Over the years as the sport of MMA evolved, the gear involved in it evolved as well. At the beginning, the rules weren't clear and fighters could bring any kind of outfit to the ring, boxers used to bring boxing trunks(and big boxing gloves), muay thai fighters used to wear muay thai shorts, BJJ and karate fighters used to wear a full gi(with no gloves). Now, years after the beginning not only that fighters understood that one form of martial art isn't enough to survive in the cage, they also found the best apparel for fighting which is only shorts, one of two kinds of shorts: MMA Shorts or Vale Tudo Shorts
MMA Shorts are very similar to board shorts except for a few simple differences:
- For MMA Shorts the closure system is covered by velcro to prevent laces from getting caught in your opponent during grappling.
- Board shorts usually have some kind of underwear beneath the outer layer because it uses for swimming. MMA Shorts donsn't have that.
- Unlike board shorts, MMA shorts should be very flexible so they usually contain split seams and flex panels that make them more flexible and allow better mobility (we'll expand on that later)
- The last difference is that MMA Shorts have no pockets, zippers, buttons, etc... to prevent unnecessary grips and complications during grappling.
MMA Shorts were specially designed to meet MMA needs and were created after the sports evolved. They may come in many different styles, ahould be strong, durable, stretchy and flexible.
Examples of MMA Shorts:
Vale Tudo Shorts looks very similar to compression shorts, but the purpose of those two is completely different.
While compression shorts main job is to keep you body temperature warm, support your muscles and joints and help prevent injury. Vale Tudo shorts are actually made for fighting, they compress against your body so you won't have to worry about anything get caught while grappling, they're extremely flexible and allow 100% mobility. Vale Tudo shorts are much thicker than compression shorts.
Another key difference is that compression shorts usually used as an underwear. Vale Tudo shorts aren't and you may wear underwear beneath it. The Closure for Vale Tudo shorts is usually internal and the drawstring system isn't exposed at all. ValeTudo shorts are usually made out of a mix of polyester and spandex or microfiber to reduce friction with the mat and your opponent. Most Vale Tudo shorts contain cup pocket as well.
Many MMA fighters prefer Vale Tudo shorts over MMA Shorts.
Examples of MMA Shorts:
Factors To Have In Mind When Choosing MMA Shorts
MMA is probably the most physical sport there is, from stand up sparring to groundwork and grappling, your legs are going to move a lot and it's going to be rough, so the main two things you need to look for in fight shorts are flexibility and durability.
If you're getting a pair of Vale Tudo Shorts, don't worry too much about them being flexible. But, if you're planning on getting MMA shorts, there are couple of features that might help you get a feeling of how flexible the shorts are:
1. Flex / Stretch Panels
Many MMA shorts has this feature. Basically, stretch panels are a line of spandex (or other stretchy material) in the crotch area and sometimes on the side, allowing the shorts to stretch further when kicking / grappling without risking any tears and cuts to your shorts.
2. Split Seams
Split seams are a small separation at the bottom of each leg, on the outer side that helps you gain more mobility. It's very useful if you're throwing some high knees to the head or flying kicks.
About your shorts durability, you don't need to worry too much, most of the shorts on the market are doing a pretty good job. The safest bet is to go with is polyester or nylon since they're both are light, strong and dry very fast. The most important part is how to wash them and make them last longer, we'll get there in a second.
How to Wash MMA Shorts?
The first thing you need to do is check the label and see if there are any special instructions. As a general rule of thumb:
- You should always set your washing machine to the lowest temperature available.
- Same goes for the wringing.
- As for the detergent, we recommend pouring no more than 50% of the usual quantity.
- Let it air dry, it should dry real fast if those are good shorts.
- If you do use the dryer, just run one circle and don't use a dryer sheet.
MMA Shorts Price
MMA and Vale Tudo Shorts price range is very wide. The cheapest ones you can get are around $30 and the most expensive ones with all the cool features and designs can get up to $90. The best value for price is somewhere in the middle (around $50-$70) and it depends on personal preferences (mostly style). MMA Shorts are probably the first thing you'll need to get when getting into MMA training. Our recommendation is to get more than one pair, you always need at least one spare pair so you can clean the other one, especially if you're training a lot, the stench is going to be a real trouble if you have just one pair.
This is everything you need to know in order to choose your shorts. Feel free to visit our MMA Shorts Collection & our Vale Tudo Shorts Collection!
If you still have any other questions just ask at the comment section below and we'll make sure to answer all of them!