Boxing gloves vs MMA gloves – Which one hits harder?

By April 9, 2018December 28th, 2020Articles

Which glove hits harder? Boxing Gloves or MMA Gloves – Find out below

The MMA glove, with just a few millimeters of leather and exposed fingers looks less padded than the traditional boxing glove but does more padding mean more protection for fighters?

Former UFC heavyweight champion Bas Rutten should know, he’s fought wearing boxing gloves, MMA gloves and bare knuckles. This test will measure them all. We’re using an instrumented heavy bag which measures force and we’re going to use the boxing glove, we’re going to use your MMA glove and then we’re going to use your bare-knuckle. Common sense might suggest that more padding means more protection after all the boxing glove looks softer. But is this fighting fact or martial myth? Looks can be deceiving but you can’t fool this punching bag.

Without the padding of gloves, the bare fist delivers the most force. Between the knuckles and jawbone, only two thin layers of skin, basically bone on bone. The bare fist delivers nearly 370 kilos of force. It causes the brain to recoil and slosh within the skull. Potential bone damage also occurs to the fighter’s hand delivering the punch. The thin MMA gloves are designed for speed, versatility and grappling. They weigh almost 0.2 kilograms and contain nearly 0.1 milligrams of padding two centimetres thick. Compared to bare knuckles the MMA glove impact is less, 295 kilos. Stunning but not always a knockout. Boxing gloves range from 0.2 to 0.5 kilograms. They contain many times the padding of MMA gloves, just over six centimeters of foam lie between the attacker’s fist and defender’s face. We would think that more padding means more protection but here’s the scientific surprise.

The force delivered 291 kilograms which is nearly identical to the MMA glove. Myth-shattering! So in gloves, bigger isn’t necessarily better.


Boxing gloves: 641 pounds of force
MMA glove: 651 pounds of force
Bare hand: 776 pounds of force

So the difference between MMA gloves and boxing gloves is hair-splitting and a mere four kilograms of force.