best mma shorts

The Best MMA Shorts: Top 10 Buyer’s Guide (2020)

If you’re in the market for some new MMA shorts, you’ve come to the right place. Today we’re going to talk about the 10 best MMA shorts that you can buy this year. We’re also going to talk about why MMA shorts are better than using regular gym shorts or board shorts.

There has never been a better time to be in the market for MMA shorts because there are just so many options to choose from. I like to think the market for MMA gear has exploded because of the recent popularity rise of MMA. 

There’s no better feeling than wearing a brand new pair of MMA shorts that aren’t restricting. Most MMA fighters I know haven’t come around to buying a decent pair of MMA shorts yet. Instead they usually just use an old pair of gym shorts or board shorts, however, they eventually start to come around when they’re tired of feeling restricted from shorts that weren’t designed for MMA. Although you don’t need to own MMA shorts to practice MMA, it definitely makes things a lot easier. 

Why do you need to use MMA shorts?

Well, I guess need is a strong word, however, having an arsenal of MMA shorts at your disposal will definitely make training much easier. MMA shorts are designed to be less restrictive than normal gym shorts, they’re also designed to take much more damage than other mesh shorts as well. There are many benefits to wearing MMA shorts other than the cool designs they come with. 

Flexibility & Mobility

Range of motion is everything when it comes to martial arts, and a good pair of MMA shorts will allow you to be fully mobile, ready to kick and sprawl whenever needed. Most MMA shorts have a slit on each side to allow for various range of motion, this would include side kicks, roundhouse kicks, knees, basically any form of strike you can think of MMA shorts will have you covered, literally. The last thing you want is to be restricted from something as trivial as your shorts. 


It’s no secret that MMA shorts are super comfortable to be in, hell sometimes I even sleep in my freshly washed fighter shorts because they’re so comfortable. Not only are they comfortable but they also don’t have heavy pockets like normal gym shorts. MMA shorts are designed with you as a fighter in mind, having no pockets is a safety measure added so that there are no snags when checking a kick or grappling. 

Classic vs Compression MMA shorts

Another question I’m commonly asked is if fighters should use compression or classic MMA shorts when training or competing. My answer is always the same: both are great, however, it’s up to that specific fighter to decide which one he/she likes more. 

Classic MMA shorts

Classic shorts are great if you’re more of a Muay Thai style fighter, like Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone for example. These shorts will allow for a full range of motion while giving more ventilation than compression shorts.

These shorts also give you a “normal look” and covers much more of your body, many fighters wear these shorts when they don’t want to wear compression shorts or a cup. 

  • Full range of motion
  • Great ventilation and comfort
  • Drawstring allows for a tight or loose fit
  • Can be used for various activities

Compression MMA shorts

I personally love compression shorts because I love feeling naked, no really, compression shorts will give you an ultra light feeling that’s unmatched. This is why fighters like Conor McGregor wear compression shorts, because of the lightweight feeling.

If you’re more prone to grappling and BJJ style fighting than I highly recommend trying out compression shorts. 

  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Retains heat for muscle recovery
  • Non-restrictive material
  • Also great for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Muay Thai Shorts

Another option many people look for is Muay Thai shorts. Now, I don’t recommend wearing Muay Thai shorts if you’re training MMA because they tend to run much smaller and aren’t good for grappling situations. I only wear my Muay Thai shorts when I’m specifically training Muay Thai, however, to each their own. 

The 10 Best MMA Shorts for Training & Competing

Guru’s Choice – Diamond MMA Performance Short – Guru Score: 10/10

Diamond MMA Performance Shorts are my favorite pair of compression shorts to wear. They’re great for MMA, BJJ, Muay Thai, and they’re even great for wearing under gym clothes. These MMA shorts are super lightweight and have a drawstring which allows for a custom fit at the waist. 

– Incredible design and comfort
– Includes protective groin cup
– Drawstring for custom fit
– Premium spandex material

– Only one color design available

The premium spandex material is second to none, crafted with incredible design and comfort which makes these shorts feel fantastic while training. The protective groin cup fits perfectly in the 4-strap jock system. The cup and short design is particularly tailored for the comfort of the fighter in mind. If there’s one certainty in this life, it’s that these are the best MMA compression shorts available today.

These are the best MMA shorts on the market today, and it’s not even close.

Purchase from Diamond MMA

Best Value – Gold Fight Shorts – Guru Score: 9.5/10

Gold Fight Shorts

– Excellent shorts for MMA & BJJ
– Lightweight and super breathable
– Excellent moisture wicking material

– Only one color option

Guru Score: 9/10

The Gold Fight Shorts were originally designed for no-gi Jiu-Jitsu, however, many people realized that they’re also excellent shorts for MMA, Muay Thai, and any other form of activity you can think of. Gold is a reputable brand, and although they’re known for BJJ, they’ve been quickly gaining fans throughout the martial arts community, these shorts in particular are one of the reasons why.

The material they use is super lightweight and breathable, these shorts have no pockets so there’s no need to worry about being restricted. The material is made with a high quality material which is excellent for wicking moisture and keeping your shorts dry and comfortable. The only downside to these shorts is that there’s only one color option available. 

Anthem Athletics Infinity Shorts – Guru Score: 9/10

Anthem Athletics Infinity Shorts

– Over 15 different colors to choose from
– Tear-resistant material
– Stretched elastic waistband


– May bleed in the wash

Guru Score: 9/10

The Anthem Athletic Infinity MMA shorts are a great value when compared to other MMA shorts on this list. The number one reason why I love these shorts is the high side-slit that allows for full range of motion when kicking. These shorts include a stretch elastic waistband with drawstring for optimal fit and comfort.

The fully embroidered logos on the side won’t crack or peel no matter how many times you put it in the washing machine. Speaking of the washing machine, I would be careful washing these shorts with white clothing, sometimes they can bleed depending on your washing settings. Other than that, these are some of the best MMA shorts that are inexpensive at a great value.

Hayabusa MMA Shorts – Guru Score: 9.5/10

Hayabusa MMA Shorts

– 10 different colors to choose from
– Ultra lightweight with no restrictions
– Great mobility for MMA and Muay Thai
– Mid-thigh cut for extra range of motion

– Expensive pair of shorts

Guru Score: 9.5/10

Although the Hayabusa MMA shorts were originally designed solely for kickboxers, they had so much success in the MMA world that they created a universal pair of shorts which can be used for MMA, Boxing, Muay Thai, and even BJJ. These shorts are great because they’re ultralight which provides a relaxed fit, especially during those long training sessions.

I love these shorts in particular because they have over 10 different color options so that you can wear a different pair everyday of the week (if you wanted). They are great for kickboxing because they have a mid-thigh slit that allows for extra range of motion. I will say that these shorts aren’t that lengthy so size up if you want a longer pair.

Meister MMA Compression Shorts – Guru Score: 8.5/10

Meister MMA Compression Shorts

– Premium stretch material
– Inner pocket that fits any cup
– Great mobility for MMA and BJJ
– Double stitched for durability

– Only 2 colors available

Guru Score: 8.5/10

The Meister MMA compression shorts are some of the best shorts for MMA training & competing today. These shorts are very versatile, in that you can wear them for multiple combat sports. Another great thing about these shorts is the value, they are incredibly inexpensive, which means you can buy multiple pairs without worrying.

For how inexpensive these MMA shorts are, they sure are durable. The Meister MMA compression shorts are double stitched for durability, made with premium stretch material so no matter if you’re grappling you know the Meister MMA shorts have you covered. The inner-pocket will fit basically any cup so you won’t have to worry about taking extra damage.

Sanabul Essential MMA Shorts – Guru Score: 8/10

Sanabul Essential MMA Shorts

– Over 7 different colors available
– Inexpensive MMA shorts
– Athletic fit and less baggy
– Hook and loop closure waistband

– Less durable material

Guru Score: 8/10

The Sanabul Essential MMA shorts are great MMA shorts for beginners because they’re so inexpensive and provide a less baggy fit when compared to typical athletic/gym shorts. These shorts come in 7 different color combinations so that you can wear a different pair for every day of the week while training. 

The hook and loop closure waistband makes it possible to get a great fit every training session. These shorts are also made from antimicrobial material to help reduce bacterial and fungal growth. Overall I believe the Sanabul Essential MMA shorts are some of the best MMA shorts for beginners. 

Anthem Athletics Resilience MMA Shorts – Guru Score: 9/10

Anthem Athletics Resilience MMA Shorts

– Over 25 different colors available
– Tear-resistant MMA shorts
– Aggressive side slits for full range of motion
– Velcro waistband and draw string

– May need to size up

Guru Score: 9/10

The Anthem Athletics Resilience MMA shorts are an upgrade to the Infinity shorts we reviewed above. The main difference is in the quality of material, however, Anthem Athletics is known for their high-quality and excellent customer service so you really can’t go wrong with either pair. The Resilience MMA shorts has over 25 different colors to choose from so basically you could wear a different pair everyday of the month. 

I love the aggressive side slits when I’m training Muay Thai, it really allows for flexibility and full range of motion. The velcro waistband and draw string allow you to have a custom size, this is great if you like your shorts to feel a certain way around your waist. Many people have complained that these shorts run small, however, it’s always best to follow the size chart that Anthem Athletics provides. Overall, these are some of the best MMA shorts available today. 

Meister MMA Crown Vale Shorts – Guru Score: 8/10

Meister MMA Crown Vale Shorts

– Inexpensive at a great value
– Double stitched for durability
– Low-profile waistband

– Only 2 colors available

Guru Score: 8/10

Meister MMA’s Crown Vale Shorts are made of a premium and sturdy double-stitched microfiber that is built to last and perform. Ideal for both grappling and stand-up, the Crown Vale Shorts are used for MMA, BJJ & Kickboxing training. These are great MMA shorts for beginners because they’re inexpensive and very mobile. 

The sleek material won’t grab the mat and the low profile waistband and leg cuffs provide a seamless fit. They also feature an inner drawstring for the option to further cinch the waist. The best thing about these shorts is the incredible value they offer at such an inexpensive price. 

Elite Sports MMA Shorts – Guru Score: 8/10

Elite Sports MMA Shorts

– Inexpensive MMA shorts with great value
– Velcro closure waistband with drawstring
– Over 7 color combinations available

– Not as durable as other options

Guru Score: 8/10

Elite Sports is a reputable brand that has been gaining more and more traction in the MMA community over the years. They did the community a great service while crafting these shorts. With a two-fold, non-chaffing, velcro closure waistband paired with an inside drawstring, these shorts provide you with a full range of comfortable movements.

The lightweight material disperses sweat faster stopping the buildup of bacteria that result in nasty mat-born infections. These are some of the best MMA shorts because they’re so inexpensive so that fighters don’t have to break the bank purchasing a pair of shorts. These shorts are also a great option for beginners who are just getting into martial arts. 

Commonly asked questions

Q: Do I need to use MMA shorts?
A: No, using MMA shorts are not absolutely necessary for training, although a good pair of MMA shorts would definitely help out in many ways. 

Q: Can I use other types of shorts?
A: Short answer: yes. However, I’ve learned over the years not to cut corners when it comes to comfort and mobility while training. If I have to spend some extra money to make my experience more enjoyable I will. I advise you to buy a decent pair of MMA shorts if you can comfortable afford them.

Q: Can I wash my MMA shorts?
Yes, I recommend following product instructions that the brand offers. I’ve never personally had problems washing my MMA shorts, or any problems in general, besides the normal wear and tear. 

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