Mixed martial arts, or MMA in short, is a hybrid combat sport that allows a range of techniques and skills to be used in competition. Rightfully known as ultimate fighting after The Ultimate Fighting Championship and the namesake American promotion company, MMA gathers athletes of different disciplines in the octagon – a ring where things can get pretty dangerous. Scratch the pretty, bloody dangerous.

If you also like to live dangerously dramatic head tilt, you may be considering taking up some mixed martial arts classes—if you haven’t already, that is. While you may or may not need prior combat sports experience to practise MMA, you’ll absolutely need a dedicated wardrobe to train and compete. The martial arts may be mixed, but there’s purposefully designed gear for the sport. If you want to excel in the cage, you need sport-specific MMA wear.

What is MMA Attire?

Just as with any other full-contact discipline, ultimate fighting requires technical MMA clothing and accessories for protection, support and performance. Does that mean you can’t wear boxing shorts in MMA? Yes. In boxing, even if you float like a butterfly, you still have both feet touching the ground. That’s why these shorts can often run longer, something that can get in the way of leg kicks in mixed martial arts. To ensure maximum safety and fair competition, there’s a unified set of rules of what you can or can’t wear.



Although male contestants typically fight naked to the waist, you can still wear a fitted tee or tank top during training when the conditions allow it. As for the females, you can wear a fitted crop top, rash guard and/or sports bra with no solid metal clasps or details that can harm the opponent.


Gals and guys unite, MMA sets the politics of pockets aside—no one gets pockets. In addition, no zips, fasteners or external lace-up waistbands are allowed. Depending on whether it’s just another day in the gym or a competition, there might be several other rules or lack thereof. Generally speaking, it’s safe to stick to board shorts, compression shorts and kick-boxing shorts.

Normally, this is where you’d cover the fighter’s shoes, but since MMA athletes compete barefoot, let’s have a word or two about some of the essential pieces of protective gear.


We all know what a boxing glove is, it’s an integral part of a fighter’s ensemble that protects their hands from impact and their opponent from injuries. So, what’s the purpose of MMA gloves? The answer lies in the name of mixed martial arts. As you already know, there’s quite a variety of techniques allowed in the cage, including but not limited to grappling, grabbing and holding. That means that other than protection, MMA gloves should provide flexibility and freedom of movement. That’s why they’re lightweight, minimally padded and open-fingered.


Groin Guards and Chest Protectors

On a competition level, male fighters are required to wear groin guards. This piece of equipment is basically a waistband with added front cup panel for crucial genital protection. Females aren’t allowed to wear groin guards, but they’re required to wear chest protection garments that provide adequate support.

What to Look for in MMA Clothes?

Before you start shopping for the MMA clothes Australia has to offer, it’s wise to know a thing or two about the quality aspects of this type of sportswear, as they can directly affect your performance, comfort and confidence in and out of the ring. Some of the things you should keep an eye out for are:

  • Breathability
  • Moisture management
  • Freedom of movement
  • Fit
  • Durability
  • Versatility

Since this is one of the most physically demanding combat sports, it’s wise to opt for breathable, lightweight materials engineered for the rigours of the cage and ring. You should also consider MMA apparel that employs advanced moisture control technology to keep you dry and comfortable throughout intense rounds and workouts.

The cage has also seen its fair share of flying knees and submissions, so if you’re looking to master these show-stopping strikes, you need clothing that allows for complete freedom of movement. Clothing that moves with you without getting in the way and stays put through stand-up and ground fighting.


Durability is another key factor that shouldn’t be taken lightly. MMA clothing needs to be virtually indestructible to withstand all those strike-and-hit, ground-and-submit attacks. Look for reinforced, double-stitch shorts that can last through hard training and fighting.

As for versatility, it really depends on your own goals and ambitions. If you’re signing up for MMA classes just for the sake of learning some self-defence techniques or getting in shape, there’s no need to get fully kitted out in compression wear. Look for pieces that perform well on the tatami floors, but feel at home in the gym too. Some of these garments are even suitable for casual wear, so you rep your favourite brands and put your love for the sport on display.

Where to Buy Professional MMA Clothes?

Dress like a pro, train like a pro, win like a pro—what you wear matters. If you need inspiration for your next MMA outfit, you can always see what the pros are wearing and steal their look. Most of the top-selling MMA brands like Engage, Hayabusa, RVCA and UFC Venum can be found in your local fight store or online Australia-wide.

A friendly bit of advice, ensure you’re buying from authorised stockists that sell genuine apparel. Similarly to streetwear and everything that’s perceived as cool or on-trend, the MMA market isn’t strange to counterfeit goods. If a certain deal seems simply too good to be true, it probably is.


Closing Thoughts

Now that you know a bit more about mixed martial arts sportswear, it’s time to start building your championship-winning outfit. Oh, and one last thing. While you’re at it, don’t forget to add your personal flair to it. Style and skill—they won’t know what hit them.