MMA sparring gloves come in different shapes, and there are a lot of design solutions trying to solve the complex puzzle of creating gloves that allow grappling and are close to MMA fight gloves but provide enough protection for harder sparring.
If you lean more toward striking in MMA or pack a heavy punch, the search may be over because Fairtex has produced the most protective MMA sparring glove.
Fairtex FGV18 MMA Gloves Rating
The Fairtex FGV18 MMA Gloves are the ultimate MMA sparring gloves. The padding protects your fists and your partners face!
Fairtex FGV18 MMA Gloves
Key Feature Of The Fairtex FGV18 MMA Super Sparring Gloves
The Fairtex Super Sparring gloves have an interesting story. They were designed initially by Alistair Overeem when he needed an MMA glove to spar hard with, but that was protective enough for both his hands and sparring partners.
Overeem has a well-known reputation for destroying training partners. Still, at least at a certain point, he got the right intentions, which led to the creation of the super sparring gloves.
Officially, these gloves are a model called the FGV18. Still, I will stick to their much cooler name, Super Sparring MMA gloves, because it gives you all the information about these. Let's first see the official points from Fairtex.
Craftsmanship And Quality
The Fairtex Super Sparring gloves are made from Fairtex's signature synthetic version of Syntek leather. I prefer genuine leather, but Syntek is a good alternative with a nice feel. If you use these only for sparring, I doubt the leather will cause you problems durability-wise.
Like all Fairtex gloves, the Super Sparring is hand-made in Thailand, guaranteeing outstanding quality. The stitching is clean, and everything feels perfectly put together. The whole back side is also done in Syntek leather on the inside, while the inside sides come in a soft neoprene-type material.
The padding is an extra-thick, pre-curved latex foam. It feels like a single piece of foam, and I am not sure if it's multilayered, but it is bigger and softer than any other MMA gloves I've tried. There is also another piece of padding, more like a gel, on the back of the hand near the wrist to protect the hand when blocking.
Thin pieces of the same padding are placed on both sides of the palm. The thumb is also sufficiently protected with excellent foamy padding.
Design and Comfort
The Super Sparring gloves are very bulky for an MMA glove, but this is their main allure because they offer unrivaled protection. There is generally more material all over the glove, not just padding.
The cuff reaches higher than other MMA gloves, and there is leather on the palm aside from the big opening in the middle. But the highlight of the design is the giant pillow on the knuckles. However, it's important to note they are not wider than other gloves, which is an impressive feat.
An excellent design decision is all the finger pieces are bound together. This, in addition to the pre-curved padding, makes forming a fist a breeze.
When your hand is relaxed, it's almost forming a fist, similar to what boxing gloves feel like. But opening the hand fully is also very easy, so you shouldn't worry about grabbing and grappling.
Many MMA gloves are way too stiff, especially in the beginning. Still, the Fairtex Super Sparring glove has been very comfortable from the first day.
The long padding and finger loop design also make your fingers point downward, and poking is never a problem unless you try to do it deliberately.
The Velcro strap is placed further down the forearm, leaving the wrist completely free to move, which is necessary for grappling. For an MMA glove, the wrist support is outstanding.
The initial design was done for Alistair Overeem, who is a big guy. So the gloves are big enough for every hand. I got size L, and they are the perfect length, but there is quite a lot of space on the inside.
More than enough for a hand wrap if you use one, and more than enough for thicker hands. The XL should accommodate a heavyweight without a problem.
Fairtex knows how to make pretty gloves. They love the mirrored design and use it often on gloves and shin guards, where the left and right logos are placed, mirroring each other.
The left glove has the giant logo starting from the palm, while the right starts from the knuckles. You have the classic Faritex patch, and that's about it.
The FGV18 are offered in black and blue, black and red, and black and yellow, all of which look great. The exciting part is that I received a pure white model from Fairtex that looks absolutely killer.
Still, I don't see them on any website. They may be released soon, but either way, I love them.
Using The Fairtex FGV18 MMA Gloves
The Super Sparring gloves are the ultimate MMA sparring glove from a striker's perspective and should be used only for sparring. The protection is exceptional. I have boxing gloves, which are much harder and less forgiving on sparring partners.
The padding covers the middle knuckles completely, and you can blast away hooks without worrying that you will land a knuckle. The thumb is also almost completely covered, and eye pokes are nonexistent with the natural curve of the glove. I have yet to try a better glove for hard MMA striking sparring than the Fairtex FGV18.
This is why I've ranked it the best MMA gloves for sparring.
In terms of wrist support, knuckle protection, and partner protection, this model is comparable to boxing gloves, which is insane.
The very soft padding responsible for this protectiveness is also a good fit for the heavy bag. Still, in my opinion, you shouldn't use it for bag work. It's a waste of a perfectly good glove designed for another purpose.
After a few rounds, the padding is deformed and squished, and it takes time to return to its previous shape. Just like with dedicated sparring boxing gloves, they get destroyed much quicker when you use them on the bag.
The same goes for pad work, although usually, the level of power is different on pads. These will protect your hands significantly on the pads and bag, but I see no point in shortening the glove's life when other gloves do the same or better job on the bag but are nowhere near as good for sparring.
All that protectiveness comes at a price, though, and it's paid in the grappling department. The ample padding gets in the way once you hit the ground.
Squeezing your hands through a tight opening is challenging due to the bulk, and some submissions become impossible.
At least the hand and wrist mobility is not impaired thanks to the great design, so don't worry about that. But due to the size, some grips are difficult. You should buy other gloves if you are a grappler who does his best work on the ground and doesn't intend to punch hard in sparring.
Designed by a heavyweight for heavyweights, the Fairtex FGV18 fully lives up to its name as the Super Sparring gloves for every big boy and heavy hitter out there.
Pricewise these come at 70$. There are a lot of cheaper MMA sparring gloves. Still, the comparable brands in quality, like Hayabusa and Combat Corner, are more expensive, so the overall value is incredible. In Europe, they cost a lot more, selling for around 100 euros, but the price is still worth it for me.
The Fairtex Super Sparring MMA gloves are the ultimate sparring glove for strikers, heavyweights, and all heavy punchers, regardless of weight.
The extra thick and soft padding protects the hand and sparring partners like boxing sparring gloves. The downside is that while hand mobility is not impaired, the size limits some grips and submissions. If you need a glove for hard MMA sparring, this is it.
Fairtex FGV18 MMA Gloves