UFC unveils new lighter glove to reduce eye pokes and hand injuries, will debut soon

The UFC has made a major equipment change.

At an official presentation Friday in Las Vegas, the promotion unveiled new gloves that its fighters will compete in going forward. The change was made with the goal of reducing hand injuries and eye pokes, while maintaining dexterity and not affecting performances or outcomes.

The gloves are expected to be utilized in competition for the first time at UFC 302 on June 1 in Newark, N.J.

See photos of the gold variant below, which will be used exclusively for UFC title fights.

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José Youngs, MMA Fighting

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José Youngs, MMA Fighting

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José Youngs, MMA Fighting

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José Youngs, MMA Fighting

The gloves will also come in gunmetal (standard for non-title bouts), blue (Dana White’s Contender Series), and red for UFC-adjacent developmental programming (i.e. “Road to UFC”).

Friday’s presentation was comprised of a video narrated by UFC Vice President of Consumer Products Ember Morr, who announced that the design of the new gloves was handled by sports equipment manufacturer VICIS RDI. The video also featured VICIS Vice President of Product Development Jason Neubauer, who explained how some of the new features would benefit fighters.

“The current glove that they were using was basically just a chunk of foam, a solid piece,” Neubauer said. “It wasn’t really developed as an impact-mitigation type of foam, it was just more or less a certain density that seemed to work well for fighting. The limitation there is one, how much it absorbs impact, but also its rigidity, and that was probably one of the major parts of the glove was that rigidity wouldn’t allow you to easily open and close your hand and therefore you could have eye pokes or other difficulty during fighting.

“What we developed was a multi-layer slip-plane system that allowed us to continue to mitigate those impact, but allow those slip layers to slide on each other in use without ever minimizing the actual offset between your hand and the outer edge of the glove.”

Changes have also been made to the seams, padding, wristband, and finger holes, all with the intention of reducing injury.

“The final product is something that we’re extremely excited about,” Morr said. “It is a glove that is really going to revolutionize the MMA fight glove space. Some of the changes you’re going to see on the new glove are there are zero seams around the hand, all of the seems are around the inside, so there’s no place for a laceration to occur from a seam. The padding in the back of the hand has been broken into two and essentially the first pad in that break allow for the hand to have this movement, while the new layering technology allows for the hands to move and be flexible. The layering system aside, the foams are different foams, they allow for impact dispersion so that you’re not getting as much impact in a singular spot in the knuckle, so you’re seeing more distribution of the strike across the hand.

“There’s pads that are on the bone, that are on the outside of either side of the hand. The new wristband is a curved, ergonomic wristband, so it actually cinches down to the wrist. There’s no more room to put your hand down into the actual glove, and then it’s a cross-function cinch, so it also allows for that tight custom fit to be exactly how the fighter wants around their wrist and provides support.

“The finger holes used to be cut straight across the finger. We’ve now cut that down at an angle so that there’s no bulk under the finger, which is allowing you to close your hands and not fight against the leather in the hand.”

UFC fighters Vanessa Demopoulos and Julian Erosa were also featured in the video, endorsing a demo version of the glove, which was also underwent live testing during the most recent season of the Contender Series.

During a Q&A following the presentation, UFC Performance Institute Senior Vice President Duncan French said that the statistics showed there was a reduction of eye pokes in the Contender Series contests, but could not confirm whether that could be attributed primarily to the updated glove design.

“We hope that that is a consequence of a redesign and the nature of the glove, but we’re all watching moving forward to ensure that this is going to be the case,” French said.

See information, specs, and more photos from the official UFC Glove Launch press release below.

Construction Features

• New wristband locking system, better fits to the wrist, removing any space that permits an opponent from grabbing the glove

• Lack of seams minimize abrasions and cuts; all seams are now on the palm side of the hand just below the fingers

• Innovative padding makes it easier for fighters to keep their fingers in a natural position and minimize eye pokes

• Removal of finger binding reduces bulk and minimizes seams that may cause abrasions and cuts

• Padding added to the sides of the glove at the index and pinky fingers to protect vulnerable bone structure

Fit and Sizing

• Glove sizing has been rescaled to better fit the athletes’ hands; slimmer profile removes excess space at the outside of the hand

• Eliminated male/female sizing, streamlining the number of gloves to 10 unisex sizes, from XXXS – XXXXL, that properly scale with increase in hand size


• Minimized weight and weight differential based on sizes

– Glove weighs between 3-4.9 oz (1.9 oz differential)

– Weight reduced 1-1.5 oz from previous UFC glove


• Ergonomic curved wristband for better fit around the wrist

• Scooped/angled finger holes eliminate bunching on the inside of the fisted hand

Material Development

• Lining, custom printed 2-way stretch, moves with the hand

• VICIS RFLX stacked foam padding, engineered for maximum flexibility and protection

• Updated low profile hook and loop, minimizes snagging and reduces weight

UFC Glove Championship 20231220 CU 0078 oct copy


UFC Glove Primary 20231220 CU 0134 1 copy


UFC Glove DWCS 20231220 CU 0065 copy


UFC Glove Generic 20231220 CU 0067 copy


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