Photo | UFC unveils new fight gloves, eye pokes and broken hands expected to be significantly reduced

By Susan Cox - April 12, 2024

The UFC has unveiled new fight gloves which are expected to significantly reduce eye pokes and broken hands.

Gloves, UFC, UFC 302

There has been much criticism by fighters concerning the stiffness around the gloves being used in the UFC.

The promotion, citing an almost five-year testing process, has revealed new gloves which will be used in the UFC beginning at UFC 302 on June 1st, in Newark, New Jersey.

Along with the new gloves will come a new design and specialized colors.

A video narrated by UFC Vice President of Consumer Products Ember Morr, announced that the design of the new gloves was handled by sports equipment manufacturer VICIS RDI. The video featured VICIS Vice President of Product Development Jason Neubauer, explaining how the new gloves will benefit fighters in the UFC:

“The current glove that they were using was basically just a chunk of foam, a solid piece. It wasn’t really developed as an impact-mitigation type of foam, it was just more or less a certain density that seemed to work well for fighting. The limitation there is one, how much it absorbs impact, but also its rigidity, and that was probably one of the major parts of the glove was that rigidity wouldn’t allow you to easily open and close your hand and therefore you could have eye pokes or other difficulty during fighting.”

Continuing, Neubauer shared:

“What we developed was a multi-layer slip-plane system that allowed us to continue to mitigate those impact, but allow those slip layers to slide on each other in use without ever minimizing the actual offset between your hand and the outer edge of the glove.”

UFC VP Ember Morr elaborated:

“The final product is something that we’re extremely excited about. 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.”

Continuing, Morr stated:

“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.”

In a Q&A session following the presentation, UFC Performance Institute Senior Vice President Duncan French provided the following insight:

“The UFC’s had evolutions in many aspects of its operation. The one thing that’s been static for 11, 12 years is one critical component, and that’s the gloves. To go down this road of new gloves is essential.”

“We hope that that is a consequence of a redesign and the nature of the glove, but we’re all watching moving forward to ensure that this is going to be the case.” 

ADDITIONAL DETAILS AND A PHOTO OF THE NEW GLOVES CAN BE SEEN BELOW:

CONSTRUCTION FEATURES

  • New wristband locking system, better fits to the wrist, removing any space that permits opponent from grabbing the glove
  • Lack of seams minimizes abrasions and cuts; all seams are now on the palm side of the band just below the fingers
  • Removal of finger binding reduces bulk and minimizes seams that may cause abrasions and cuts
  • 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; 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 law profile hook and loop, minimizes snagging and reduces weight

AUTHENTICATION DATA CHIP

  • Allows UFC to identify a pair of gloves to a fighter and a specific fight, authenticating the gloves as fight worn in a designated fight

What do you think of the new design and colors of the new and improved UFC gloves?

Share your thoughts in the comment section PENN Nation!