MMA gloves vs Boxing gloves: Which hits harder?

When we witness professional boxing or other combat sporting events, we often wonder how the combatants would have fared if they had used a different style or even different equipment.

We'd be on the edge of our seats waiting for Conor McGregor to knock out his opponent in the octagon while wearing 4oz competitive MMA gloves. Jose Aldo was knocked out in just 13 seconds.

When he encountered Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the boxing ring, many people wondered, could McGregor use boxing gloves to knock out Mayweather?

McGregor failed to achieve that thrilling knockout when they battled it out in a boxing match. He still managed to land a number of hard shots, but was this due to the fact that he was wearing boxing gloves rather than MMA gloves, or is Mayweather simply too brilliant to not get knocked out?

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What makes a punch powerful?

Before we go into the gear, let's take a look at the fundamentals of a knockout blow.

The mathematician Isaac Newton was the first to establish a formula for force. The three principles of motion set out in Isaac Newton's Principia Mathematica are widely used to illustrate the idea of force.

F = ma, or force equals mass times acceleration, is Newton's second law of motion.

So, if you picture a fighter throwing a punch, the basic physics is that their weight multiplied by the speed equals the punch's force.

Read our article "How To Punch Harder, Faster & More Accurately [Professional Masterclass]" HERE

This is why heavyweights' punches are usually more powerful. That being said, a fighter in any weight class may be just as good a knockout specialist as a heavyweight. The reason for this is because Newton's weight/mass is slightly different when comparing punches since it is not a fighter's complete weight that is used in the punch.

It also depends on a fighter's striking technique, namely how they distribute their weight and energy via their fist.

Another important component is punch timing and precision. Punches that are pulled, overstretched, or simply poorly timed will all reduce the punch's power since the force or power is greatest at a particular point in it's delivery.

So, do MMA and boxing gloves differ in providing punching power?

Yes, in a word. The punch's force or strength will vary depending on the gloves used. When you're sparring and you're using 16oz sparring gloves, the weight may have increased, but the pace of the strike has decreased, lessening strength.

In MMA, 4oz competition gloves are extremely light. This lightweight construction makes it virtually as fast as a bare hand when throwing a punch.

How do MMA and boxing gloves differ?

The padding is the most significant distinction between MMA and boxing gloves, and it has an impact on power.

High-density foam padding around the knuckles of competition boxing gloves weighing 10 ounces helps to buffer the hit indirectly.

The 4oz MMA gloves have relatively little padding around the knuckles in comparison to boxing gloves, therefore they will naturally be felt more. This might explain why McGregor was so effective in the octagon with his punches and not as much with densely padded boxing gloves in the ring.

Thus, we can conclude that MMA gloves due to their lesser padding hit harder. The rule for power is bare knuckles > MMA gloves > Boxing gloves.

If you’re in the market for MMA gloves or even boxing gloves depending on the sport of your choice, you can find all the gear for your need.

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