Best MMA Shorts: The Ultimate Buying Guide

June 24, 2024

Militar Team



MMA shorts are unlike your standard day to day shorts. They are designed to keep up with the demands of a fighter, through their vigorous training sessions and for big occasions like fight nights.

Over time, as the sport of MMA has grown in popularity, so too have the MMA shorts that fighters wear! From the early days where fighters typically wore baggy, loose board shorts, to nowadays where new styles like high split MMA shorts have emerged as popular choices to train and fight in.

Within this blog, we will help you better understand everything to do with MMA shorts and hopefully you can find the perfect pair for you!

Militar Flow MMA Set


How Should MMA Shorts Fit?

MMA shorts are more fitted than your regular shorts. This is to ensure the shorts are secure and in place as you train and fight.

Keep these 3 things in mind when considering the fit of MMA shorts:

  • Are the shorts secure?
  • Do the shorts restrict me in any way?
  • Are the shorts the right length?


Finding Secure MMA Shorts

MMA shorts need to be secure and stay in place. As you will know, there is a lot of moving around so the MMA shorts you wear must be able to stay in place no matter what happens!


MMA Shorts Need the Perfect Waistband

The waistband of MMA shorts is the most important feature when it comes to keeping your shorts secure and in place.

Waistbands are either elastic or have drawstrings which allows you to adjust the shorts to whatever is comfortable and secure for you. Loose shorts can be a hinderance and dangerous if you are having to adjust your shorts mid fight!

Our Militar High Split MMA shorts use an elastic waistband, this allows the shorts to remain light weight, but also to ensure a solid and secure fitting when training or fighting.


MMA Shorts Shouldn’t Restrict Your Movement

The shorts you wear shouldn’t restrict your movement in any way. They must allow a full range of motion. When training and fighting, you want to be able to defend takedowns, throw high kicks, or whatever it is you need to do, without your shorts causing a problem!

Flow MMA Set


The Length of MMA Shorts is a Personal Preference

In terms of the length of your MMA shorts, this is down to personal preference. For example, grapplers like Khabib prefer wearing longer shorts as they engage in more wrestling exchanges and fight on the ground a lot more.

On the other hand, strikers prefer to wear shorter shorts, or the likes of compression shorts and high split shorts, so that they can move much more freely when they strike, without their shorts hindering them in any way.

Shorts tend to be above the knee length, but the actual length other than this, is down to personal preference, there is no right or wrong answer!

What materials are used in MMA Shorts?

MMA shorts tend to be made with polyester/nylon materials, this allows for the shorts to be both durable and comfortable.

The material of your MMA shorts is important, as they must be able to withstand the gruelling training sessions or competitions you partake in.

Your MMA shorts must have good moisture management, ensuring your shorts remain breathable and cool as you train and fight.


The Sizing of MMA Shorts

MMA shorts tend to be quite fitted due to the nature of the sport. During the early days, as we mentioned before, loose, baggy shorts were the norm! However, as the sport has grown so have the shorts and the different styles (more on the different styles of MMA shorts in the next section).

You want your shorts to be a snug fit, to insure they are secure and kept in place as you train or compete. MMA shorts do tend to run true to sizes, so your natural size for regular shorts is usually fine.

If you want your shorts to be a little looser, then go a size up, but there should be size guides and guidance regarding the MMA shorts on the product pages.

We have our own MMA shorts range, which you can check out here!

The sizing of our Militar MMA shorts is true to size, but if you are looking for a slightly looser fit, then we recommend a size up.


Different Types of MMA Shorts:

There are many different styles of MMA shorts. They all have their positives and negatives, which is down to your preferences and what matters most to you.

The different styles of MMA shorts we mention below are all worn today within the UFC.


Standard MMA Shorts

The standard MMA shorts are the safest option. As it suggests in the title, this style of MMA shorts is the standard that is suitable for all fighters. The length of the shorts is above the knees. The MMA shorts usually have a small slit which allows full flexibility.

The positive to this style is because they are the standard, they are the safest option, the shorts can be secured with the drawstring on the waistband. A potential negative to this style of shorts is that they are kind of basic!

If you are someone who wants your MMA shorts to stand out a little more, then have a look at some of the other options below!


Long MMA Shorts

This style is similar to the standard MMA shorts, but they are longer in length! Sometimes they are a little looser too. The length of these shorts reaches around the knee. This style of MMA shorts is preferred by fighters like Khabib Nurmagomedov.

The positive to this style is like the standard shorts, they are secure and stay in place well. The negative to this style is the length of the shorts could be a problem depending on your preference, some people like longer shorts, some people want shorter shorts, so it is down to whatever you like!


Vale Tudo Shorts (Compression Shorts)

The name of the shorts comes from the combat sport  ‘Vale Tudo’, which became popular in Brazil and is the predecessor to modern day MMA.

The Vale Tudo shorts use a different material to the other MMA shorts. They are made to be skintight, whereas the other shorts are more open. This style of shorts is worn by the likes of Conor McGregor!

The positive to this style of MMA shorts is that they are the most secure of all the other MMA shorts. They are skintight so they won’t be moving whatsoever. The negative to this, is that they are very tight, so you may not find them the most comfortable unless you get used to it.


High Split MMA Shorts

This style has become much more popular in recent years. The high split MMA shorts feature a big slit, which covers most of the length of the shorts. Hence the name ‘high split’ because the MMA shorts are split open on the sides with a massive slit. This style was first made popular by UFC legend Jon Jones!

The high split MMA shorts have really taken off in recent times. Mostly since the shorts are made for MMA and aren’t suitable for other sports. The high split allows for full flexibility and range of motion as well as adding style to your fight kit!

The positive to this style is that they do not restrict movement whatsoever, due to the high split, the shorts are very open allowing you to move freely. The negative to this style is that they do have a big slit! Some people aren’t comfortable wearing this style as the shorts are very open, but it’s all down to preference and what you are comfortable wearing!

We make our own high split MMA shorts and they have been our best seller to date!

High Split MMA Shorts


Key Features of MMA Shorts

These are the key features you should consider and make sure your MMA shorts have:


Unrestricted Movement

MMA requires you to have a full range of motion. The sport is dynamic, meaning you will have to be able to both defend takedowns and throw kicks in the same shorts. Different types of shorts are made for different purposes, so they may restrict your movement in some ways.

Therefore, it is important you wear MMA shorts when training in MMA as they have been specifically designed for the sport.

A key feature which allows unrestricted movement are splits on the sides of the shorts, which makes the shorts more open and easier to move around in.


Lightweight Material

You want your shorts to almost feel like you aren’t wearing any! This is more so specific for fighting, but also good for training.

With lightweight materials, you feel much looser and more comfortable. If you are wearing shorts which are made using heavy materials, it can cause you to tire faster and potentially affect your in fight performance if you aren’t performing to your full potential. 


Durability & Comfort

MMA is a highly intensive sport, which includes a lot of motion and action. Your shorts need to be durable and have the ability to withstand any strikes or grappling exchanges you go through. There is no sport like MMA and MMA shorts are made for purpose and function.

You want your MMA shorts to provide maximum comfortability. The last thing you want to do, is be in a fight with your shorts irritating you! MMA shorts with secure waistbands, made up of lightweight materials, will allow you to be comfortable when training or fighting in your MMA shorts.

Converge V2 MMA Sets


What are The Best MMA Shorts?

The ‘best’ pair of MMA shorts is all down to you and your personal preference! Make sure you read over all the things included in this blog and see which style matches your requirements and test them out!

Many people have fought in different styles and have preferred different MMA shorts depending on the moment, so the best thing you can do, is to try what you think is best for your needs.

Hopefully this blog has been beneficial for you and helped you gain a better understanding of MMA shorts. Any questions or topics you would like us to cover in future blog posts, please email us

Our Militar MMA Shorts are worn by both those that are training and fighting at the highest level.

Check out our Militar MMA Shorts range here:

Post by Militar Team

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