MMA is a popular fighting style that requires excellent strength, focus, and training. It also requires the use of the right equipment, including clothing.
While it’s certainly true that you could technically train in any kind of gym or athletic shorts, dedicated fighters and trainers recognize that your best performance comes when you’re using your best resources. The right equipment can bring out your top potential.
Along with some of the top choices in MMA shorts products, we’re also going to discuss what makes them different and more unique than your average athletic shorts so that you know why it’s important to invest in the right attire.
The 5 Best MMA Shorts Compared
This guide covers 10 models which we ranked based on many factors, including materials and durability, adjustability, freedom of movement, style & design, and overall consumer sentiment. The table below puts just the Top 5 side by side for easy comparison.
*Last updated 2020-09-26 at 12:55 / Product Links & Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
MMA Shorts Reviews
Now that you know a little more about the details let’s get into the good part: the best of the best in shorts design. The next section gives you a quick look at some of our favorites with a few details at why we chose them.
1. RDX R7
- Strong grip waistband to keep shorts in place
- Quality, durable fabric
- No elasticity for stretch fit or movement
The RDX R7 MMA shorts are excellent fighting and training shorts that offer a great fit made with quality materials. The side of the shorts features athletic cuts that let you move about freely, whether you’re circling an opponent or delivering a high kick.
The waistband boasts both Velcro and an interlocking drawstring to deliver a secure fit that won’t budge. Not only is the fit quality, but the materials are designed to last with T3 stitching and improved resilience.
Along with durability come anti-microbial and odor-preventing details interwoven in the design. These features make the shorts breathable and more than suitable for a long day of training. They also come in three different color options so fighters can showcase their favorite style.
2. Hypnotik Stereostar V2 Grappling Shorts
- Comfortable and durable materials
- Elastic waistband with drawstring secures shorts and gives users easy on and off access
- No Velcro grip
This hybrid pair of shorts is made from a combination of polyester and spandex, giving its wearers plenty of comfort along with freedom of movement. Along with the fabric comes the unique design that promotes a shorter outer seam and a tailored fit through the hip area to give users excellent mobility.
Meanwhile, the inside has a four-way mesh panel located at the crotch and back the deliver unrestricted movement for comfort and security.
With an elastic waistband coupled with a drawstring, you get a snug, reliable fit guaranteed to stay in place during training and fighting. These shorts lack Velcro in an attempt to eliminate any snagging.
3. Anthem Resilience
- Four-way stretch and slits for freedom of movement
- Materials are durable and fast-drying to long-term use
- Sizing may be off normal measurements
Coming in 31 different color options, any MMA fighter can find a design that matches their unique style with the Anthem Resilience shorts. Made from tear-resistant, fast-drying material, these shorts are built to last through the toughest competitions and most intensive training sessions.
The waistband is secured with two-fold Velcro as well as a drawstring, giving wearers maximum confidence in their gear. With two slits and a four-way stretch crotch, fighters have the best level of movement and can freely use their legs.
These durable shorts are made for performance, comfort, and longevity.
4. Hyabusa Chikara 4 Fight Shorts
- Reinforced waistband includes non-slip waist, drawstring, and Velcro
- Stretch panels and split legs allow full movement
- Fabric can feel a little heavy
The Hayabusa Chikara 4 Fight Shorts are board style shorts that feature a long cut and an enviable design. With a split leg, a stretch panel, and a silicone waistband, these shorts were made to be comfortable. All these features give fighters full range of motion and no resistance to movement.
The reinforced stitching gives you the confidence to perform at your full potential without fear of ripping or tearing. At the same time, you have added security in your coverage with the drawstring and Velcro duo along with the waistband.
These shorts are durable and come in four different color options, allowing you to match your style or your team.
5. RDX R10 Blaze
- Comfortable and flexible
- Excellent stitching is durable
- Very short design and small fit
Made from anti-bacterial treated Polyester, the RDX R10 Blaze MMA Shorts are made to be heavy duty, durable, and hygienic. The breathable material lets fighters give it their all without feeling trapped or heavy.
With excellent T3 stitching, wearers can have confidence in these shorts knowing they won’t tear or rip easily.
The shorts include silicon printing that sticks close to you, leaving nothing for opponents to grab hold of. The waistband stays firm in place using an easy hook-and-loop drawstring closure that is completely adjustable and secure.
With slits on the sides of the legs and micro-stretch fabric, you will have complete freedom of movement as well as comfort with these shorts.
6. Hypnotik GR Competition Shorts
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- Snug and adjustable waist fit
- Tailored fit, short outseam design, and mesh panels give great movement
- No Velcro for backup hold
If you’re a fan of a tailored fit and a shorter outseam, the Hypnotik GR Competition Shorts are a great option. These features along with the four-way mesh panels allow for unrestricted movement during fights and training as well as a reliable fit that will last.
The hybrid design of Polyester and Spandex give you plenty of stretch with all the durability you could need. The waist is comprised of elastic paired with a drawstring for a snug, adjustable fit. Hypnotik utilizes a no-Velcro Grapplefly design to minimize the amount of snag.
7. Hyabusa Kickboxing & MMA Shorts
- Length and slits make movement easy
- Lightweight fabric is durable yet breathable and comfortable
- No Velcro, which some fighters prefer
A wide range of color options is just the start of the great features offered in the Hayabusa Kickboxing Shorts. Made from lightweight yet durable fabric, these mid-thigh shorts give you a wide range of movement by freeing up your legs and featuring side splits.
The shorts come with a hybrid waistband that uses both elastic and a drawstring. Every time you wear them, you get a customized fit that’s sure to stay in place throughout your activities.
Made for comfort, wearing these shorts is never a chore. The lack of Velcro is a positive for some, as well as no use of hardware.
8. Hyabusa Hexagon Fight Shorts
- Waistband reinforced by silicon anti-slip band, Velcro, and a drawstring
- Durable fabric is made to be comfortable, long-lasting, and non-restrictive
- Limited color options and run small
These multifaceted shorts are ideal for a variety of athletic competitions and exercise, but most important, they’re an excellent choice for MMA. The stretch panel design lets wearers experience a full range of movement, while slits on either leg add to this freedom.
Offering a great fit, the waistband hosts a silicon anti-slip feature to hold these shorts in place throughout workouts and fights. Additionally, a Velcro closure encases the drawstrings that allow for adjustability and maximum security.
In short, these things aren’t going anywhere.
Finally, durable fabric and reinforced seams give athletes confidence in this product.
9. Anthem Defiance
- Reinforced waistband for an excellent fit and firm hold
- Quality fabric for best look, moisture wicking, and tear resisting
- No elastic waistband or gripping element
If you’re looking for a pair of shorts that give you full confidence in performance as well as fit, these are sure to do the trick. The Anthem shorts feature not just a Velcro waistband, but a two-fold Velcro waistband paired with a drawstring. The front also adds a non-chaff element for maximum comfort along with its strong hold.
Made specifically for various kinds of fighting, the mid-length style of these shorts along with a four-way stretch crotch gives wearers the highest performance in movement.
At the same time, the fabric is tear-resistant, fast-drying, and made with specially designed prints and logo that don’t crack or peel. Not only do you get optimal performance, but you’ll have the best look.
10. Anthem HELO-X Vale Tudo
- Thick yet lightweight material that can be worn alone
- No need for Velcro, drawstrings, etc. to hold waist up
- Waistband sizing is off
As we discussed earlier, some MMA fighters prefer to perform in compression style shorts. The Anthem HELO-X Vale Tudo shorts are just that.
Made from lightweight compression material, these skin-tight athletic shorts feature flat-lock stitching that expertly holds the design together. This same material is strong and moisture-wicking, providing optimal comfort for wearers in the heat of a fight.
The high-density fabric incorporates a dual-lock waistband that gives the best overall fit. The excellent visual design comes in a variety of options and uses high-tech printing to ensure the design never cracks, peels, or fades.
Guide to Selecting MMA Shorts
Many things set training shorts apart from regular athletic shorts, and it’s vital to pay attention to these aspects and apply them to your purchases. Someone who is just starting out in the sport can find excellent value in this section, while seasoned fighters may recognize important refreshers.
3 Most Popular Types of MMA Shorts
There are three different main types of MMA training and fighting shorts. Each of them has unique traits that serve specific purposes. These styles are board style, hybrid, and Vale Tudo.
While it’s safe to say that every manufacturer will have their own variations on every style, the general idea remains the same across the board. They all have their benefits, so each individual can pick and choose the style that makes them most comfortable and brings out their best performance.
- Board Shorts – Board style shorts are often used in professional fighting within the UFC. Their design is based on traditional board shorts that resemble those used for surfing or even just casual swimming. These shorts have a looser fit and are generally knee length. The waistbands found in board style shorts have elastic, which is a key feature that holds the shorts in place during intensive and fast-paced movement. They also usually have a Velcro strap and a drawstring.
- Hybrid MMA/Kickboxing – Hybrid-style shorts are exactly what one would assume from their name: they are a mixture of features from both the Vale Tudo and board short styles with the goal of achieving the best of both. Hybrid shorts take the compression of Vale Tudo shorts and combine it with the modern board short style. Because these shorts offer both of these aspects, they are known to be practical, flexible, and comfortable.
- Vale Tudo -Vale Tudo style shorts closely resemble compression shorts and pants. They are form fitting and hug your body, which provides room for quicker, freer movements with no chance of your opponent catching and hooking your shorts. While many MMA trainers and fighters enjoy the lack of friction and compressed feeling, some feel uncomfortable with the amount of exposure these shorts portray. For that reason, those who like the compressed feel can purchase shorts that include a cup.
- Materials & Durability – It should come as no surprise that a good, quality pair will be made of strong, resilient materials. MMA fighting is a tough sport that involves high impact, frequent movement, and rigorous contact in a fighting environment. A pair of shorts that rips easily and shows wear and tear after a minimal amount of time simply won’t do the trick. Firstly, the right material should not in any way restrict your range of movement. Second, the material should be comfortable and flexible. The best kind of fabric to look for is poly-directional fabric paired with the use of flexible gussets. Finally, look for reinforced stitching along the seams. This kind of stitching will ensure that your shorts last much longer than cheaply made shorts.
- Freedom of Movement – Flexibility and movement are essential parts of MMA training and fighting. Restrictive clothing only serves to hold fighters back, especially while grappling training vs an opponent or grappling dummy. This is a vital component of any good pair. To accomplish free movement, many shorts use details like stretch panels in the groin area as well as at the side of the leg. With these stretchy pieces in place, athletes are free to move their legs more for actions like kicking and kneeing—both of which are frequent and necessary during MMA fighting and training. Some shorts also have slits on the sides that act similarly to the stretch panels, allowing fighters to move freely. Your definition of freedom of movement will also help you determine which style you choose, i.e., Vale Tudo, board, or hybrid. While some enjoy the looser feel of the latter two, others may find more comfort and freedom in the compression of Vale Tudo shorts.
- Style & Design – When it comes to style and design, it’s about a lot more than the three main styles that these shorts come in. There are varying degrees of differences from company to company that incorporate different ideas and details. For example, consider things like elastic waists, and types of closure. Some shorts may use Velcro, and others use a drawstring, while still more will use both. Elastic waists serve to provide additional hold to keep the shorts in place during movements like training and fighting. A well-designed pair of MMA shorts can also be defined by what they are lacking but in a positive way. The absence of certain features purposefully serves to make them safer and more functional. Your shorts should not have outer pockets where hands and feet can get caught. They should also not have any zippers or metal rings that could inflict cuts or scratches, and any drawstrings should be internal, so they don’t whip around or get caught on you or your opponent.
- Adjustability – We briefly mentioned closure methods earlier. Things like Velcro and drawstrings can make or break their usefulness. Imagine having your shorts pulled down in the middle of a fight or an important training situation. That’s an incident that no one wants to see happen, least of all you. While elastic waistbands that fit properly are an excellent trait to include, you should also look for backup adjustable features that further secure your shorts. Some shorts use Velcro to adjust, and some use drawstrings. As we pointed out before, other shorts include both. These features like you adjust the size of your waist to keep your shorts snuggly fit your body, ensuring you don’t lose them.
When it comes to MMA training and fighting, comfort is key, and mobility is absolutely necessary. If you don’t have these two elements, you don’t have the right equipment.
The above options all feature various elements that make them great. However, one of our favorites has to be the Hayabusa Kickboxing Shorts. These shorts not only feature a mid-thigh design with leg slits that make mobility a dream, but they come in a very wide selection of colors and designs that will suit anyone’s style.
The breathable fabric is durable yet comfortable, while fighters feel secure in the elastic waistband-drawstring duo.
We also love the Anthem Resilience for the four-way stretch material that dries quickly and is tear-resistant. With its two-fold Velcro closure combined with a drawstring, you get a customizable and secure fit every time.
*Last updated 2020-09-26 at 12:55 / Product Links & Images from Amazon Product Advertising API