why do mma shorts have the slit

Why do MMA Shorts Have the Slit?

Knowing what to wear for MMA training is essential for perfecting your craft. In addition to the best t-shirts for MMA, you will need the right pair of shorts to help you perform at your highest level. If you’ve ever wondered what kinds of shorts do MMA fighters wear for optimal performance? this article is for you. 

You may have noticed your favorite athletes wearing different styles of MMA shorts, some featuring slits on the sides. So, why do MMA shorts have the slit? Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about the popular MMA split shorts. 

Why do MMA Shorts Have the Slit?

The best shorts for MMA are flexible and lightweight. They should allow your legs to move freely for throwing kicks and grappling in the gym. 

This can be achieved by wearing shorts with a slit for maximum movement. Sometimes referred to as MMA split shorts, they are an optimal wardrobe choice for many reasons. In the next section, we will get into why many athletes prefer this style for MMA training.  

Are MMA Split Shorts Better Than Other Styles?

MMA split shorts come with certain benefits and disadvantages for different athletes. While some fighters believe an excessive slit can be overkill at a certain point, others find that split shorts help them perform at their best. 

The answer to this question all comes down to fighting style and personal preference. When deciding if split shorts are right for you, consider the movements you make in the gym and if you feel restricted by other types of MMA shorts. Next, we will get into which fighters wear this style of MMA shorts and who can benefit the most from having slits. 

Which Fighters Wear MMA Split Shorts?

As previously mentioned, your use for MMA split shorts will largely depend on your style of fighting. Do you frequently grapple with your training partners or do you find yourself standing and throwing head kicks more often? 

In general, this style of shorts will be most suitable for athletes who keep a distance from their opponents and use reach as an advantage. If you spend a lot of time on the mat, the loose materials can easily get caught between you and your training partner. This can become a distraction while you’re training and may hinder your performance. 

Split shorts are occasionally seen on professional MMA fighters like heavyweight Cyril Gane, who utilizes the extra room for maximum movement and range. He gravitates toward kicks and swift in-and-out motions to break his opponents down in the octagon. 

You may have also noticed Lightweight Champion Charles Oliveira sporting a similar style. Although Oliveira specializes in jiu-jitsu and often submits his opponents in grappling exchanges, he combines this style with boxing and kicks on the feet that require less restrictive clothing. 

Other Factors of Your Shorts to Consider Besides the Slit

Wearing MMA shorts with or without the slit is just one question to ask yourself when shopping for your training gear. There are several other factors to consider that will help you find the perfect pair, which we will outline below. 


A quality pair of MMA shorts will be made of a comfortable and lightweight material. Most shorts you can find for training will feature moisture-wicking fabrics to combat sweat. The material you choose for your MMA shorts will affect your comfort and the care that will be required to maintain them. 


The sizing of your MMA shorts goes hand in hand with the materials you choose. In general, your shorts should fit snugly around the waist to stay in place while you’re moving in the gym. Regardless of the style of shorts, they should fall somewhere above the knee. Try to avoid a fit that is too tight or too loose. Either one of these extremes can limit your movement or cause injury while training. 


Performance is a key factor when choosing the perfect pair of MMA shorts. You’re not going to the gym to mess around, and your wardrobe choices should reflect that. Your MMA shorts should allow you to move freely and perform at your best as you train. If you feel any restriction or lack of movement due to your shorts being uncomfortable or the wrong size, it can seriously hinder your performance. 


Personal style preferences should also be taken into consideration when choosing a pair of MMA shorts. There are several custom colors and designs available on the market to fit in with your unique aesthetic. How you look affects how you feel, and ultimately perform, in the gym. 

Final Thoughts on Why MMA Shorts Have the Slit

In summary, MMA shorts have slits to allow for maximum movement. There are many types of shorts you can choose from for training, and the best option for you will ultimately come down to personal preference. 

MMA split shorts are best for fighters who utilize their reach to keep a distance from their opponents on the feet. Those who grapple often and spend most of their time on the mat may have difficulty with these shorts staying in place as they train. 

Along with deciding whether or not a slit on your pair of MMA shorts will benefit you, there are many factors to consider before making your purchase. You should select a comfortable and lightweight material that moves with you. The sizing of your MMA shorts should be just right: not too loose or tight on the legs with a snug fit around the waist. 

The most important decision you will make about your new MMA shorts is where you buy them from. Apex Fitness is the leading provider of top-quality gear for MMA training that will last for years to come. You can incorporate your style with custom-designed pieces, and continue to perform at your best in the gym with a wide online inventory selection at your disposal. 

Shop at Apex Fitness for MMA shorts, MMA rash guards, MMA jackets, MMA socks, and more. 

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