You’ve been watching the UFC and seen a couple of groin shots. Pretty nasty, right? Don’t get too concerned, because regulations in mixed martial arts competitions always allow for some added protection.
So to answer the question, do MMA fighters wear cups?
MMA fighters wear cups for a fight since a groin shot is against the rules and can cause an early stoppage. Cups can come in two types: the slip cup to add undershorts or the jockstrap with an attached cup to fix around the pelvis and waist.
What UFC fighters are wearing under their shorts
Many people believe the fighters in MMA use nothing but a pair of shorts while fighting, but it turns out that they often wear protective cups on their groin and lower abdomen.
Every fighter wears a cup under their shorts in order to protect against serious injury down below!
Cups are used not just for live fights, but also often used in training and sparring, too. The difference is that in training the groin protection is more likely to be much thicker and much more noticeable, a bit like wearing a giant nappy.
These kinds of groin guards are used in a mix of martial arts and combat sports like boxing, kickboxing, and Muay Thai.
Do MMA fighters wear jockstraps?
Jockstraps are worn by most fighters in MMA, and they usually come with a cup that protects the groin area from injury during sparring or live fights! The jockstrap also provides support to “keep everything together” neatly and can help you to be as mobile and flexible as possible whilst training with fewer concerns about bits getting in the way or getting squished.
What are MMA cups made of?
The MMA cup used in fight events is usually made of hard plastic or mixed composite. It’s held in place by elastic straps that are attached to either side, which means they’re not visible from your TV screen!
This type has been used for years because fighters need protection but prevents unnecessary extra material to alter the mobility of the fighter or give protection where it isn’t accepted in the sport regulations.
Need a cup for training? I recommend the Diamond MMA Athletic Cup available on Amazon:
This cup uses a special material that is also used as bulletproof glass for needs like protecting VIPs from assassination. The material is designed to withstand extreme levels of impact and I probably wouldn’t trust anything else with my crown jewels!
What else do MMA fighters wear?
MMA fighters have a strict set of equipment they are allowed to wear during a fight event. The aim is to add the right level of protection for both fighters to prevent dangerous levels of injury whilst also giving fighters the most mobility for expressing their talents in the fight.
The list of equipment includes:
- Mouthguard – to prevent teeth and jaw damage. This is mandatory for all fighters, whether amateur or professional in most countries around the world (including USA). The mouth guard should be a custom-fit device that protects both upper front incisors from injury as well protecting lower back molars if an overhand punch lands on your cheekbone area.
- MMA Glove – usually between a 4-6 oz MMA is worn for a fight which has mainly padding across the knuckles to protect damage to the hands as well as cause less cuts for the opponent. They’ll also have open fingers where the material goes only half way up the fingers to allow for the grappling part of the sport.
- Hand wraps – professional grade hand wraps are usually applied by an expert prior to a fight. They use a lot of one-time soft materials and tape to create a perfect seal around the wrist, hand and fist. It’s purpose is to give the maximum protection whilst keeping as much of a small form as possible to fit into the lean MMA glove.
- Shorts – shorts usually come in two variants that a fighter can choose from. The “boxer brief” style is tight to the skin and is often worn by fighters with a lot of leg kicks and mobility requirements. The other is the more “board shorts” style that the MMA sport began with and is still used by many fighters today. This shorts version could provide a little less mobility, but the effect is marginal and mostly comes down to the fighter’s flexibility.
Can I do MMA if I wear glasses?
Some people might think that wearing glasses is going make it difficult because they will get broken but there are many options available such as prescription-grade goggles which can be worn so you don’t have any problems while doing an intense workout session.
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It also helps out a bit preventing sweat from getting in your eyes, so there’s some added benefit for the goggle-wearer. If this sounds too expensive then consider buying safety lenses designed specifically made for sports purposes.
MMA fighters, and many other martial arts, wear cups for sparring in training as well as for full event fights. For the men, a blow to the jewels is too much to handle to be able to continue fighting.
So to minimize fights being stopped early, fighters will wear cups. A lot of leg kicks will skim up the thigh and hit the groin, so it’s a really common issue.
Luckily though, for fighters in the UFC, they’ll get up a whole 5 minutes break if they receive a low blow.
Those 5 minutes can really change a fight.
If you’re doing some heavy sparring or fights yourself, I’d definitely recommend grabbing a cup and just lower your chances of any regretful accidents.
Joe Bloom is the lead author and editor of MMA Hive. Joe has been a passionate mixed martial artist in training since 2019, having studied Boxing and Muay Thai at BaliMMA and Soma Fight Club, as well as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with RitualsJJ.