What Kind of Shorts do MMA Fighters Wear?

What Kind of Shorts do MMA Fighters Wear?

Wondering what kind of shorts MMA fighters wear? If you've made the decision to start MMA training - or you're simply curious about how these athletes optimize their performance - you've come to the right place. In this in-depth resource, we'll explain what makes MMA shorts unlike any other type of athletic shorts. And, you'll learn why you need these in your arsenal if you're going to take on combat sports training.

We probably don't have to tell you how intense MMA training and fighting can be. You can't afford to be restricted whatsoever by your clothing - the stakes are simply too high. Thus, shorts for MMA training and fighting must offer an unparalleled range of motion so you can perform at your best. 

And by the end of this article, you'll feel confident about where to start your search for the best MMA shorts - as we'll point you in the right direction.

First, let's quickly touch on the importance of quality shorts for MMA training or fighting.

Why the Kind of Shorts you Wear for MMA Matter so Much

There are a lot of moving parts in MMA - quite literally. You need to be able to execute a wide range of techniques with ease, and that's tough to do when you're restricted by your clothing.

The last thing you want is for your shorts to get in the way when you're trying to deliver a powerful punch or kick - or block one! Or, to reach around your opponent with your legs to deliver a rear naked choke only to lose a beat as your shorts restrict the lower body movement.

If you're new to MMA training - or haven't had the chance to grapple or spar with an experienced opponent - you might not be sold yet. Maybe you're thinking to yourself...the clothing you wear can't make that much of a difference, can it? The truth is, it does. And while you're here learning about the significance of MMA shorts, the same can be said of the rest of your gear - from your MMA shirts to your MMA rash guard, and even your MMA socks.

If you're going to take on this new sport, you need to set yourself up for success with quality gear. And the shorts are perhaps the most important element of your outfit as they affect your ability to maneuver and stay light on your feet. You need shorts that allow for agility, range of motion, and of course, power.

We have a complete guide on what to wear for MMA training if you want to learn more. But - what shorts do MMA fighters wear that allow for this, specifically? Keep reading to find out...

What Kind of Shorts do MMA Fighters Wear?

So, what kind of shorts do MMA fighters wear? We’ll break down a few common styles below. But, all the different types of shorts that MMA fighters wear share a few common characteristics that set them apart from other athletics shorts. So, let’s start there.

MMA shorts are typically much shorter than your average pair of basketball shorts or running shorts. They sit a few inches above the knee, and they're loose-fitting to allow for a full range of motion. This way, you don't ever have to worry about getting your shorts caught up around your knee or between your lefts.

They're also made with different materials than your typical athletic shorts. MMA shorts are generally made from polyester - a lightweight and breathable fabric that helps you stay cool and dry during training. This is important as you don't want your clothing to weigh you down or cause you to overheat. More premium-end types of MMA shorts have a specialized kinetic material that moves with you - allowing you to unlock new gears in your training and gain an edge over your opponent.

The waistband on MMA shorts is also different from your typical athletic shorts. The waistband on MMA shorts sits higher on the hips, which allows for better mobility when you're fighting or training. And, many shorts worn for professional MMA fights have a velcro closure rather than a drawstring. For most people's training, though, drawstring shorts are fine. They're a bit more practical, too.

These are the characteristics of most MMA shorts. But as you'll discover once you start searching for your own, there are actually a few different styles you can choose from. Allow us to break them down for you below to help you make the right pick.

The Common Types of MMA Shorts Explained

The answer to the question - what shorts do MMA fighters wear? - is tricky, because there are actually a few different types. We'll break the different options down for you below.

Board Shorts

Board shorts are the longest of the bunch, sitting right around the knee. They're often made with a thicker fabric than other MMA shorts as they're designed for surfing - another activity that requires a lot of movement. The extra fabric also provides more coverage, which some fighters prefer. You'll be less likely to deliver a rash/abrasion right above the knee where many fighters try to land kicks. However, the extra fabric is heavy and can bog you down. In recent years, this type is losing popularity.

Compression Vale Tudo Shorts

Vale Tudo shorts are what most people think of when they picture MMA shorts. They're shorter than board shorts but still provide good coverage - falling a few inches above the knee. They're made with lightweight and breathable fabrics that won't weigh you down during training or fights. And, the waistband sits high on the hips to allow for better mobility. These are the most popular type of MMA short among both amateurs and professionals. Part of the reason why is the compression they offer.

Compression doesn't just protect your skin from abrasions or rashes. It also keeps your muscles warm so you can lower your chances of injury and take your performance up a notch. The skin tight feel helps you move quicker and feel lighter.

Gladiator Shorts

The final style we're going to talk about are Gladiator shorts. These have slits at the leg that offer the highest degree of free movement possible. They're still relatively short - typically featuring an inseam between 4-6". When looking for kickboxing shorts, in particular, this is the style that works best - as your legs are entirely unrestricted.

Where to Find Quality MMA Shorts to Take Your Training up a Notch

Now with all that said, which of these types of shorts is best for you? At Apex Fitness, we've designed the most advanced, high-performance MMA shorts in the industry. You'll find our shorts worn by fighters of all skill levels in the top training facilities and gyms around the world. Why? It comes down to our kinetic material which you won't find on any other pair of shorts.

The liner on these shorts moves with you while wicking away sweat so you can stay cool and focus on the task at hand. This is paired with compression shorts underneath the liner - which keep your muscles warm by supporting blood flow. The end result? Superior performance and faster recovery. You'll stay light on your feet and agile despite long, intense training sessions or battles.

Moreover, these MMA shorts are as durable as it gets. The 4-Needling flatlock seams will keep these shorts intact no matter how hard you are on them. If you're looking to start your MMA journey on the right foot, wearing the right gear is essential. And while there's no denying the magic behind our shorts, we have all your other training needs covered too. Head over to our site and explore our full range of MMA training gear.

What MMA Shorts do Fighters Wear? Wrapping Things Up

That concludes our breakdown on the kind of shorts MMA fighters wear. In summary, these shorts are carefully crafted to eliminate restrictions, protect the skin, and enhance your performance. They feature special fabrics that help you move better and more comfortably. And, they're crafted with care to ensure they stand the test of time.

But, for the absolute best shorts for MMA fighting or training, there's only one brand worth shopping with. And now, you know that brand is Apex Fitness. Head over to our online store and upgrade your wardrobe today. You'll be glad you went with us.

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