UFC Without Gloves: Better Or Worse For Safety?

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Do you ever wonder if a UFC fighter could or should compete without wearing protective gloves? Maybe it could be safer for each fighter’s brain health.

The UFC without gloves would be more dangerous because removing gloves would create more surface damage to the face and cause many more hand injuries.

If you’re keen to learn more about why it’s more dangerous, keep scrolling, as I’ll explain all the safety reasons that UFC gloves are used.

Could the UFC be safer without gloves?

Fighting without gloves in the UFC would be too dangerous for both fighters. The lack of protective padding on the knuckles and wrist support might cause severe hand injuries that might cause one fighter’s career to end immediately. Moreover, absorbing a bare-knuckle shot in the face is more painful.

The primary purpose of using a glove is for protection. Removing it will obviously remove that layer of safety. Absorbing a shot to the face will be much more painful. 

A strong enough punch may also break the jaw and the throwers’ knuckle. It’ll be like bone-to-bone contact because the skin layer on the face and knuckles are very thin.

As a result, UFC fights might end early if there are no gloves due to severe injuries. These severe injuries might also end one fighting career and hinder them from earning money or doing what he/she loves. 

Can you fight without gloves in the UFC?

The UFC has a lot of rules that fighters need to follow; one of those rules is to wear a 4 oz MMA glove. Failure to do so will cause the fighter to be removed from the roster. If you plan to remove the glove mid-match, you will be disqualified.

UFC is strict in implementing its rules and guidelines. Before putting on the gloves, UFC fighters must have their hands wrapped and reviewed by the sports commission representative governing the fight.

You can only remove your glove right after the fight. Usually, the act of glove removal inside the octagon after the fight signifies that a fighter is already retiring from the sport. A recent example was UFC 276 when Donald Cerrone retired.

Can you fight without hand wraps in UFC?

You can’t fight without hand wraps in the UFC. But they are especially applied by a professional and are not the same as standard training hand wraps. The UFC provides the wraps and taping to the fighters to ensure that both have the same length and thickness of hand wrapping.

Without the hand wraps, the fist will directly contact the leather glove’s inner lining, which may scrape the knuckle’s skin. The hand wraps are the other half of the fighter’s hand protection aside from the glove.

Is it compulsory to wear gloves in MMA?

If you’re in the UFC, One Championship, and Bellator, it’s compulsory to wear gloves. However, some MMA organizations specialize in bare-knuckle fighting. Fighters only wear a backhand and wrist wrapping.

Wearing a glove in an MMA fight is not always needed depending on what organization you’re under. For example, if you’re a UFC fighter, you must wear an MMA glove in all your fights because it’s a part of their rules and guidelines.

Most MMA promotions govern their rules under the Unified Rules Of Mixed Martial Arts.

However, some fight promotions are now rising where they offer bare-knuckle fights to the audience. Some only wear a thin portion of wrapping on the backhand and wrist for minimum protection around the wrist, but the knuckles remain bare. 

Can you wear Boxing gloves in UFC?

You can’t use Boxing gloves in a UFC fight. In UFC, they use a 4-6 oz MMA glove. This makes it easier for the fighters to secure submission and grab on the opponent than using a bulky Boxing glove. 

Would the UFC be better without gloves?

The UFC without gloves is not the UFC we grew up with. Their gloves somehow became one of their trademarks; red or blue wrist strap and the UFC logo on the backhand. Although, without the gloves, fights will be more gory, satisfying many fans.

UFC has been the pioneer of Mixed Martial Arts promotions. Over the years, they’ve set a lot of trademarks that made them known to all MMA fans. Aside from the octagon, one of their trademarks is their 4 to 6 oz gloves. 

Despite being used by other new MMA organizations, UFC basically birthed the use of MMA gloves we know today. Without the gloves, UFC is not UFC. Removing it from the UFC system is like removing a staple dish from a traditional country.

Bare-knuckle MMA promotions

As the MMA sport grows bigger and bigger, a lot of new MMA promotions have arisen. Some of these are Bare Knuckle MMA promotions that seek to go out of the conventional MMA fighting with gloves.

Organizations like these offer a new touch of MMA that people seem to love. Let’s take a closer look.

Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship

Screenshot of the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship website
Screenshot of BareKnuckle.tv on 15th July 2022. All rights belong to BKFC, using under journalistic fair use, no copyright infringement intended.

Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship is the world’s most famous Bare Knuckle fight promotion. BKFC’s first event was way back in 1889, making it the pioneer of bare-knuckle fight organizations. David Feldman founds the organization.

BKFC has a three-roped circular ring. As the organization grows more prominent, BKFC has managed to absorb former UFC fighters. These fighters are Paige Vanzant, Chris Leben, and Mike Perry. 

Top Dogs Fighting Championship

Screenshot of the Top Dog Fighting Championship website
Screenshot of TopDogFC.ru on 15th July 2022. All rights belong to TDFC, using under journalistic fair use, no copyright infringement intended.

TDFC is a bare-knuckle promotion based in Russia. Here fighters fight in a dirty Boxing style where they can clinch and hold the head of the opponent to land a punch. They have a very small circular ring surrounded by a hay bale.

The audience is also directly standing at the back of the haystack, allowing them to have a better viewing experience. Due to the close distance between the audience and the fighters, sometimes the audience tends to hit their hated fighter when he gets close.

Most fighters wear long, pajama-like pants as their fighting trunks. The only hand support present is a thin wrapping on the backhand down to the wrist.

Gamebred Fighting Championship

Gamebred Fighting Championship is named after and founded by UFC Welterweight Jorge “Gamebred” Masvidal. Before getting into MMA, Masvidal was a famous street fighter who fought with his bare knuckles. He’s closely related to Kimbo Slice’s history.

GFC is a very recent addition to the cluster of bare-knuckle fight options out there, and their early shows are available for replay on FITE TV.

I’ve already independently reviewed FITE TV if you want to know more about it!

GFC follows the rule of a typical MMA bout. However, the only difference is that both fighters fight without gloves. Unlike the UFC, Gamebred FC uses a circular cage, not an Octagon.

Now you should have everything you might want to know about the UFC without gloves. It probably wouldn’t be safer without gloves because the bone-on-bone impact can be lethal to both sides.

Even so, there are a few fighting tournaments without gloves already out there, and surely more are on the rise as ex-UFC fighters are moving to these new promotions for the pay packet available.

What to read next

The UFC without gloves would result in plenty of broken hands and probably be way more gruesome. The debate is still very alive. But what about the level of injuries like broken noses? And there’s more to learn about the octagon floor which might interest you next:

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