very popular amongst MMA fighters because it gives them a more realistic target. Inside the cage, you’re not going to be aiming at the flat side of a heavy bag. You’re going to be hunting chins and temples, livers and solar plexuses.
With Bob, you get all the benefits of a heavy bag while training your mind to strike the right targets. If you’re planning to use Bob at home, his portability as a free standing dummy is very convenient in comparison to a traditionally mounted heavy bag.
MMA is, in my opinion, the greatest sport ever invented. Regardless of if you have professional aspirations or simply just want a new hobby that will keep you fit, the best MMA training equipment on this list will catapult you in the right direction.