MMA Training Equipment’s Checklist for Beginners

MMA nowadays is the new hot favorite in sports industry. Everyone is either watching it or talking about it or trying to be a part of it.

Those who are trying to be a part of it often end up in the gym without all the necessary gears because they are new to the MMA world.

A few days back, I was walking past a shop which was famous for MMA gear that is when a question started to bother me “Is there any gear which is a must-have for beginners in MMA?”

To find those answers I went in the store asked some question and surfed the internet all night, and this is what I found.

I will also be giving a summary checklist on what to look for in all the gears at the end of the article.

12 MMA Training Equipment For Beginners 

  • 1
    Grappling Shorts
  • 2
    Rash Guard
  • 3
    Hand Wraps
  • 4
    Mouth Guard
  • 5
    MMA Gloves
  • 6
    Shin Guard
  • 7
    Groin Protector
  • 8
    Knee Pads
  • 9
    Head Gear 
  • 10
    Glove Dogs

The details about why they are necessary and what to look for in the gears will be discussed in the article.

Gears for MMA You Need – Explained

MMA is a form of sport which depends on how good you are in fighting. Being a beginner in this world can be tough.

One single punch from an armature MMA fighter will knock you out instantly which can lead to injuries.

The main reason for you to use these gear is safety. Some of them makes your training feel better too.

1.Grappling Shorts

MMA fight shorts represent MMA nowadays. It was not always like that. Back in the days, fighters would wear anything they wanted.

Fans of MMA think, grappling short look perfect and they know that they are very comfortable to wear.

On top of that, fans know that this short represents the start of a new era in MMA.

These shorts usually represent the fighter’s personality using graphical logos printed in them. This is to let the fan know a player's character instantly.

This would be the first thing any MMA fighter in this era has bought and will be buying in the future. It will be the best purchase you will ever make.

The Necessity of Grappling Shorts

MMA fighting shorts are made from a polyester material or nylon which don’t absorb sweat. On the contrary, other sports shorts are made from cotton which absorb sweat.

The problem with absorbing sweat is that it makes the shorts heavier than it is.

This is a problem in MMA as fighters strike each other at inhuman speeds.

Even a gram of extra weigh might slow your kicks down which can be the reason for your defeat.

This short is cut in such a matter which allows more room for your leg, ensuring better flexibility and mobility for you.

MMA Fighting Shorts: Buying It Right

You would want to look for four things while buying an MMA Fighting short. They are;

Comfort: The first thing which you should look for while purchasing the shorts is the comfort of the product.

If you are not comfortable with the short you are wearing, then there is no point in buying them at all. You won’t want to buy a pair of shorts what looks extravagant outside but feels rough and uncomfortable once you wear it.

Fitting: A proper fitting is something you should look around the waist. If you buy an MMA fighting short that is loose, it will sag off your waist.
You will be jumping and moving around a lot while training, wearing it.

A loose fitting will make your movements slower, and you will have to pull your shots up now and then. Imagine you have to pull up your shorts in between an actual fight. The moment you get distracted you are going to get knocked out.

Cost: The average amount of money that you are going to spend is about $70-$80. Although there are cheaper alternatives on the market, they will usually be of low quality.

You should opt for something that is not very expensive nor too cheap. You should find one that’s right for you.

Opting for the expensive ones is not advisable as these costlier shorts are no different than the average costing ones.

The only reason they are expensive is that they are from well-known brands.

You should pick quality over price. MMA fighting shorts is going to be something that you will wear almost on a regular basis.
You might save a few dollars getting the lower quality one, but you will lose a lot more saving those dollars.

Weight: The primary purpose of this short is mobility and flexibility. If the short weights more, there is a high chance it will slow your movements down.

If that happens, you will be in a severe disadvantage in the arena while facing your opponent.

2.Rash Guard

The rash guard is vital to you if you are a beginner. But once you have reached a particular stage, you can lose the rash guard with ease.

At the beginning of your training, this would be a must-have equipment. Rash guards are designed in a way which will protect your body from bruises and cuts while rolling around the mat in a fight.

Rash Guard also plays a vital role if you have to lose weight. These guards are made with a component which will insulate your body.

Due to this insulation, you will be sweating a lot more than usual helping you reach that desired weight class.

Rash Guard: Buying it right

There are four things that you should be on the lookout for if you are planning to buy a rash guard. They are:

Stitching: Stitching is essential because this is the only thing that would be holding your cloth together.

A poorly constructed rash guard will not last the brutal training that you will be going through.

Be on the lookout for Rash Guards which has more than four threads. If the construction has less than four, it probably won't last long.

Build Material: The company producing this rash guard should find the perfect material which is both durable and Comfortable.

Low-quality rash guards will start to fall apart after a short while of use.

Long Sleeve: This is a choice rather than a requirement. Long sleeves cover more of your body helping you to sweat more. Also helps to protect more of your body as your hands are fully covered.

Cost: Rash guards can cost as much as $100 and as low as $10 depending on what kind of rash guard are you planning to buy.

Just like any other clothing, this will get more expensive if you opt for the companies which hold a high value in the MMA world.

 Buying a mid-range non-branded rash guard should serve you just fine.

3.Hand Wraps

A lot of beginner MMA trainer make the mistake of thinking that hand gloves are more important than the hand wraps. Well, this is a wrong idea.

Hand wraps help protect the fragile bones like the fingers and the wrist while your fists swing at high speed.

Hand wraps are essential for your hands even if you are wearing gloves as this adds an extra layer of protection to your wrist.

Hand Wraps: Buying it right

There are about two things that you should keep in mind before going for a hand band. Those being:

Fitting: Hand wraps are about 180” long which is long enough to wrap your hand 2 or 3 times depending on the size of your hands.

If you have smaller hands, there is a 12" variant which you can choose. Although 180” will help you wrap your hand more than once. Hence opting for that is the best choice.

Quality: As I have repeated plenty of times in the article, quality is vital in the world of MMA. Keep an eye for the Mexican style Hand Wraps as they are made from an elastic material which will stretch and make a tighter fit around your wrist.

This is to support your wrist even more than it usually does as it can go around your fist more than four times and fits tightly.

A little note though once you have advanced to a professional level, you will be given a new kind of hand wrap which is made from the gauge and athletic tape.

This will only be available to you once you are a pro at what you do.

4.MMA Mouth Guard

If you are "ok" with your teeth getting knocked out then no need to buy a mouth guard. But if you think your teeth are prominent and you want to keep them, there is no other alternative.

The mouth guard’s main function is to prevent your teeth from sustaining damage in the battle. MMA fights can get very intense. Fighters focus their attacks on the face to get a knockout.

During this period of the fight, a high-velocity punch pointed towards the teeth can easily knock some off.

The mouth guard can save you from significant concussions, it won't protect you entirely from the strong attacks, but it will tune it down a bit.

This gear can also prevent your tongue from getting cut off. If you get kicked under the jaw by a fighter, you can easily bite your tough off.

Mouth Guard: Buying it right

There are three things to look for before you get yourself a mouth guard. Those are:

Amount of Protection Received: This is very important as the whole point of getting a mouth guard in the first place is the added protection.

Before purchasing the mouth guard, make sure it can give the kind of protection you are looking for.

Single or Double-Sided Guard: This is a matter of choice. The single guard is the gear which will only cover the top of your teeth while leaving the rear teeth wide open.

The double-sided guard protects both upper and lower portion of your teeth. A whole is made in the set to help you breathe while it is inside your mouth.

Cost: The average price of the mouth guard is $28 although it is better to opt for the more high-end versions once you have reached the professional level.

The high-end version readily available in the store can cost as much as $60. And, the custom made once will cost approx. $135.

5.MMA Gloves

Although it may seem that you will have to wear your MMA gloves every single day, it's not true. You will only be training with these gloves once or twice a week.

The rest of the days, you are going to have to train with your hand wrap. This helps you to build your strength and remove any sort of dependency on the gloves.

Now, the question arises if you aren't using them often, why you should even buy them. Simple answer is; you won't be training with them, but you would be using them to fight your opponent in the ring.

MMA Gloves: Buying it right

There are about three things that you will have to keep in mind before buying one. They are:

The Weight of the Glove: You will have to get two pairs of gloves. One pair would be more substantial than the gloves you are supposed to be wearing in an actual fight.

The other pair is going to be the standard weight used in the MMA arena which is around 4 ounces.

The first pair of heavy gloves will make your arms stronger. As you approach the third round of MMA, throwing punches can be rather tricky.

This is because, you are fighting while defending and throwing punches at the same time with your hands. To make sure your muscles don't collapse, you are required to do this training.

One more advantage of using weighted gloves is that when you wear the regular glove, it will feel lighter making your reflexes faster. The second pair will only be used during real fights.

Design: The design of your glove will depend on you. You can get a pair of the glove which is colorful containing various images, or it can just be plain looking gloves.

Cost: The training gloves is going to cost you around $50-$81. At this price, you will be able to get a good pair of gloves, and in certain places at this price range, you can even get a custom made on just for you.

6.Shin Guard

Shin guards are essential for blocking attacks. In MMA, there are some very dangerous fighters. They can kick with such power that can break anyone's bone. They are genuinely beasts when it comes to delivering powerful hits.

On the contrary, some of these fighters have gone through so much harsh training that their shin has become harder than iron.

Take for example in a match in 2013, Anderson Silva vs. Chris Weidman. Chris Weidman broke Anderson Silva’s leg not by hitting it but by blocking Silva’s kick with his shin.

There are a lot of shin guards available in the market nowadays. Some will cover only your shin area which is from under your kneecaps to the ankles. The others will cover your calves as well.

This will protect the lower part of your body while you train.

The main job of the Shin Guards is to protect your leg initially. Once you have mastered the art of landing powerful hits, you won't be needing them.

Shin Guard: Buying it right

There are about three things what you will have to take into consideration before buying the shin guard. Those are:

Comfort: Buying an uncomfortable wearable is always a bad idea; you will be training with your shin guards a lot more than you think.

Uncomfortable shin guard will result in a lessened smooth experience while fighting. Shin guards wouldn't make you 100% immune to damage, but it will reduce the damage level extensively.

Quality:  There is a saying "You are going to get what you pay for." It is no different here. Cheap shin guards are often made from low quality and for this reason, if you are planning to buy a low-quality one, you are better off without this shin guard.

Low-quality shin guards are practically useless. Always avoid them at any cost.

The shin guard should fit around you shin tightly. Being lose isn't an option. Always try them on before you buy them.

Cost: The price of a shin guard will range from $32-$45 although the rate can differ even more depending on the brand.

 The Muay Thai pads are usually more expensive compared to the ones that cover your whole leg. Even though Muay Thai pads only cover the shin area, it is expensive being built from a reliable and durable material.

7.Groin Guard

Groin guards have been improved a lot over the past decade. During an MMA fight, a fighter has to move so much that in the past groin guards were not used.

This is because some kind of groin guard would move from its place and make the movements uncomfortable.

Groin guards should be worn at all times, especially during the battle. As getting kicked in the groin area can cause permanent injuries.

Some fighters have shin which is strong enough to break bones of opponents in an instant. Just imagine they kicking you in the groin area accidentally.

The necessity is obvious. Getting kicked in the groin area can lead to injuries which is irreversible. The only way to prevent that is getting a groin protector. Although it won't protect your groin 100%, this will reduce the impact force.

Groin Guard: Buying it right.

There are four things which you should be on the lookout for. They are:

Old Option: The former option is getting a jock strap with a pocket to your cup. This was used previously by MMA fighters.

But in recent times this option has lost popularity because it can get uncomfortable once you start moving around a lot.

Alternate Option: The alternate is wearing compression shorts that offer a pocket for your cup. This is the option that most MMA fighters opt for nowadays.

This is because it doesn't get uncomfortable while moving around although the amount of protection given is not as high as the old option.

Trying Them Both: At the end of the day, you are the one who will be fighting, so the choice is going to be on you. Try them out both and test them in your ways to find which option suits you better.

Cost: Typically, the value of this runs between $10 to $31 but they can be expensive. They can be as expensive as $78 depending on which brand you are buying and what kind of material it is built with.

8.Knee Pads

Kneed pads are gear which is worn by an MMA or any other sports players to protect their knees from injuries.

The fact is that knee injuries can take a very long time to heal and the skin on top of the kneecap can get cut or scratched easily.

Knee pads also protect your joints in the knees from getting injured during the practice or in the arena. Your movement will be compromised due to injuries on your knee.

​Knee Pads: Buying it right

Knee pads are one of the most widely used gears in the sports industry. Every single sport has their kind of knee pad. Players need go through a lot while training in their type of sport.

Keeping that in mind, knee pad manufactures almost all the time produce knee pads with high-quality material.

MMA has its kind of knee pads although not getting the MMA knee pads is more cost effective.

MMA has become a brand for which gear associated with MMA generally cost more than it should. Usually, there is no way around, but in this case, there is.

Kneepads of Volleyball players go through a lot more than other sports as they have to slide around, dive, etc. through their knees constantly.

For that reason, kneed pads for Volleyball players are very sturdy and can handle almost any kind of fall.

Volleyball knee pads are cheaper to compare to its MMA counterpart.

MMA branded kneed pads will cost you around 30-40 dollars whereas volleyball once is much better than MMA once and will cost you under $20.


This is another essential gear that you should have. Almost no gym will allow you to battle in the beginning without a headgear.

You would want to have your pair as borrowing from someone else is not advisable.

Your head is important. This is a sensitive area of the body, but surprisingly this is where fighters will try their level best to get a good hit.

You can suffer from a brain hemorrhage after being hit in the head too hard. This can cause severe injuries even death.

Headgears are expensive but they are a must have, or your life would be at stake.

Headgear: Buying it right

You have to look for both comfort and quality. The padding inside the headgear should be soft, and the gear should fit you perfectly.

Lose headgear will do you more harm than good.

You will have to make sure that it is covering your ears properly because I can guarantee, you will be getting punched in the ear now and then.

10. Glove Dogs

This is a gear which is more focused towards hygiene. This is something you put inside your MMA glove and then wear it on your hands.

This will absorb all the sweat and make your hand smell less. There is no necessity for it. You can buy the gear if you want to. The cost of Glove Dogs will range from $10-$15.

Quick Checklist for Each Gear

All the details above can be overwhelming for which I will give you a simple checklist to follow for each gear.

1.Grappling Shorts

Comfort should be a priority.

Get the one with the Nylon or polyester material built.

They are expensive to make sure you make the most out of it.

Average cost $70.

2.Rash Guard

Should be both durable and comfortable.

Durability will depend on stitching.

Usually, you will get what you paid for.

 A rash guard is important.

3.Hand Wrap

Get the Mexican style hand wraps.

Lengths are 140"-180".

Wrap both your fist and wrist.

4.Mouth Guard

The priority should be protection.

Two types single and double sided.

Contact dentist for custom ones.

5.MMA Gloves

Don't emphasize too much.

Lighter gloves = speed.

Heavier gloves = endurance.

6.Shin Guard

Protecting the shine should be the priority.

High-quality one is essential.

 Expect to pay $30-$50.

7.Groin Guard

Select the option new or old which feels more comfortable.

Make sure the cup is strong.

Make sure you try out different position with the cup on before buying it.

8.Knee Pads

The patella region will be protected by kneepads.

Fitting should be comfortable.

 The price depends on you.

9.Head Gear

Be sure to find the one you are comfortable wearing.

Price can be high if try to get the best for you.

10. Glove Dogs

This is optional; you can get one for hygiene purposes.

Price ranges from $10-$15.

Final Words

This was everything I could find, tried to include as much details as possible.

MMA is a sport loved by many including myself, but trust me, this is a hazardous sport. For those who want to peruse this dangerous path, be sure to get all the gears listed above before you join a gym.

That would be all.

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