Merab Dvalishvili confirms UFC testing new gloves, explains issues with old gloves

UFC bantamweight contender Merab Dvalishvili has voiced concerns about the gloves currently used in UFC fights. According to Dvalishvili, the gloves cause major discomfort and stress for fighters.

“The UFC gloves have to be changed,” Dvalishvili stated emphatically. “Every time I wear the gloves, all my friends, we all get stressed out eventually.”

One of the main issues Dvalishvili highlighted is how tight and constricting the gloves are on the fingers. “Every time I put the fingers like this, after a while, it takes energy to squeeze like this. Every time you squeeze, it hurts,” he explained in MMA hour appearance.

The tightness of the gloves requires fighters to go through an arduous routine just to get them on properly before fights. “We try to break them in, give them to coaches, whoever has big fingers, we call them ‘Carmen’, they stretch them out like jump ropes before we put them on,” Dvalishvili described.

Even after this elaborate routine, fighters still struggle with the gloves. “You have to try them on before, because if you try them on too early, it’s stressful. You only have 2 hours to warm up and get ready before the fight, and then it’s very hard, all your hard work is gone,” he said.

Dvalishvili hopes that the UFC is indeed planning on updating the glove design as has been rumored. His dream is for new gloves that are “more round and more loose” to alleviate the discomfort.

While essential for hand protection, the current UFC gloves appear to be a major source of frustration for athletes like Merab Dvalishvili. An updated design could go a long way in addressing these issues.

UFC teased a “New UFC Equipment Announcement and Presentation” at UFC 300’s weigh-ins on April 12, 2024, at UFC Apex in Las Vegas.

Speculation suggests the announcement may involve fixing the gloves due to the increase in eye pokes and controversies in 2024 however considering the news from earlier today it’s more likely a limited edition glove.

Recent incidents like Chris Weidman poking Bruno Silva’s eye three times have heightened the demand for glove modifications.

Different glove models, including those from PRIDE FC, are being compared to illustrate potential design improvements.