UFC Presents New ‘Revolutionary’ Glove Technology, Competition Debut Set For UFC 302

After years of criticism, the UFC has finally announced plans to take a leap forward with their protective equipment, showcasing for the first time the gloves that competitors will use in the near future within the organization.

Making their first appearance at UFC 302 in Newark on June 1st, it is anticipated that the new design will minimize unintentional fouls such as eye pokes, while the structure will provide an increase in overall hand protection.

After so many bouts ruined by unintentional eye pokes over the years, the MMA community has been pleading for a change. Now, the UFC has answered the call, but until the results are shown, there is no telling how much of an impact this upgrade will have.

“The final product is something that we’re extremely excited about,” Morr said. “It is a glove that is really going to revolutionize the MMA fight glove space. Some of the changes you’re going to see on the new glove are there are zero seams around the hand, all of the seems are around the inside, so there’s no place for a laceration to occur from a seam. The padding in the back of the hand has been broken into two and essentially the first pad in that break allow for the hand to have this movement, while the new layering technology allows for the hands to move and be flexible. The layering system aside, the foams are different foams, they allow for impact dispersion so that you’re not getting as much impact in a singular spot in the knuckle, so you’re seeing more distribution of the strike across the hand.

“There’s pads that are on the bone, that are on the outside of either side of the hand. The new wristband is a curved, ergonomic wristband, so it actually cinches down to the wrist. There’s no more room to put your hand down into the actual glove, and then it’s a cross-function cinch, so it also allows for that tight custom fit to be exactly how the fighter wants around their wrist and provides support.

“The finger holes used to be cut straight across the finger. We’ve now cut that down at an angle so that there’s no bulk under the finger, which is allowing you to close your hands and not fight against the leather in the hand.”

-UFC Vice President of Consumer Products Ember Morr during the New UFC Gloves Presentation

Given the design improvements that were explained, they seem to have thought about the majority of the noticeable flaws with the current gloves, and in theory it seems this will serve as a considerable upgrade.

Highlighted by a lack of seams to avoid lacerations, and structural features to minimize eye pokes, the gloves are being made in a variety of colors. Gold for title matchups, gunmetal gray for standard bouts, light blue for Contender Series, and red as an alternate for UFC farm leagues.

Additionally, there is excitement surrounding the locking wrist strap that is planned to close the gaps between glove and hand. Through this intent, the theory is that this could minimize grabbing of the gloves, unintentional or otherwise, during clinch battles and grappling exchanges. In close quarters, grabbing of the gloves can often go unnoticed by the referee, so design measures in this department were being looked at as a must.

 

Full Specs:

 

Construction Features

• New wristband locking system, better fits to the wrist, removing any space that permits an opponent from grabbing the glove

• Lack of seams minimize abrasions and cuts; all seams are now on the palm side of the hand just below the fingers

• Innovative padding makes it easier for fighters to keep their fingers in a natural position and minimize eye pokes

• Removal of finger binding reduces bulk and minimizes seams that may cause abrasions and cuts

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• Padding added to the sides of the glove at the index and pinky fingers to protect vulnerable bone structure

Fit and Sizing

• Glove sizing has been rescaled to better fit the athletes’ hands; the slimmer profile removes excess space at the outside of the hand

• Eliminated male/female sizing, streamlining the number of gloves to 10 unisex sizes, from XXXS – XXXXL, that properly scale with increase in hand size

Weight

• Minimized weight and weight differential based on sizes

– Glove weighs between 3-4.9 oz (1.9 oz differential)

– Weight reduced 1-1.5 oz from previous UFC glove

Shape

• Ergonomic curved wristband for better fit around the wrist

• Scooped/angled finger holes eliminate bunching on the inside of the fisted hand

Material Development

• Lining, custom printed 2-way stretch, moves with the hand

• VICIS RFLX stacked foam padding, engineered for maximum flexibility and protection

• Updated low profile hook and loop, minimizes snagging and reduces weight

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