Conor McGregor recently announced his own line of MMA gloves under his 'McGregor FAST' fitness program, promoting them on his social media accounts.
The gloves by Conor McGregor look very different from the gloves that the UFC has employed all these years. In fact, these gloves are very similar in design to the ones designed by MMA coach and equipment designer, Trevor Wittman.
How do the two alternatives compare with each other? Let's find out.
X-Factor: MMA gloves by Trevor Wittman
There have been many instances where a change in design for the gloves used in the Octagon has been highlighted. These instances mostly involved injuries that could have been avoided, if only for better-designed gloves.
The most recent incident to re-ignite this need was Leon Edwards accidentally poking Belal Muhammad in the eye during his comeback fight last month, causing the latter to scream out in pain.
Trevor Wittman was one of the first to recognize just how urgent the need for updating the UFC gloves is. Under the banner of his MMA equipment company 'ONX Sports', Trevor Wittman came out with his own line of MMA gloves.
"This allows your hands to stay in a natural fist-locked position... curved right away. If you see the strapping system in there so that you don't get that boxing break in your hands, it keeps everything all the muscles, ligaments and bone in place. So in that way when you're punching, everything is in form."
It is important to note that the gloves being talked about in the interview are the grappling gloves by ONX. They are very similar to the gloves already being used in the UFC. The MMA gloves, aka X-Factor, come with a boxing-glove look that covers and pads the entire finger region.
The X-Factor gloves present a solution towards eradicating injuries stemming from eye-pokes, some of which have drastically affected the careers of fighters like Alan Belcher and Stipe Miocic.
Furthermore, the gloves come in variations that help employ the best-suited options as per the environment they are being used in, whether it be training, a real event, etc.
The gloves come with a velcro strap and a lace-up variant. Wittman's X-Factor aims to usher in the future of professional MMA by ensuring that athletes have the best equipment. They are made out of material that is user-friendly and designed to eliminate avoidable injuries. Speaking about his gloves, Trevor Wittman said:
"We are using leather in the hand compartments, but when its your wrist and palm when everything is sweating, we're using different materials... You don't need those hand wraps. You not gonna get those sliding knuckles."
Conor McGregor's 'McGregor FAST' MMA gloves
The gloves developed by Conor McGregor's 'McGregor FAST' program offer a design that is similar to Trevor Wittman's X-Factor. However, there are likely to be a few differences that set the McGregor FAST and X-Factor gloves apart.
It is important to note that all that is known about Conor McGregor's new gloves comes from his singular tweet. Nevertheless, there is one major difference in the design that tends to tackle issues like injuries in a different way than the X-Factor gloves.
Conor McGregor's 'McGregor FAST' MMA fighting gloves come with a unique design, allowing the fingers to remain out in the open. They also do not necessitate the fist to remain closed, as is the case with the X-Factors.
Conor McGregor's prototype of the gloves clearly indicates that while wearing such gloves, a fighter can exercise freedom and flexibility while engaging in combat. But how do these gloves deal with the biggest problem of all - eye pokes?
This is where these gloves bring in a hybrid concept. Instead of covering the fingers completely to give it a boxing-glove-feel, Conor McGregor's gloves involve partially covering the fingers from the backside of the palm up to the fingertips.
The verdict: Conor McGregor's McGregor FAST fighting gloves or Trevor Wittman's X-Factors?
While the X-Factors do successfully eliminate the threat of eye-pokes and self-inflicted injuries, they come with restraints that may hinder their compatibility to execute all-round MMA.
For example, confining the hands into a balled-up wrist may take away many techniques that mixed martial artists use as part of their defensive and offensive arsenals. Furthermore, the ability to hold and grapple also suffers a huge deal with the lack of movement and flexibility.
To make it clear, if an ace grappler like Khabib Nurmagomedov were to put on the X-Factors, he would not be able to control an opponent's wrist. This is because his fingers would be completely covered and his palm would be straining to open up from a fist.
Meanwhile, Conor McGregor's McGregor FAST MMA fighting gloves allow for flexibility and space for the fingers to be operable. Ironically, a striker like Conor McGregor is the one promoting a more wrestling-friendly alternative to the current UFC gloves. However, the only evidence we have of the same is the photo of the prototype.
Moreover, the material involved in making the gloves can make a huge difference in how they pan out. Good material will be able to provide flexibility and safety that will do justice to this unique design. But even a minor slip-up regarding the material of the littlest components of the glove could destroy its usability. Justin Gaethje even lashed out at Conor McGregor, claiming the material for the new gloves was not up to the mark.
Conor McGregor's McGregor FAST MMA fighting gloves present a design more suited to the vastness of mixed martial arts, all while addressing the issues of eye-pokes. However, there can be no final say until Conor McGregor's gloves are made available for use.