Best MMA Shorts in 2022: Buyers Guide

If you’re new to MMA, you’ll know that there’s a significant amount of gear that you need to buy. MMA starter kits will often include gloves, mouth guards, skipping ropes, and a boxing bag.

However, one aspect that often gets overlooked are MMA competition shorts. These are a crucial piece of gear, yet people seem to ignore it and focus more on gloves, mouth guards, and other equipment. The shorts you wear play a key role in how flexible you’ll be and your range of motion. For those that are new to the sport, this article will serve as the definitive guide to everything you need to know about MMA short and list some of the best short.

5 Best MMA Shorts at a Glance

Sanabul Essential MMA Shorts – Best Budget Option

Sanabul Essential MMA BJJ Cross Training Workout Shorts...
  • Just What You Need: Sanabul Essentials check all the boxes to get you started. Highly...
  • Fit Right In: Regular shorts stick out like a sore thumb in the gym, and don’t perform well...
  • Designed to Perform: Less baggy with open seams and four way stretching gives you more range of...

Sanabul Essentials manage to tick all the requirements for MMA shorts, and for other combat sports like vale tudo as well. They’re highly functional, form-fitting, and are famous all around the world. You’ll see all your favorite MMA fighters representing some form of Sanabul gear.

Wearing these shorts will help you fit right in and will perform at a high level during grappling. Regular shorts can cause a lot of friction, and pockets can get in the way. However, the Sanabul Essential MMA BJJ cross-training workout shorts have no pockets and use materials that help reduce friction.

Thanks to the open seam design and four-way stretching, the shorts fit correctly and provide increased mobility. The compression fitting helps ensure that the shorts don’t get caught with limbs. These shorts are built to last thanks to the reinforced stitching and seam protection. Additionally, these shorts aren’t going to loosen up, no matter how much you use them. The hook and loop closure system help ensure a firm fitting around the waist at all times.


  • Compression Fit
  • Highly Durable
  • Breathable Fabric


  • Only one color scheme

Venum Nogi 2.0 Fight Shorts

Venum Nogi 2.0 Fightshorts - Black/White-L, White,...
  • Unique closure system consists of a non-abrasive velcro over the lacing for a better fit
  • Lycra inserts at the crotch and elastic on the waists sides for more comfort and maximum legs...
  • Internal key pocket

Another great option for mixed martial arts practitioners is the Venum Nogi 2.0 fight shorts. These are one of the best grappling shorts you’ll be able to find. Not only do these shorts feature my favorite design, but they’re also one of the best MMA shorts on the market. The unique design combines aspects from both classic and compression type shorts to create a hybrid.

The shorts are made from 100% polyester and moisture-wicking material, which makes them breathable, and we all know how sweaty grappling can get. Additionally, the shorts feature a unique non-abrasive Velcro closure over the lacing to help ensure a better fit. Thanks to the lycra inserts in the crotch area and the sides, the MMA shorts provide more comfort and increased mobility. These shorts will let you get to the next level during training sessions.

MMA shorts by their design can often be impractical. However, the Venum Nogi keeps that in mind and includes an internal pocket that will let you hold anything important. The lateral slots on the sides also help provide greater mobility.

This is a brilliant pair of shorts, and they’ll help you stand out in the gym. However, one thing to watch out for is the length of the shorts. They’re very short, so you’d be better off ordering a size larger just in case.


  • Brilliant Design
  • Breathable Material
  • Hybrid Type
  • Internal Key Pocket
  • Lycra Insert


  • Inconsistent sizing

RDX MMA Shorts

RDX MMA shorts are easily among the best no Gi shorts on the market. They make use of a hook and loop closure system that helps ensure that the shorts aren’t going to slip. Moreover, the use of heavy-duty polyester and reinforced stitching ensures that the shorts are durable and breathable at the same time.

What makes these compression shorts so good at compression is the use of an innovative silicon printing on the inside. The printing helps make sure that these MMA shorts will stick to you like skin, and nothing is going to get caught. It makes the short perfect for all forms of MMA training. Whether you’re looking to go in for striking or grappling, these shorts will help you perform at your peak.

The Micro-stretch fabric of these fight shorts also helps track intricate body movements that ensure both comfort and extra mobility. These shorts aren’t restrictive in any way and are about the same length as Muay-Thai shorts. While the design may appeal to certain people, the flashy neon colors might put a target on your back in the gym.


  • Hook and Loop closure system
  • Heavy-duty Polyester
  • Innovative Silicon Printing


  • Might be too short for some people
  • Flashy Design

Hayabusa Hexagon MMA Fight Shorts

Hayabusa Hexagon BJJ Shorts - Black, Medium
  • THE ULTIMATE PERFORMANCE SHORT: Rugged textiles and hardware, stretch panel, reinforced seams...
  • INCREDIBLE FIT & FEEL: Your Hexagon grappling shorts provide a customizable fit with its...
  • PEAK PERFORMANCE: Built to become your ultimate performance mixed martial arts or no-gi board...

Hayabusa used to be known for making kickboxing gear until they started making MMA shorts and vale tudo gear. Since MMA practitioners made up such a huge majority of their customer base, the company decided to venture into specialist MMA Gear. The result is one of the best classic type MMA shorts on the market.

It uses a combination of rugged textiles, stretch panels, and a silicone waistband to help ensure the ultimate performance. The fabric and design of these MMA shorts are designed to allow for all movement without restriction. While people might argue that compression shorts are better for grappling, these work just as well. They fit wonderfully thanks to the lightweight nature of the shorts.

Additionally, the inner grip waistband helps ensure that the MMA shorts lock into place, and they won’t slip at all. MMA training can get very intense, and these shorts will help keep the pace up with you. They’re built strong and will last you through even the most grueling training sessions.

One thing that you need to be wary of is that Hayabusa’s tend to run small. Don’t make the same mistake I did and hire a larger size. However, the company is pretty flexible with exchanging, so you don’t need to worry if you feel like the ones you got are a little too short.


  • Best Classic Type
  • Great Design
  • Inner Grip Waistband
  • Lightweight material
  • Great Fit


  • Hayabusa sizes tend to be small
  • Inner Grip Waistband can get annoying for some people

Gold BJJ Jiu Jitsu Shorts – IBJJF Approved

Gold BJJ Jiu Jitsu Shorts - IBJJF Approved No Gi Fight...
  • NO POCKETS, FOR NOGI - The only thing those pesky IBJJF refs will DQ you faster than knee...
  • MAXIMUM STRETCH - Legend has it our training shorts were designed from the same material as...
  • BUILT FOR FIGHTING, GREAT FOR EVERYTHING - We designed our fight trunks with jiu jitsu in mind,...

If you’re looking to get a pair of MMA fighting shorts that will work during training and are competition approved, then the Gold BJJ Jiu Jitsu shorts are the best bet. These shorts are one of my personal favorites and are the best MMA shorts on the market for BJJ training. They also work great for other combat sports like vale tudo.

They allow for an incredible amount of stretch and will not roll at all while you’re grappling. While the shorts are designed for BJJ, they’re great for striking, running, and lifting. You could even be like Khabib and wrestle a bear in these shorts. It’s possible, but I definitely wouldn’t recommend it.

The ultra-light nature of these MMA shorts also helps ensure a comfortable fit and helps with breathability. Gold BJJ is also one of the oldest family-owned business and is run by Jiu-Jitsu athletes. If you buy these shorts, you can rest at ease with the knowledge that they’ll last you through all your future training sessions.

They’re only available in a single-color scheme, and the design of the MMA shorts is minimalist. They’ll help you fit right in the gym and will not hinder you during any session.


  • Family-owned business
  • Incredibly stretchy
  • Competition Approved
  • Minimal Design


  • No Pockets

MMA Shorts Buying Guide

Getting the right MMA or BJJ shorts is going to improve your time in class. There are many things you may be looking for, such as a certain material or features such as Velcro closure. While most people tend to try to use regular shorts or even sweats, proper MMA shorts make a world of difference.

Why Do You Need To Use MMA Shorts?

MMA shorts are an essential part of martial arts training. It’s mandatory to always wear shorts during every session because of several reasons, aside from the glaringly obvious one. MMA shorts help provide comfort, protection, flexibility, and help keep the cup in place. It’s easy to forget the crucial role these plays.

Those that train in specialist shorts will know how much of a struggle it is to just use board shorts. The very best MMA shorts help provide a flexible range of motion, integrated ventilation and do not retain odors. Additionally, the shorts are available in several different designs to let you stay stylish.

Classic vs Compression MMA Shorts

MMA Classic Shorts

MMA shorts are available in two primary styles; these are classic shorts and compression shorts. Classic mixed martial arts shorts follow the traditional look of board shorts. These types of shorts are typically more popular with strikers, like Carlos Condit and Donald Cerrone. The shorts allow for a complete range of motion and provide great performance during training. They also offer high amounts of ventilation and provide greater comfort.

These MMA shorts are more versatile, and you can wear these out in public as well. Some of the classic shorts also provide utility like pockets that make them perfect for those looking for better MMA performance and practicality. Users will typically choose to go for classic shorts if they don’t like compression shorts or want to avoid wearing a cup.

MMA Compression Shorts

MMA Compression shorts are perfect for those individuals that love to prefer feeling naked without actually being naked. It might seem like a weird thing to say, but something is freeing about being able to fight naked. While there aren’t any practical situations, MMA compression shorts are the next best thing.

 They provide the ultimate light feeling, which is why fighters like Conor McGregor love wearing compression shorts. Additionally, individuals that lean more towards grappling and BJJ will prefer compression shorts. Another brilliant feature of these shorts is that they retain heat for muscle recovery.

Muay Thai Shorts

Muay Thai shorts are another option for people that are looking to buy shorts for mixed martial arts. These shorts are cut short and have slits in the thighs that provide a large range of motion.

If you’ve seen Muay Thai, you know it’s all about those kicks, and you can’t kick properly without proper mobility. However, because these shorts aren’t designed for grappling, they’ll often roll-up. This can be an issue because they’re already so short.

Do You Have To Wear MMA Shorts?

While there’s no requirement to wear MMA specific shorts, it’ll help you out in the gym. Board shorts can be a pain to wear, and the friction can make grappling a chore. Not only will the friction bother you, but it’ll also be troubling for your training partner. Nobody wants to get their limbs caught while they’re practicing BJJ and grappling, that’s what makes MMA shorts so useful.

Can You Wear Any Others?

As I’ve said before, there’s no hard and fast rule about having to wear MMA shorts. If you feel more comfortable wearing board shorts, then wear board shorts. If wearing sweats makes you feel more comfortable then opt for them.

However, they aren’t ideal for performance. One of the biggest issues that can arise while wearing a pajama or board shorts is the amount of sweating. The best MMA shorts are designed keeping breathability and ventilation in mind. Most of them help you avoid sweaty situations because they’re moisture-wicking.

How To Maintain Your Shorts?

Maintaining your MMA shorts is important. Intense grappling or vale tudo will leave you sweating. All that sweat can get stuck in your shorts and make them emit a very foul odor. Nobody wants to be known around the gym as the person with sweaty shorts. The easiest way to ensure that your shorts don’t become sweaty is by investing in the best MMA shorts that are breathable and offer extra ventilation.

However, even when you invest in breathable shorts, make sure that you clean them after every session. MMA training is one of the most intense and heavy-duty forms of training, and any good session will involve you sweating a lot. Cleaning your shorts after every session will make them last longer and keep them smelling fresh as well!

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