I know, shorts are just shorts, right? Many people think that way — and I used too — when it comes to MMA fighting, believing that they can get away with training with baggy basketball shorts or flimsy gym shorts.
Well, if you’re among those people, you couldn’t be more wrong.
Key Factors in Buying MMA Shorts
Let’s start with what makes best MMA shorts worthy of you stepping into a ring or gym with them on your body.
Sans Outside Pockets
First, if you plan on grappling, your shorts shouldn’t have any outer pockets that could possibly snag your opponents’ fingers or toes, causing them to bend in ways not anatomically possible.
No Eye Loops and Zippers
Next, your shorts should not have an eye loop and an outer draw string, plus a zipper that could scratch, cut and cause an unfortunate gash on your opponent’s body. Leave the damage up to your fists, knees, and feet, just like God intended.
Full Range of Motion
Now that we have your opponent’s safety at heart covered, let discuss the most important aspect of quality shorts: good range of motion.
Just think of how difficult it would be for you to unleash kicks and knees on your foe if your shorts were restrictive.
In addition, it will limit the ability to drop down to the ground at a moment’s notice, hindering your ability to fight well. A loss in action or reaction time can be the difference between the thrill of victory or the agony of defeat. Oh, the pain!
While sporting flexibility and breathability, your shorts will need the ability to withstand a beating (pun intended) and bounce back to normal session after grueling session.
MMA shorts are among the most comfortable shorts you’ll ever have the pleasure of putting on your body. This is because there aren’t any extras such as any annoying pockets, zippers or buttons that will weigh you down and cause any type of discomfort. Just make sure that they snug your body (without constricting movement) and will stay on during the most intense heated moments of battles.
As far as staying on, your shorts should only have an inner drawstring, not outer ones, to help you secure them to your body while not causing any bodily injury to your foe.
Compression vs. Classic Style MMA Shorts, Which Ones Should I Wear?
This is a common question MMA competitors ask all the time. They both have its benefits.
- Compression shorts are hard for your opponent to pull down, whether it’s on purpose or accident.
- Compression shorts are better for muscle recovery as it increase body heat.
- Compression shorts cutdown on mat burn and may prevent ringworm and staph infections, such as Mercer, or MRSA, which can be a very serious or life-threatening.
- Compression shorts offer better cup placement and security.
- Lighter and more breathable, lending itself to better ventilation and less overheating during training and fighting sessions.
- Baggy shorts give your opponent more material to grab, possibly giving him or her an advantage in the ring/and or on the mat.
- Less cup stability, as you’ll need to wear an athletic supporter.
However, some MMA combatants wear both styles. This is up to the individual. You’ll have to see for yourself to determine which you prefer.
Top 14 Best MMA Shorts
Bad Boy Full Guard Compression Short and (Inner Cup) Pocket
These shorts are one of my favorites on the list, for the mere fact that, unlike other compression shorts that have regular cup placement and support, these ones come with a built in cup holder. Brillant, to say the least!
Plus, they’re made with an 85 /15 percent nylon-spandex blend for better expandability.
Additionally, the flat seems and knit waistband reduce skin rubbing, cutting down on painful chafing.
Our Rating: 9.50 out of ten.
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Meister MMA Compression Rush Fight Shorts with Cup Pocket
The Meister MMA Rush Fight Shorts are another high quality pair of compression shorts, made with several cool features.
For starters, the shorts come with an inner cup pocket with a velcro closure that will fit nearly any cup. Very nice feature, indeed.
Wearing a cup that fits right is important if you value your manhood, and I think you do? Do you? Enough said.
Secondly, there’s the shorts’ premium, four-way stretch polyester/spandex material combination, allowing for fantastic overall body movement.
Next, the smooth, flat, double-stitched interlocking seams gives the shorts long lasting toughness and durability, and the anti-odor fabric wicks moisture away from your body while controlling body temperature, keeping you from overheating, and possibly dehydrating.
Arguably the most important factor, to me, at least, the compression aspect, with an elastic waistband, allows for a comfortable, secure fit, keeping your favorite manly parts in place .
These shorts also wear excellent without a cup, but I wouldn’t recommend it.
What People are Saying: Amazon customers have rated it with four stars, with 150 ratings.
Our Rating: 9.25 out of ten.
- Premium 4-Way Stretch polyester/spandex material. Smooth, flat, double-stitched interlocking seams
- Anti-odor fabric wicks moisture and controls body temperature
- Compression fit w/ elastic waistband for a comfortable, secure fit
- Inner Cup Pocket w/ velcro closure will fit nearly any cup. These shorts also wear excellent without a cup
- Wear either Alone or under Board or Thai Shorts
Meister MMA Crown Vale Tudo Fight Shorts
These shorts possess a sturdy lycra microfiber build and double-stitched for lasting wear and performance.
If your style includes both dropping to the floor and staying upright to exchange blows, the Meister MMA Crown Vale Tudo Fight Shorts are Ideal for you; it’s both excellent for stand-up exchanges and grappling, as its sleek shorts material won’t grab the mat.
Other quality features include: Low-profile waistband and leg cuffs which provide a seamless look, a flawless fit – shorts conform to your body lines and angels; and an inner drawstring for the option to secure waist tighter if so desired.
What People are Saying: Amazon customers give it four and quarter stars, with 39 ratings.
Our Rating: Nine out of ten.
- Sturdy Lycra Microfiber build & double-stitched for lasting performance
- Ideal for both Grappling and Stand-Up - Sleek material won't grab the mat
- Low-profile waistband and leg cuffs provide seamless look
- Flawless Fit - Shorts conform to your body lines
- Inner Drawstring for the option to cinch waist tighter
Venum Sharp 2.0 Fight Shorts
On looks alone, these Venum shorts are the real deal in the unforgiving MMA fight game.
But that’s not all. The Venum Sharp 2.0 Fight Shorts are made with a polyester micro fabric, ultra-lightweight and built-to-last material, and are enhanced with a sidewinder cut to improve your striking and kicking power without any restrictions.
Add in the speed grip for easier and faster adjustment of your fight shorts, and a pro-engineering flex-system – with a four-way stretch fabric – to extend your range of movement, and what you have is a top quality pair of shorts.
To top it off, there’s the velcro closure with an internal drawcord waist to ensure a secure and customized fit, bar none.
What People are Saying: Amazon customers have rated it with four and quarter stars, but with just six rating thus far.
Our Rating: 9.25 out of ten.
- Polyester micro fabric: ultra-lightweight and built to last material
- Fast drying properties: facilitates the sweat espace and deliver a better moisture management
- Side winder cut to improve your striking power without restriction, Pro-engineering Flex-System - with a 4-way stretch fabric - to extend your range of moves
- T-shaped Velcro closure with internal drawcord waist to ensure a secured and customized fit
- Speed Grip closing system for an easier and faster adjustment of your fight shorts, Reinforced seams for unparalleled lifespan
Anthem Athletics HELO-X Vale Tudo Compression Shorts
First, these compression shorts are made from lightweight, ultra-strong, moisture-wicking, compression material. This means more mobility, longer lasting life, and cooler, drier skin.
Secondly, the multi-panel construction, high-density flat-lock stitching, and innovative dual-lock waistband provide an optimal fit and long-lasting durability, second to none.
To preserve the shorts cool look, it’s made with fully-sublimated graphics and logos that will never crack or peel, making it look older than it really is.
Furthermore, the Anthem Athletics Helo-X Tudo shorts are optimized for the highest level of athletic performance in BJJ, MMA, catch wrestling, no-gi, and submission grappling.
What People are saying: Amazon customers give a four-star rating, with 33 ratings.
Our Rating: 9.25 out of ten.
- Made from lightweight, ultra-strong, moisture-wicking, compression material
- Multi-panel construction, high-density flat-lock stitching and innovative dual-lock waistband for optimal fit and durability
- Fully-sublimated graphics and logos that will never crack or peel. Optimized for the highest level of athletic performance in BJJ, MMA, catch wrestling, no-gi, and submission grappling
- Train and compete in style. The Anthem Athletics Helo-X signature compression series includes Rashguards, Grappling Spats and Vale Tudo shorts. All products sold separately.
- Waist Sizing: Small (30"), Medium (32"), Large (34"), X-Large (36"), XX-Large (38"). For larger or more muscular legs / hips, and/or if your waist measurement is between sizes, please order the next size up (for example, 35" waist should order X-Large 36").
MRX MMA Training UFC Shorts
These MRX MMA Training UFC shorts are outfitted with a drawstring tie, and with an advanced hook and loop closure that ensures a solid fit that won’t allow the shorts to slip when the fighting reaches a fever pitch and becomes challenging beyond belief.
Built for butt kicking, these training shorts are made for combatants looking for a greater range of motion in their fighting abilities, without hindrance from the clothes they are wearing.
Additionally, these fighting shorts feature 100 percent microfiber material that provides an extra stretch in the crotch and thigh areas, with the advanced slide split, T3 stitching and stretch panel with four-way material that permits extra freedom for lethal kicking movements.
Added bonuses include a range of vibrant colors (blue and black, red and white, red and black, and black and silver/gray) at an affordable price.
Our Rating: 9.25 out of ten.
- Built to Fight: These shorts are made for fighters looking for an extended range in their fighting abilities, without hindrance from the clothes they are wearing.
- Quality Stretch Materials: These shorts feature 100% micro fabric material that provides and extra stretch in the crotch and thigh areas.
- Advanced Closure: The advanced hook and loop closure ensure a solid fit that won't slip when the fighting gets though.
- Extremely Flexible: An advanced slide split, T3 stitching and stretch panel wit 4 way material gives extra freedom fork kicking movements.
- Premium Logos: All logos are done via a high-quality screen printing and embroidery process.
Sanabul Essential MMA BJJ Cross Training Workout Shorts
Sanabul Essential fits all the major requirements to get you started on your eventful MMA journey. They’re highly functional, form fitting, and a name recognized across the globe.
In addition, they’re designed to let you perform at your best any day of the week.
These shorts are less baggy with open seams and the four-way stretching gives you more range of motion and keeps fabric from getting caught in your opponent’s limbs, fingers and toes.
Your foe will thank you after you kick his or her tail in a fair manner, of course.
Moverover, they’re built to last, as the reinforced stitching and seam protection will keep your shorts from easily tearing. Plus, the antimicrobial feature means they’ll stay dryer and cleaner over the long haul.
You can count on them staying on you, too: A secure hook and loop closure system keeps these firmly in place, even after hours of diligent, continued mat and gym combat use.
And just for argument sake, if you’re not sure of its top quality, Amazon has Sanabul Essential shorts rated at four and a quarter stars, with 565 customers ratings.
Our Rating: 9.25 out of ten.
- Just What You Need: Sanabul Essentials check all the boxes to get you started. Highly functional, form fitting, and a name recognized around the world
- Fit Right In: Regular shorts stick out like a sore thumb in the gym, and don’t perform well during grappling. Our classic, uncluttered style and iconic Sanabul logo can be worn confidently on your first day, or when upgrading to a cleaner look
- Designed to Perform: Less baggy with open seams and four way stretching gives you more range of motion and keeps fabric from getting caught in limbs
- Built to Last: Reinforced stitching and seam protection will keep your shorts from easily tearing. Antimicrobial treatment means they stay dryer and cleaner
- Not Going Anywhere: A secure hook and loop closure system keeps these firmly on you, even after hours of hard use
Hayabusa Chikara 4 Fight Shorts
These knee length (long cut) fighter shorts provide ultimate comfort and unlimited range of motion, featuring a split leg stretch panel, reinforced seams, silicone waistband with inner drawstring and velcro closure for a secure fit, allowing you to deliver seamless kicks while staying firmly on your person.
The Hayabusa Chikara Fight Shorts’ triple-stitched and perma-pressed seams lie flat so you can wash them over and over again without giving them that tired, wear-and-tear look.
What People are Saying: Amazon customers give it a four and a half star rating, with 35 ratings so far.
Rating: 9.0 out of ten.
- Board style Pro fight short (long cut), engineered to look sharp and last through the toughest training sessions or fight night.
- Our knee length fighter short provides maximum comfort and unlimited range of motion (agility) featuring split leg, stretch panel (flex), reinforced seams, silicone waistband with drawstring and velcro closure.
- Colors: include Black, Blue, Grey, and Red, Sizes: Small (30”), Medium (32”), Large (34”), X-Large (36”), XX-Large (38”)
- Our gear is designed for you to engage in the the toughest training sessions: Mixed Martial Arts, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Wrestling, Weight Lifting, CrossFit, OCR, Spartan Race, Tough Mudder, wod, boxing, nogi, buakaw, striking, grappling, fitness class or running these shorts are perfect for any workout.
- Connect with the warrior or gladiator within you
Sprawl MMA Fusion 3 Series Fight Shorts
These cool shorts have a special feature, as the material will repel blood, sweat and saliva, and the nefarious germs that come with them, away from the lower half of your body. That cool-techy aspect makes a simple towel wipe of the shorts so much easier to clean while you’re training.
They’re also made with an advanced lightweight, four-way stretch fabric for greater comfort and range of motion for devastating kicks.
Last but not least, the Sprawl MMA Fusion 3 Series shorts also adjust a full size up or down in the waist, so you can reduce weight for a fight and rehydrate and still fit the same pair, if you so desire.
And if you decided to gorge after the fight, these shorts have your back. How’s that for convenience? Not bad at all.
Rating: Nine out of ten.
- Latest Sprawl shorts for 2015 !!
- Sweat and blood repellent
- Advanced lightweight 4-way stretch fabric
- Quality MMA SHORTS - Long Life
- fusion of the most advanced features, fabrics and technology
Hayabusa Kickboxing MMA Shorts
These shorts are very light, sans bulky hardware and constructed with a lightweight fabric for an almost absent feeling, allowing for free kicking movements while circling about the ring or mat.
But don’t fret, as Hayabusa Kickboxing MMA Shorts do come with an internal drawstring and an elastic waistband that keeps them from falling while grappling, sparing you a measure of ridicule and embarrassment at the gym or dojo.
Rating: 9.0 out of ten.
- These can be used as boxing shorts or MMA shorts and they are highly regarded as some of the best fight shorts on the market today.
- Colors include black, blue, grey, and red fight shorts.
- Ultra-Lightweight, zero hardware or velcro makes these the most comfortable short you will ever have.
- Hybrid elastic waistband and drawstring ensures a custom and secure fit.
- Mid-thigh kickboxer cut with side-split design ensures unrestricted range of motion.
Roar MMA Boxing Shorts
These shorts are specially designed with high quality micro stretch fabric that is soft and lightweight for optimal maneuverability. Add in the multiple flex panels and your mobility just increases to new levels.
But with some MMA shorts, as you movement picks up speed, you have to worry about other parts of your lower anatomy relocating more than you prefer.
However, the hybrid adjustable strap closure, plus an internal drawstring helps reduce manly shifting, leaving you to focus on the opponent before you.
Additionally, the shorts’ industry’s finest T-3 stitching promises a long-lasting product that will stick around through your endless days and nights of tough training.
Rating: 9.25 out of ten.
- ROAR Shorts are specially designed w/ high quality micro stretch fabric soft & light weight.
- Hybrid adjustable strap closure plus an internal drawstring to reduce shifting, Multiple flex panels for excellent mobility.
- Industry’s finest T-3 stitching promises a long-lasting product that will stick around through endless training.
- Stretchable sublimated mid-thigh panel helps keeping opponent from escaping & aloow more kicking freedom to the fighter.
Diamond MMA Compression Shorts (with Built-in Jock Strap Supporter with Athletic Cup Pocket for Sports)
The Diamond MMA compression jock with built-in cup pocket is the ultimate in groin protection for high-impact sports such as MMA, and does so without sacrificing vital comfort.
Tailored by award-winning designers and Stanford University engineers, the system has been approved by general doctors and urologists as the best groin protection on the market.
Therefore, the beauty of these shorts is that in can be used in any other athletic pursuit in which manhood protection is the utmost importance to you.
Plus, the shorts are made from military grade elastics and premium construction, for toughness and mobility, and are made in the good ole United States of America, to boot.
What People are Saying: Amazon customers give it a four and a quarter stars, with 48 ratings.
Our Rating: 9.0 out of ten.
Recommended: The Diamond also sells a MMA Athletic Cup, which incorporates a co-molded elastomer design coupled with a polycarbonate core to provide uncompromising comfort and protection for the warrior athlete in all of us.
- The Diamond MMA compression jock with built in cup pocket is the ultimate in groin protection for high-impact sports and delivers the most effective groin protection without sacrificing comfort.
- Made from military grade elastics and premium construction, the Diamond MMA groin protection system leverages a high performance 4-strap jock system to hold a specially designed athletic cup in place within a perfectly tailored cup pocket. This patent pending system prevents both lateral and vertical movement of the cup. The Diamond MMA system has a drawstring providing a custom fit.
- The Diamond MMA Athletic Cup (sold separately) incorporates a co-molded elastomer design coupled with a polycarbonate core to provide uncompromising comfort and protection for the athlete.
- Designed by award winning designers and Stanford University engineers, the system has been approved by Doctors and Urologists as the best groin protection on the market. Diamond MMA products are used by professional athletes worldwide without sponsorships.
- Proudly designed and manufactured in the United States.
Nike Women’s Pro Five-inch Shorts
Here’s one for the ladies:
While it’s good for multiple sports, this is solid for MMA use.
When it comes to a secure fit and comfort, Nike Women’s Pro Five-inch shorts feature an elastic closure, a flat, elastic waistband, and Dri-FIT technology that also helps keep you sans any annoying moisture.
In addition, the shorts have a mesh insets which provides added breathability.
Style-wise, the waistband can be worn with a flat front, or rolled over to reveal “NIKE PRO” in the back.
The shorts’ finch-inch inseam offers ample lower body coverage without restricting mobility.
What People are Saying: Amazon customers give it a four and a quarter rating, with 52 ratings.
Rating: 8.5 out of ten.
- Dri-FIT fabric to wick sweat away and help keep you dry and comfortable
- Elastic waistband for a snug, comfortable fit
- Lined gusset and ergonomic seams for enhanced range of motion
- Flat seams to help minimize irritation caused by chafing
- 5" inseam based on size medium
Hayabusa Metaru Charged Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and MMA Shorts
These BJJ and The Best MMA shorts were created specifically for all no-gi practitioners.
Just so you know: No-Gi is a form of grappling within the realm of BJJ. It is a combat sport that focuses on clinch and ground fighting with the goal of placing your opponent into submission.
As for in-ring or mat performance, the stretch panels permit uninhibited freedom of movement with an incredible level of comfort during any type of sparring session/training or BJJ match, in which you’re doing your best to tapout your foe.
Add in the optimal performance fit with the hardware-free (zipper, loopholes) waistband, and you’re set for either a perfect ground training session or real competition whenever you see fit.
These solid BJJ fight shorts are made with strong fabric built in for unmatched material strength and maximum durability for long lasting use.
What People are Saying: Amazon customers rated it with four and quarter stars, with 71 ratings.
Our Rating: Nine out of ten.
- These BJJ and MMA shorts were created specifically for all no-gi practitioners.
- Stretch panels allow complete freedom of movement with an incredible level of comfort during any sparring session or BJJ match.
- The essential BJJ shorts for grappling at any level.
- Performance fit with hardware-free waistband, perfect for ground training and competition.
- The best BJJ fight shorts with fabric built for unmatched strength and maximum durability.