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Do UFC (MMA) Fighters Wear Cups?

“Everybody Underestimates the Kick to the Groin.” -Bas Rutten 

Well, I totally agree with that. Do you?

There are even MMA cups on the market just for training. Even though you are sparring you can still get hit and it would not be a nice feeling, would it?

Alright, you are not going wait until the end of the content just for the answer to your question which is “do UFC (MMA) fighters wear cups”.

According to MMA rules and regulations, men need to wear them during matches, however, females can’t wear anything to protect their groin areas. I know it really sucks for females.

Do UFC (MMA) Fighters Wear CupsWith that being said, guys need to wear cups which are approved so they just can’t wear anything and go in the ring. For example, the guards should not be extra padded and some materials are also prohibited. So make sure to check the official regulations if you are planning on fighting. A cup should also allow you to roll on the mats comfortably.

Alright, let’s not finish the writing here because there are a lot of reasons to wear MMA groin guards for your regular sessions and why everyone should wear them regularly. After reading the reasons below, I am sure that you will want to own a protective cup.

Benefits of Wearing MMA Cups


1. Even though it is an illegal blow it happens time to time. If you are a regular person, who does not like to get hit, you got to protect your groin area very well. Not only it hurts like hell when you get hit, it can even lead to serious groin injuries like groin strain and recovering from that takes at least a couple of weeks and in some cases it takes months. There are even some injuries which need surgical operations. Other than these, there are even permanent ones. Well, I hope you are scared enough to wear a cup. If these don’t convince you to get one I don’t know what will. Anyway, the materials distribute the impact throughout the cup and as a result, you feel the impacts less and if the cup actually has a regular, good design, the cup is less likely to move a lot and doesn’t hurt the soft tissue around the groin area.

2. Other than getting hit, these cups also help with your safety when you are doing grappling and getting caught with the techniques like kneebar. So when you are doing jiu-jitsu or just basic grappling techniques in MMA, choose one which has a really ergonomic design so it does not hinder the freedom of your movement and protects your testicles.

3. Many high tech cups with compression shorts have a really awesome quality which is called 4-way stretch. It helps with the training performance, however, more importantly, it also keeps the areas, which are hard to get warm during a warming, warm. I know that many MMA trainees including me can’t stretch well and as a result, some body parts are not stretched and warmed up. Sometimes you may even forget about it. And when you get intense during sparring you can very well hurt your groin if you have not done any groin stretches. For example, in the case of third degree groin strain, which can be prevented by various groin stretches, you may even need to be examined with magnetic resonance imaging. Thanks to compression shorts with jockstraps, you can decrease the chances of it happening and these decrease the possibility of permanent injuries quite significantly.

4. Groin cups help your penis and testicles stay in place while fighting and it can be a real distraction for everyone and it is not a pleasant view at all. I remember that when I watched a guy in Muay Thai sparring in Thailand, that guy obviously did not wear a cup and there were laughs whenever that guy kicked. I am sure that you get the point.

You can choose to wear just a jockstrap or compression shorts with a cup… There are a couple of different selections. There are also some important criteria like materials and design. Below I provided a link to my guide for selecting a decent MMA cup. In there you can find all the information you need for selecting a cup and I also included how I felt during the blows with two of these.

Check Out these Good Cups for MMA

As a side note, if a fighter gets hit in the groin area during a match, the match has to stop and no one including doctors can’t check this area. The match stops for 5 minutes and if he feels alright and can continue fighting, the match can go on. With that being said if a fighter is not in a good condition, the match can end as well.

Even though women shall wear protective chest equipment they are not allowed to wear any type of groin guard. So what should they do? To be honest I never trained with females and even though I talked with so many of them about it I just could not find a good solution for this. So the best thing, which female fighters can do, train and have stronger, flexible groin muscles. There are a couple of good exercises, stretches like groin stretch which can improve groin muscles. These also help with the blood flow and females to recover quicker after they get hit. I know this is far from ideal but it is better than nothing.

I also read several articles and watched interviews and videos on MMA Junkie about this matter. By the way, it is one of the most trustworthy and best sources for fighting news. I regularly check out this site and any MMA fan should have a look at this site once in a while. Anyway considering the interviews of big female names in MMA, there should be something to protect them. With that being said even though they can’t wear it during these matches, they can always wear one while they are doing training sessions, sparring on MMA mats. At least these can reduce the likelihood of an injury during training. It is not a big market but there are a few cups, groin protectors for training which are specifically made for females.

Before I finish this writing, I want to make something very clear. When you get punched or get kicked in the groin area while wearing a groin guard, you are definitely going to feel it and trust me on this it hurts like hell. There are even bulletproof groin cups like Diamond MMA products, which are quite good, still, there is a high chance that even those bulletproof ones can not save you from every blow.

It is like wearing a bulletproof vest. This can save your life but you can have a few broken bones if someone shots at you while wearing it. But I am assuming you don’t want to die so you wear it, right? It is the exact same principle.

Basically, these cups reduce the pain and save you from horrible and permanent injuries. Also, I don’t want to have kids for now but you never know. Maybe in the future, I will. So if you think the same, wear these guards.


These are the reasons why UFC fighters or people, who regularly spar, wear these guards and because of these reasons, you can see that how vital it is. So it is highly recommended that you wear a cup during your training, sparring sessions etc.

I actually suggest you wear it during all of your sessions.

You may ask why you should do that.

It is a fair question. After all, you don’t get kicked during mitt drills or bag sessions. You may even feel stupid when you wear one during these sessions and I totally get it. However, these cups are required time to get used to. When you first wear a cup, you definitely feel awkward and may even feel like you don’t move or kick properly. Well, at least I had felt that for a couple of weeks and I just could not show good performance during training, especially in sparring. So just wear them and get used to them during sessions as much as you can.

If you have anything to add for “do UFC (MMA) fighters wear a cup?” writing or share some horror stories about not wearing a cup, feel free to do so in the comment section.

Sources: Bas Rutten
Image Courtesy of Maza_Fight_Gallery, BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, 944TH FIGHTER WING, CANON EOS 7d MARK ll via Creative Commons License, Some Rights Reserved
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Reader Comments

  1. Very interesting, I had no idea that there was so much to a cup set up during MMA but to be honest it makes a lot of sense after reading this review. A friend of mine does BBJJ, is this something he should look into too?

    1. A cup is an absolute must In MMA.
      I am not familiar with BJJ regulations. However, accidents can happen a lot while grappling. When I train MMA, I witnessed many things can go while grappling, doing escapes…
      You should ask this on BJJ related site.

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