Trevor Wittman MMA Gloves: The New Era?

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The MMA glove design presented by MMA coach Trevor Wittman is becoming one of the hottest topics in the sport, largely because of regular eye-poke issues happening in the UFC.

But neither Trevor nor his brand ONX Sports talks about it very much, except since Rashad Evans debuted them on Joe Rogan’s podcast.

Trevor Wittman invented MMA gloves (originally called “New Era”) that were designed to hold the fighter’s hands in a more naturally curved position, giving them more hand protection and reducing eye pokes. Trevor wanted to bring them to the UFC, but a deal is yet to be made.

I decided to write this article to compile all the information there is about Trevor Wittman’s MMA gloves. So keep on reading if you want to know more!

Trevor Wittman debuts his MMA gloves on Joe Rogan’s podcast

Rashad Evans debuted the MMA-focused Trevor Wittman gloves on the Joe Rogan podcast in early 2020.

Unfortunately, these MMA gloves haven’t been seen or talked about much since that time.

Except for when Trevor Wittman joined Justin Gaethje on the Joe Rogan podcast for JRE MMA Show #96.

In that podcast, which is now only available on Spotify, Trevor describes how he started making equipment due to his own experiences with injuries for him and his fighters.

Joe Rogan trying out the Trevor Wittman MMA Gloves
Trevor explains the problems with standard UFC gloves on JRE MMA Show #96

At around the 91:45 mark in that podcast, Trevor gives Joe a pair of standard UFC gloves to try on and explains the difficulties that fighters have when trying to make and keep a tight fist throughout a fight.

At the 93:15 mark, Joe gets to try on the Trevor Wittman gloves, and they discuss that these white ONX Sports (Trevor Wittman’s fight brand) MMA gloves don’t put the hand into an unnatural position by forcing the fingers open. Instead, they sit more comfortably in a naturally curved position.

Joe Rogan making a fist whilst wearing the Trevor Wittman MMA Gloves
Joe says these gloves are “far superior” on JRE MMA Show #96

It seems that ONX Sports and Wittman planned to get a partnership deal with the UFC, but it never came to fruition because the UFC wants to own the glove technology.

But Trevor Wittman and ONX Sports already have their MMA gloves patented and so the relationship with Dyaco, the current manufacturer of UFC gloves, comes to a rock and a hard place and the deal isn’t going anywhere.

Joe Rogan seemed delighted whenever he had the chance to wear these gloves and was probably hoping to give them promotion by featuring them on the biggest podcast in the world. Sadly though, we just haven’t heard anything new about these gloves and this moment on the podcast was the biggest dose of information I’ve seen.

Difference between ONX MMA gloves and X-Factor boxing gloves

ONX X-Factor Boxing Gloves

Trevor Wittman’s MMA gloves are completely different from the boxing training glove of the ONX Sports brand.

The boxing gloves by ONX Sports are called the X-Factor Boxing Gloves, and I’ve already written a full review so you can understand why they’re so good.

There is now also an even newer version of the ONX boxing glove line, called the X-4 Training Glove. It comes in both velcro and lace-up versions.

The main difference between the X-Factor and the X-4 appears to be the quality of the stitching, and the width of the cross dual strapping is wider and perhaps stronger for an even better fit.

UFC debuts new MMA gloves at UFC 287

For the UFC 287 event, where Israel Adesanya takes on Alex Pereira for a second time in the UFC to reclaim his belt, the UFC also unveiled their new MMA gloves.

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It seems that, finally, the UFC has taken on feedback from fighters and pressure about eye poke problems to create a glove that has a better natural curve for the hands.

Gilbert Burns was seen modeling the gloves and talking about how it’s harder to outstretch the hands and how good they feel.

Now it’ll be more difficult for fighters to keep their hands completely outstretched unnecessarily.

These often result in eye pokes when they are holding their hands out in front of them to defend or maintain distance from their opponent.

Clearly, the UFC still isn’t interested in making a deal with Trevor Wittman for his ONX MMA gloves because they want to completely own the patent on their product rather than share revenue.

And isn’t that just a common thing about the UFC? They don’t like sharing much of the pie, and that is why UFC fighters are often underpaid for what they do.

The Leon Edwards eye-poke controversy

At UFC Vegas 21, the British Leon Edwards fought Belal Muhammad as they were both fighting to become a title contender in the Welterweight division of the UFC.

The fight was largely going Leon’s way, with him appearing as the more composed fighter and able to control the octagon, with Belal usually on the backfoot.

Belal likely felt he had opportunities to hit Leon with some big shots and could win the fight with a KO.

Sadly, the fight ended early as Leon Edwards struck Belal with a left jab, likely intended just to cause confusion for Belal, and in doing so, he kept his fingers outstretched for too long, resulting in a very nasty eye poke.

The fight was immediately stopped, and Belal Muhammad was visibly upset during the stoppage.

It seems like he immediately knew that the eye poke was so bad that the doctor in attendance would stop the fight. It seems he was right, as Belal could not continue, and the fight was declared a No Contest.

If a fighter loses sight in one of their eyes for too long of a period, then it is an early stoppage to any fight.

Fighters can’t be allowed to continue with lacking vision in either eye, as it is a huge disadvantage to see punches and kicks coming at your head.

Belal has wanted to run it back since it happened, but it seems that Leon Edwards doesn’t feel like he needs to put himself in a fight again that he was likely to win.

Pride’s naturally curved MMA gloves

The Pride MMA promotion featured an MMA glove that was far different from UFC’s versions, specifically that they had more padding along the back of the hand and into the wrist that caused the top of the hand to lay flat.

Subsequently, the fingers were in a more naturally curved position. With the Pride MMA gloves, it was much harder to splay the fingers wide open and cause eye pokes.

The UFC glove, on the other hand, had this problem until very recently when they unveiled their newer curved glove at UFC 287.

Pride vs UFC MMA glove comparison
Pride vs. UFC’s old MMA glove. Source

The Pride fighting championship sadly closed in 2006 as their primary TV network pulled the rug from under them and forced them to shut with zero TV revenue coming in.

But the Pride gloves are still sought after as an opportunity to improve the gloves in the UFC.

A more naturally curved MMA glove should help reduce eye pokes, as even having your hand outward towards your opponent, your fingers can only be pointing downward.

When a UFC fighter usually spreads their hand out to control their opponent, they can splay out all of their fingers, making it a pokey nightmare for opponents.

Trevor Wittman’s MMA gloves Vs. Conor McGregor’s MMA gloves

Recently, Conor McGregor announced his version of an MMA glove under the McGregor FAST brand.

It seems that, most likely, it is just a bit of publicity and another product to be sold under his ever-expanding brand alongside his MMA workouts app.

The McGregor FAST MMA glove looks to be around a 6oz-8oz glove that is quite a bit different from what you usually see in the UFC.

Most notably, it has a rounded padding over the fist and a slight natural curve which would keep the fingers curled tighter to the palm.

A tighter or more natural curving of the fist means that these gloves would be ideal for someone like McGregor in an actual fight, as he favors his striking more than anything.

But for a big wrestler or ground fighter, like Khabib Nurmagomedov, it could cause more struggle to use his hands efficiently to grab the opponent, grapple, and maintain control over them.

Final word on Wittman’s gloves

So by now, you should know the deal with Trevor Wittman’s MMA gloves. They’re potentially a new step in MMA glove invention.

Trevor wants to bring them into the UFC, but because they are a patented product by Trevor and under his ONX Sports brand, they are unable to make a deal.

For now, it seems like many fighters will still have to suffer the potential of getting poked in the eye due to the more naturally open and grappling-focused MMA glove that the UFC uses.

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