To the novice, watching an MMA fight, the shorts worn by the combatants may seem to be like any ordinary pair of gym shorts. However, this is not so since the shorts have to be specially made to withstand the rigors of the contest. MMA Shorts must provide comfort, while maintaining their structure. The shorts should also be able to stretch to provide unrestricted movement to the combatants. The following is a description of the design elements of these special shorts.
All MMA Shorts have a stretch panel on the inside of the leg. This panel is made of spandex, a special material that can stretch and conform to the contours of the body. The spandex allows the combatants to fight without having to worry about tearing the shorts.
Split seams are added to allow unrestricted movement around the seams of the shorts. The size of the seam varies from one brand to another and the size of the shorts. In MMA, unrestricted movement is very important to allow the fighters to grapple, kick, and shift with ease. Since it is a full contact sport, movement determines how fast one gets out of the way of a kick, or how fast one can move in on an opponent. Not all shorts have this feature, with some opting to give the fighters a wider thigh size.
Dual Velcro fastening
Although some brands include the standard drawstring for fastening, most MMA shorts have dual Velcro fastening to ensure that the shorts stay in place throughout the fight. The shorts have one Velcro fastening that goes horizontally across the front of the waistband, and another that goes vertically. The Velcro conceals the drawstring and provides secure fastening. Without the dual Velcro fastening, the shorts could come loose and the fighters could, literally, be caught with their pants down.
Fast-drying, lightweight material
MMA shorts are made from a light polyester composite material, which has the properties of drying very fast. This feature is important since it allows the shorts to quickly absorb sweat from the combatants. Similarly, the material does not stick to the skin, thereby allowing fighter, once again, to achieve maximum flexibility in the movements.
Rubber waist band
The high end MMA shorts have a rubberized inner waistband surface. The rubber was added so as to provide traction on the skin, thereby stopping the shorts from moving around the waist. Without this band the shorts would shift to one side and impede the movement of the fighters. In this fast-paced sport, a split second, spent adjusting the shorts, could cause a fighter to lose.