Best MMA Shorts Fully Reviewed in 2021
You may be compelled to grab any old pair of running shorts for MMA training, but you will find that average shorts just don’t cut it. MMA fighters spend a lot of time rolling around on the floor, which means that average shorts will bunch up or even end up around your knees if they’re not cinched tightly. That’s why investing in a good pair of MMA shorts is essential when it comes to fighting with a partner.
Many are composed of strong and sturdy materials that won’t hinder your full range of motion or bunch up on you. Some are even composed of neoprene for added compression to help circulate blood flow to prevent injury.
In this guide, we have compiled a list of some of our favorite and best MMA shorts from some of the most trusted brands out there on the market to keep you supported.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 7 hrs of research
10 Best MMA Shorts
1. Venum Nogi 2.0
Don’t like the idea of shorts that squeeze the life out of your undercarriage? The Nogi 2.0 fits loosely like a pair of easy running shorts, but they are reinforced with a few key features to hold them in place and allow for a full range of motion. Plus, they are composed of materials that are a cinch to care for.Read more
These MMA shorts are made from 100 percent polyester, which means that you can toss them into the washing machine without the worry of shrinkage. The waistline cinches closed with the help of strong velcro straps with elastic along the side and rear for a super comfortable fit.
Two key features make these easy MMA fight shorts ideal for maximum movement. The crotch is reinforced with lycra so even the most awkward of movements feel easy and natural. It also had deep slits in the side of the thighs to promote 360-degree movement without shifting material bunching up on your leg.
If you are in the market for something that has a loose appearance that still provides a full range of motion, this design from Venum is a great choice. It boasts a sharp style to strike fear in your opponents and comes in a myriad of accessible sizes.
2. Hayabusa Chikara 4
Board short design
Many size options
Not very breathable
Hayabusa is one of the big names in MMA gear, so it’s no surprise they are checking in near the top of our list. These board style shorts are more modest than some of the other styles and boast a loose and easy fit that still promotes a full range of motion. They are offered in a wide range of exciting colors and styles, and sizes that accommodate most fighters.Read more
The very first thing that we noticed about this style from Hayabusa is that it is composed of a thick material that protects your skin from trips to gym mats, and it feels strong and sturdy. The seams are reinforced to prevent splitting, even in some pretty tough training sessions.
Key features help promote a full range of motion while keeping your legs protected. It has slits along the side of the legs for freedom of movement for kicks and rolling around on the mat. It also has stretch panels in the crotch to allow for greater movement without holding you back.
If you are in the market for some MMA training shorts that are a little more modest without hindering your full range of motion, this design from Hayabusa is a great option! It has a silicone no-slip waist that cinches closed with sturdy velcro, and it comes in a wide variety of size options.
3. Anthem Athletics Resilience
Full range of motion
Anthem Athletics is another trusted brand in the MMA world and their Resilience design does not disappoint. It comes in a wide variety of colors not found with other brands, and it’s packed with a myriad of features designed to keep up with even some of your most brutal training sessions.Read more
The very first thing that we noticed is that many of the seam lines are double and triple stitched in areas that see the most strain. The material used is lightweight, and it is considered to be tear-resistant. It also is quick-drying, which means that it wicks sweat away from your body where it quickly evaporates on the surface.
It boasts a high velcro waistline that stays firmly in place while rolling around on the mat, and it won’t dig into your skin. Stretchy materials line the inside of the thigh and the crotch to promote a full range of motion, and just over 80 percent of previous users feel that this design fits perfectly.
One of the most notable features of this design, however, is that it is offered in a wide variety of color options. Designs include green camo, stripes, stars, and even snakeskin. If you want something durable, easy to wear, and unique, you can’t really go wrong with the Anthem Athletics.
4. Fuji Baseline
Simplicity is the name of the game when it comes to the Fuji Baseline. It has a board short design that runs a little higher on the thigh than other similar models. It is offered in a basic black design that rocks a simple logo on the waistband and on the front of the right thigh. These best MMA shorts are lightweight, breathable, and easy. Plus, they won’t hinder your full range of motion in the slightest.Read more
The MMA fight shorts fit a little bit tighter than other longboard short counterparts, but it also means that they won’t bunch up on you during a trip to the mat. The materials used offer 4-way stretch and are incredibly lightweight. It wicks sweat and moisture away from your body and evaporates on the surface of the shorts.
The high waistband cinches in place with quality velcro, which means that they won’t shift around on you when rolling around on the mat. It also has stretchy elastic materials on the side of the thigh as well as on the inner thigh and crotch to promote a full range of motion without bunching up on you.
This design comes in a wide variety of size options that use the measurement of your waistline to create the perfect fit for your frame. It also boasts an internal drawstring to ensure that they fit your body perfectly. The Baseline may not come in a wide variety of colors and designs, but it is tough and durable and goes with just about anything.
Easy to wash
Stiff logo patch
Looking for best MMA shorts that are little more flashy? This design from RDX not only stands out from the crowd but it is also made from quality materials that are really made to move while still offering a loose and easy fit. Plus, it has a waistline that is just a little different from other designs out there on the market.Read more
If you don’t like the idea of velcro waistlines, this option from RDX provides users with a super stretchy and wide elastic waistband that fits super comfortably without digging into your skin. To keep your pants from slipping down to your knees while rolling around on the mat, an internal drawstring holds them securely in place.
These shorts are composed of 100 percent polyester that is lightweight and easy. It has a looser fit than most and provides plenty of room in the groin for maximum movement. This material helps wick sweat away from your body where it can quickly evaporate on the surface to prevent chafing and swampy conditions.
If you are in the market for something that is super comfortable and easy to wear, this design from RDX is a great choice. The biggest difference between this design and other out there on the market is the absence of a stiff velcro waistband that’s replaced with elastic and an internal drawstring.
6. Bad Boy Classic
Easy to wash
If movement trumps look in your book, you may want to give this design from Bad Boy Classic a look. What we liked most about this design is that they fit your body like a second skin that prevents tugging and bunching as you start to really move. It also provides users with slight compression which can actually help prevent injuries and post-training soreness!Read more
These MMA shorts are composed of 60 percent cotton and 40 percent polyester with a slight compression. They fit tightly on your legs like a second skin, which will not limit your full range of motion in the slightest. It comes in two different lengths - super short that drops a few inches below your crotch, and a longer board short design that is a little more modest.
All seams have reinforced stitching to prevent tearing during even the most brutal training sessions. The materials help wick moisture away from your skin where it evaporates on the surface. One thing that we loved about this design is that it is also super easy to toss into the washing machine at the end of the day.
If you are in the market for something that fits tight and provides a little bit of compression, this model from Bad Boy Classic is a great option. It has a sleek and timeless black design and comes in two different cuts for those that want something minimalistic or a little more modest.
The MMA shorts ROAR come in a wide variety of colors and designs while still providing fighters with excellent movement and comfort as well. It is composed of lightweight and easy materials that circulate air and wick sweat away from your body.Read more
These MMA training shorts are made of a micro-stretch fabric that fits a little loosely on your legs and provides an excellent range of motion. It boasts a high waist velcro closure with an internal drawstring to find that perfect fit.
The model comes in a wide variety of colors and design options. While basic black is an option for something that wants something a little less flashy, there are a ton of other designs to select from. Styles include dragons, tigers, stripes, check, as well as basic solid colors.
For those in the market for something that has a simple design that performs well under pressure, this is a great option. It comes in a ton of fun and unique colors to strike fear in your opponents, but a basic black is still an option as well.
Fits as expected
Hate the idea of stiff and unforgiving velcro around your waste? What users love most about this design from Gold is that it has a light and easy waistband that holds in place without digging into your skin. Plus, it is composed of lightweight and easy materials for a comfortable fit with maximum movement.Read more
The materials used for these MMA fight shorts are incredibly stretchy and lightweight. What users love most about this fabric is that it is super breathable. Many moisture-wicking shorts often feel heavy or hot, but this easy design from Gold keeps air moving to keep you cool and comfortable.
The fabric used also offers 4-way stretch so it will not hinder your full range of motion. It comes in a wide range of sizes which ensure that you can find the perfect fit for your frame. The only downside to this model is that it doesn’t come in many colors or designs and it is only offered in basic black.
If you are in the market for something that is simple and comfortable, these best MMA shorts from Gold are your best bet. They come in at an affordable price point, and fighters feel that they are super comfortable as well as easy to care for at the end of the day.
9. Epic MMA Gear
Don't like the idea of overbearing logos or loud designs and colors? It doesn’t get any more simple than this model from Epic MMA Gear. It boasts a basic black design without any logos or designs anywhere on the exterior. Plus, it is composed of materials that provide a comfortable fit without limiting your full range of motion.Read more
The very first thing that we noticed is that it has smart designs in the legs to promote easy movements. Long slits in the side of the legs prevent the fabric from bunching up as you roll around on the mat. It also has stretch material that runs on the inside of the legs and crotch to allow for 360-degree movements.
The waist is held in place with a double layer of velcro to ensure that they fit securely to your waist and won’t slip down over your knees as you move on the ground. It has triple stitching along all of the seam lines that won’t tear or rip with exaggerated movements, and it is also incredibly easy to toss into the washing machine.
If you are in the market for best MMA fight shorts that are incredibly simple but has a lot of smart design features to help you fight at your very best, this style from Gold is a really great option. They come in at a super affordable price point.
10. DEFY Xtreme
These MMA shorts from DEFY Xtreme allow fighters to get the best of both worlds: style and function. The board shorts stop short just at the top of the knee and are composed of heavy-duty materials to keep your skin protected. It also has smart design features to promote a full range of motion without sacrificing comfort.Read more
The very first thing that we noticed about this design was the length. It comes down just above the knees, but well-placed cuts in the fabric will not limit your ability to move. It has long slits on the side of the leg that prevents the fabric from bunching as you roll around on the mat.
While it doesn’t come in a wide variety of designs, the style of these MMA training shorts looks sleek and professional. It comes in a basic white color that is accented with black lines and stitches. It also boasts a mesh panel along the sides to promote air circulation and wicks moisture away from your body. It also has a stretch panel that runs along the inside of the thigh and crotch for maximum movement.
This model comes in at an affordable price point while still offering all of the advanced performance details of some of the more expensive designs. With such a low price point, there is little reason not to give this option a try!
Criteria Used for Evaluation
The right materials can make all of the difference in the world. While you want to remain comfortable, you also want your gear to be just as functional.
Various brands utilize a few different materials, and we wanted to go into a little bit of detail about the pros and cons of the various materials used.
Polyester gets a bad reputation in casual wear, but it’s a great material for workout gear. What makes polyester ideal is that it is incredibly durable, and allows for a good deal of movement. It moves when you move and actually helps wick sweat away from your body. Plus it’s super easy to toss into the washing machine without the worry of shrinkage or losing shape.
The only downside to polyester is that it isn’t very breathable, and you may start to overheat a little bit. While it does wick away sweat, you still may find it to be incredibly hot, albeit dry.
What we like about cotton is that it is incredibly flexible and promotes a full range of motion. Cotton is an incredibly durable fabric, and it feels soft and breathable when worn against your skin. You can wash it frequently without it losing shape (just be sure to steer clear of hot water).
When it comes to optimal movement, you can’t really go wrong with lycra. Lycra is typically only used in panels where movement is super important. We loved brands that included lycra panels along the inside of the thigh and in the crotch.
The downside to lycra is that it isn’t very breathable. That’s why brands often use lycra in a small amount to prevent your body from overheating, as well as trapping moisture against your skin that promotes chafing.
Small features can be a real game-changer. This gear is generally minimal, but small design features can make all of the difference in the world.
We wanted to tell you more about small features that can make a big difference.
Outside pockets are rare and generally prohibited from competitions or most matches. However, sometimes you just need to carry small items on your person! We love brands that offered small inside pockets to make things a little bit more convenient.
Many fighters use these pockets to hold things such as mouth guards. While you won’t need to wear them all of the time, you don’t really want to place something you put in your mouth on a dirty bench or even the floor! A small pocket is a perfect place to stash your guard without getting it dirty.
It’s super important that these shorts be securely cinched to your waist. Velcro straps help keep them in place, but you don’t want velcro to be so tight that it cuts off circulation. That’s where drawstrings come into play.
Gear that uses drawstrings allows the users to cinch it to their body frame to fit tight but not too tight. The velcro acts as a second line of defense to keep these shorts from riding down or shifting around as you start to train.
The great thing about lateral slots is that it allows fighters to wear gear that is a little baggy without limiting a full range of motion. Many brands utilize slits along the side of the thigh to allow for high kicks without the fabric bunching on them.
Another benefit of lateral slots is that it accommodates various sizes of athletes. If you have killer thighs that could crush a walnut, you may have trouble finding baggy gear that fits your killer frame. Lateral slots not only extend your range of motion but the accommodate more shapes and sizes of fighters as well.
Breathable materials keep you light on your feet and dry as a bone. There is nothing worse than sweating and chafing in places that you would rather not chaff.
That’s why it’s super important to select materials to let air flow freely to prevent things from getting swampy and unpleasant.
So, what makes a fabric breathable? Materials, such as cotton, are considered to be porous, which means air is allowed to move through the fibers of the fabric. Selecting styles with cotton blends will help keep your undercarriage happy and dry.
Materials such as lycra are not known for their breathability. Lycra is important to enhance your full range of motion, but it’s important to use it sparingly. That’s why we preferred brands that placed lycra only in places that it’s needed. Most brands opt for lycra panels on the base of the thigh, and on the inside of the thigh as well as the crotch.
Staying comfortable will help keep you sharp and on the top of your game. When selecting designs for our list, we wanted to make sure that we picked styles that were functional as well as comfortable.
There are a few key features that we kept in mind to ensure that your shorts are something that you would actually want to wear.
First of all, we checked out what previous users had to say about the fit and comfort of each item we selected. If there were an overwhelming number of users that felt that it just didn’t fit quite right or was hot and uncomfortable, we would move on to a different selection.
A proper fit is also important for ultimate comfort. We made sure that we featured brands that provided users with plenty of sizes to select from. Styles got bonus points in our book if they offered sizes in measurements of the waistline instead of a vague small, medium and large sizing options.
Comfortable material is another thing that we kept in mind. Styles that use blends of cotton and polyester are typically more comfortable when worn against your skin. Cotton and polyester fabrics are super lightweight and wick sweat away from the body to keep your cool and dry.
It’s important that your gear can hold up to all of your tough training sessions.
Not only does your MMA shorts need to be able to handle sparring with a formidable opponent, but it also needs to be able to withstand a trip around the washing machine.
No one likes to wash gear by hand. Even if the label clearly states that a garment is hand washed only, most of us throw it in the washing machine anyway! That’s why we wanted to select styles that were tough enough to withstand a trip around the washing machine.
The styles that we selected for our list of best MMA shorts can be washed in cool water with gentle detergent, but be sure that you skip the dryer! Exposing these blends of polyester and lycra to a hot dryer causes the fabric to shrink up and lose shape.
Be sure to hang out garments in a well-ventilated area out of direct sunlight to prevent fading. If you follow the simple care instructions, there is no reason that your clothes won’t last for years of training.
Another thing we considered to ensure that each product that we selected for our list was durable was the stitching. These shorts take quite a beating while training, and the last thing that you want is for them to fall apart at the seams. That’s why we selected products that were double or even triple stitched to ensure that a trip to the mat doesn’t cause your shorts to rip at the seams.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Worried about injuries or sore muscles? Older fighters or newbies can benefit a great deal by option for compression shorts. Compression works by sending increased blood flow to the muscles in your legs. By warming the affected muscles, you reduce the risk of injuries, and it can even prevent you from becoming sore the next day! Plus, they fight tightly to provide a full range of motion and won’t bunch up or shift around as you move.
Velcro waistbands may seem uncomfortable and strange for workout gear, but they serve a very specific purpose. If your pants are securely affixed to your waistline, you run the risk of them shifting around or even falling down around your knees as you fight with a partner on the ground. A velcro waistband keeps your shorts securely in place.
There is more than one design that fighters wear when stepping into the ring. If you are reluctant to show a little bit of skin, board shorts may be a great option for your personal style. Typically, this style falls just short of the top of your knees and is finished with lateral slots on the side of the thighs that will not hinder your full range of motion.
Other Factors to Consider
The style of your gear needs to strike fear into your opponents! Whether you like simple black shorts or want something that sends a message, we wanted to select brands that gave you a lot of options. Another thing we also wanted to keep in mind is the cut of the shorts as well.
There are a few different cuts that fighters can choose. If you hate the idea of super tight fabrics that leave little to the imagination, fear not! Board shorts are a super popular design right now, and they fit loose and easy without bulky fabrics getting in your way. They typically come down just above the knee (which protects your skin when you hit the mat hard), and lateral slots allow for a full range of motion.
If you want something that fits like a second skin, compression styles are the way to go! These designs fit tight against your skin, so you won’t have to worry about snagging fabrics or shifting waistlines.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Can't I just wear running shorts?
Running shorts are great for most sports, except for fighting. While they are comfortable and loose, there are a few design features of your basic running shorts that do not translate well in the ring.
First of all, they boast a loose waistband that shifts around a lot. This design feature may work well when casually jogging around the neighborhood, but it’s not going to do you any favors while in the ring. When rolling around on the floor with a partner, these shorts may find themselves wrapped around your ankles if not properly secured.
Your basic running shorts might not offer you the full range of motion you need when sparring in the ring. These designs are all reinforced with specific stretchy design features made to maximize your movement where you need it most in the thighs and crotch areas.
q: What's the most important feature?
Above all else, movement is key. When conducting our research for the best possible designs out there on the market, we made sure to select designs that were made with materials that were meant to move.
Lycra or spandex panels in the crotch are a great way to add movement without loose and heavy fabrics. We loved models that included a lycra panel that started at the crotch and ran down the inside of the thigh.
Slits along the bottom of the thigh are another great design feature to keep your range of motion unencumbered without the fabric bunching. It also helps to keep your legs cool and comfortable as you start to sweat.
What is important all boils down to a matter of personal preference. If you like your shorts to be lightweight and breathable, cotton and polyester blends may be better for your needs. If movement and protection are important, you may be better off with gear that offers a bit of compression.
q: What are some of the benefits of MMA compression shorts?
Some MMA shorts out there on the market offer users slight compression while in use. So, what are the benefits of compression shorts, and do you need to wear them? Older fighters or newbies often benefit the most from compression shorts for a few reasons.
First of all, they promote blood flow to your legs as you train. Increased blood flow heats up those big muscles that you use as you fight, which can actually help prevent injuries from occurring. By keeping blood pumping to your muscles, it can actually help you from getting as sore the next day as well!
Compression designs fit tightly and feel like a second skin. This prevents your pants from bunching and pulling at your skin and fully enhances your full range of motion.
It’s important to note that compression isn’t for everyone. These designs fit very tightly, which leaves little to the imagination when you wear them. If you don’t like the idea of super tight garments, board shorts may be more up your alley.
q: Are MMA training shorts easy to wash?
Washing instructions always depend on the type of materials used for each design. Be sure to consult your washing instructions to the letter to prevent bleeding, fading, shrinking, or losing shape.
Most of the models that we selected for our list are composed of a blend of cotton, polyester, and spandex. The most important thing to keep in mind when caring for your shorts is that you should never expose them to any heat sources. This doesn’t mean, however, that you have to skip the washing machine.
When we wash out shorts, we like to toss them in with the rest of our workout gear with gentle washing detergent and set the washing setting to cool water. Once your cycle is complete, be sure to skip the dryer!
Be sure to hang your gear in a well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight. The good news is that these garments dry super quickly, so you won’t have to wait too long before they are completely dry and ready to wear.
To extend the life of your gear, it’s important to take proper care of it. Be sure to toss them into the washing machine after each and every training session! Sweat and bacteria love to collect on the surface of these garments, which may weaken the materials over time. If you wash them regularly and steer clear of heat sources, they will last you for years of continued use!
q: Why do most MMA shorts have velcro waistbands?
When it comes to comfortable waistbands, you probably aren’t thinking about velcro. Velcro has a history of being super stiff, and can sometimes even hinder your full range of motion. So, why does it seem that all of the big brands opt for velcro waistbands?
MMA fighters are all over the place, whether you are bouncing around the ring or rolling around down on the mat. If your pants aren’t securely fastened to your waistline, you run the risk of your shorts falling down below your knees. It’s hard to focus on the fight when the world suddenly sees your choice of underwear that day.
Plus, when your shorts start to shift down to your knees, you can become caught up in the fabric and lose your edge against your opponent. That’s why most fighters opt for MMA shorts that fasten securely in place with velcro. We know, it sounds a little constricting, but the benefits far outweigh the downsides.
Be sure to shop for styles that have a higher waistband so it won’t restrict your range of motion too much. Higher waistlines won’t pull on your joints as you start to bend and move and they feel more secure overall.