Boxing Gloves VS MMA Gloves – Which One Hits Harder

At first glance, the answer to this question might be too obvious. You look at the boxing gloves, and you see what a heavily padded mitten designed to punch people is. On the other, you have a slightly thicker fingerless glove that is used in MMA. 

You might think that the MMA gloves deal more damage as it appears to have less padding, and therefore hits harder. 

On that basis, it seems that we already have the answer to the question. But hold up, in actuality, it is not as simple as that. There are several sizes available for both boxing and MMA gloves, each offering varying amount of padding. As you can see, we will need to go a bit deeper to determine which combat gloves pack the most wallop. 

Difference Between Boxing Gloves and MMA Gloves

boxing gloves

The significant difference is quite apparent, even to the layman. First off, a boxing glove and MMA glove are designed with completely different applications in mind. The boxing glove is all about providing optimum protection for your hands, which means it is completely closed off and covers the entirety of the boxer’s mitts. 

As for the MMA gloves, it takes on the design of fingerless gloves as fighters will you a wide variety of fighting techniques from purely striking disciplines such as boxing and Muay Thai, to grapple-heavy fighting styles such as amateur wrestling and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. 

Having your fingers free allows fighters to apply both striking and grappling techniques while still providing adequate protection to their hands.

Now, let us break down the specific aspects that both gloves have in common and compare their approach for each feature.


The most noticeable difference you will notice between the two types of combat gloves is the amount of padding each has to offer. As can be seen at first glance, boxing gloves provide far more padding and can weigh more than 16-ounces. The reasoning behind this is that since boxers exclusively use their hands during matches, they tend to throw and receive far more punches. 

As for MMA gloves, they tend to be lighter and as such, incorporates less padding. MMA fighters need to be quick and light and having a cumbersome glove can throw off their rhythm. Also, MMA fighters not only throw punches, but feet, elbows, and knees as well. 

Add to the fact that MMA also utilizes grappling-based martial arts which require fighters to be able to grab onto to their opponent. 

Full Gloves and Fingerless Gloves

Another significant difference between boxing and MMA gloves is that boxing gloves cover the entirety of the hand and follows a similar design to that of a robust mitten. MMA gloves, on the other hand, not only has the fingers exposed, but the fingers are also separated just like a traditional glove. The boxing gloves provide more protection, while MMA gloves are designed for flexibility and freedom of movement. 

Hand Wraps

This is another aspect wherein boxing glove, and MMA gloves differ. Boxing gloves and hand wraps go hand in hand. This type of combat gloves provides enough space in its interior to accommodate hand wraps. Having hand wraps is crucial when wearing boxing gloves as it helps reduce friction and keeps everything snug and stable. 

As for MMA, hand wraps are not widely used as the gloves won’t be able to accommodate the extra layer. One aspect that is vital with an MMA glove is that it needs to be compact, which pretty much pushes the probability of being able to use hand wraps out the door. 

Which Type of Glove Hits Harder? 

Now, punching power is not simple to determine as there is a wide variety of factors to consider. In most cases, the answer is subjective to the person who is throwing the punch. The weight of the gloves MAY be a factor in the end as well. 

Boxing gloves tend to weigh between 8 to 12 ounces which depends on the fight contract both parties agreed upon. As for MMA gloves, they usually use the default 4-ounce gloves in all matches. Due to its lighter weight, fighters will be able to throw faster punches with MMA gloves.

Does the higher velocity equate to a harder punch? Yes.

As for the overall mass of the boxing glove, that added weight can also transfer into a harder wallop that can take the person over on the receiving end for quite a loop. On the flipside, MMA glove’s lighter weight can also deliver a jolt of the impact that can cause the light upstairs to shut down in a jiffy. 

To make it simple, we believe that MMA gloves can deliver sudden impact damage while boxing gloves offer damage that accumulates over time.

You should also consider the fact that boxers might have an edge in punching power as that is their primary specialty. Compared to MMA fighters who tend to blend different disciplines, boxers are more well-versed in delivering the most compact and clean punches that maximizes the damage.

There was a test made before that had decorated MMA fighter, Bas Rutten, delivers his best punch wearing both boxing and MMA gloves and another analysis where he hit the specialized heavy bag with his bare fist. Here are the results for that experiment: 

Bare fist managed to deliver almost 370 kilos of force! Which is an almost guaranteed knockout for the recipient (best case scenario) and can even potentially fracture the hand of the person delivering the punch. 

Wearing MMA gloves, Rutten delivered a force of 295 kilos which is also enough to knock anyone without an iron chin out cold. 

With the boxing gloves, the former MMA heavyweight champion clocked 291 kilos of force. Almost identical to the punching power he delivered with an MMA glove but slightly lower. 

So yes, it does appear that MMA gloves can generate the hardest hits due to less padding and its lighter weight. It is almost akin to punching with your bare hands with the exception that you are less likely to shatter your hands after one full-powered swing.

Here’s an interesting tidbit as we part ways, UFC heavyweight fighter, Francis Ngannou, apparently managed to clock in a mindboggling 510 kilos of force using a standard UFC MMA glove. 

Of course, they used a piece of different measuring equipment to the one used with Bas Rutten, but good luck sleeping knowing that someone out there has a punching power similar to that of being hit by a 96-horsepower vehicle.  

This article is made possible by: