Gloves are both a necessity and a source of controversy in combat fighting. They protect the fists of the person wearing them and also help prevent facial injuries that might lead to the fight’s stoppage. On the other hand, they allow fighters to throw harder punches with their padded fists, preventing brain injuries a little less. UFC gloves typically have 4 to 6 ounces of padding for protection. Open-fingered is to allow the clenching manoeuvres necessary for clinch fighting and submissions. The open-fingered nature of the these glove has led to some accidental injuries and undesired results.
History of UFC gloves
The UFC started the mandatory rule of wearing gloves in 1997 at UFC 14.
Fighters, however, used them much earlier than that. In UFC 1, in a fight against the legendary Royce Gracie, Art Jimmerson appeared with one glove to improve his striking power. But it did no good in his favour as Jimmerson was submitted by Gracie in under 3 minutes of the first round.
The popularity of gloves increased after a street fighter named David Abbott “Tank” used a pair of homemade gloves to knock out two of his opponents in UFC 6. Though he lost in the final, other fighters noted how Abbott’s gloves helped boost his striking power. The usage of Gloves increased and the UFC eventually made it mandatory to wear them while fighting.
What types of UFC gloves are there?
- Competition gloves: Most professional fighters prefer to wear 4-ounce gloves, while amateurs wear 6 ounces for more protection. According to the rules of UFC, gloves between 4-6 ounces are allowed and even heavier for specific larger-sized gloves. The ounces generally refer to the weight of the padding rather than the overall glove.
- Sparring gloves: While sparring, there is usually a lot of punching involved, from practising on a punching bag to sparring with an actual partner. Both these actions require that your knuckles are comfortably cushioned from the force exerted on them. As a result, the UFC sparring gloves weigh around 7 ounces.
- Grappling gloves: Used mainly for clench work or grappling and have lesser padding than sparring or competition gloves. These gloves allow the fighter to move each finger independently, accumulating better gripping ability.