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MMA is often regarded as one of the bloodiest sports there is. MMA fighters take a very large amount of damage to the head. Having in mind long-lasting consequences to the parts of the fighters’ face, you have probably asked yourself do MMA fighters wear mouthguards?
Mouthguards are a critical piece of MMA fighting gear. All MMA fighters should wear mouthguards, both during fights and sparring. Mouthguards protect you from various mouth injuries and keep your jaw bone in place.
It is imperative not to be negligent when it comes to a combat sport like MMA. MMA needs to be taken seriously if you are looking to excel at the sport and become a good fighter. You cannot afford negligence, especially when training your body right and not taking risks. We have compiled an in-depth article about why mouthguards are essential when you are a MMA fighter.
Why do MMA fighters wear mouthguards?
Combat sports include many sports like kickboxing, Jiu-Jitsu, Taekwondo, etc. All of these sports have a certain risk factor involved when it comes to injuries. However, MMA fighters have been proved to come across more injuries during fights and practice than in any other combat sports except boxing (MMA vs boxing safety).
MMA involves the use of your entire body. Therefore, you need to train your body, as well as properly. Along with the training, you need to ensure that you have the proper gear and kit (a complete guide to MMA equipment you need) necessary for fighting like a pro. You do not need to be seen slacking or taking things non-seriously.
One of the most common injuries that MMA fighters come across while training includes head injuries. Many famous MMA fighters have lost their entire careers; a few have even lost their lives to head injuries and facial injuries. Hence, not only does negligence when it comes to wearing mouthguards cost you your career, but it can also threaten your life and safety.
Mouthguards used to be made of cotton, cloth, or tape and were not reusable. Philip Woolf, an amateur Mixed Martial Artist, came up with the first reusable gum mouthguard. These guards are worn by MMA fighters to ensure that they do not have to face any career-threatening injuries.
Moreover, head injuries and dental tend to take very long to heal and require bed-rest as well. It is natural for fighters not to want to stay on the bed for too long and want to get back into the ring as soon as possible. MMA fighters wear a mouthguard religiously so that they do not have to face any untoward circumstances.
Do they wear mouthguards in UFC?
The Ultimate Fighting Championship, also known as the UFC, is an MMA organization that is considered the most prestigious event for Mixed Martial Artists. It hosts more than 40 events each year and invites martial artists worldwide to engage in different forms of combat sports and show the world what they are made of!
However, the organization is extremely professional and strict when it comes to the well-being of the fighters. Even though MMA does not have a lot of gear required, one of the equipments that a fighter needs to have is a proper mouthguard. MMA is unarmed combat, but still dangerous if you do not use the right protective gear for the purpose.
Many different factors make an excellent mouthguard, and you need to keep all of them under consideration before you decide the guard you are going to purchase.
Do mouthguards prevent knockouts?
Mouthguards are essential to prevent injuries and better your fighting technique and stamina when in the ring. Just like good fighting gloves can help you stay on your feet for longer, a proper mouthguard can also keep you standing and ready to give a good fight for a more extended period.
Mouthguards prevent your jaw area from getting too much strain and the brunt of the punches from your opponent. This allows your energy not to drain out soon and lets you fight for longer. Some of the ways in which a mouthguard can protect your mouth and help you stay on your feet longer include:
They prevent dental injuries
According to statistics, 60 percent of MMA injuries to fighters are dental injuries, including tooth fractures and breakages. Not only are these injuries excruciating – they can take a long time to heal. Wearing a good mouthguard can protect your teeth from this type of injury. It also protects your gums from taking a hit and bleeding during the fight.
They prevent head injuries
A forceful punch to your lower jaw can be felt till your brain. This force, if strong enough, can even result in a slight concussion. Although light, this type of trauma can leave you incapable of fighting. To avoid such a situation to come to pass, it is always recommended to wear a mouthguard to dissipate the force of the punch and not let it reach your brain.
They prevent trauma injuries to the mouth
Your mouth is surrounded by soft tissue. The strongest muscle of the human body, the tongue, also rests inside your mouth. It may be strong, but it can still get hurt during MMA fights. Before mouthguards were invented, many fighters would end up biting on their tongues as a result of a strong punch. Using mouthguards have now avoided this from taking place.
Keeps your jaw in place
Your jaw joint is vulnerable because especially when your opponent is continually throwing well-placed punches. A dislocated jaw is not only painful but will leave you out of the ring for a long time to recover completely. Using mouthguards can protect your jaw by increasing the surface area, which receives the punch and, in turn, softening the blow.
What mouthguards do MMA fighters wear?
Certain factors need to be taken care of if you are an MMA fighter and are looking for a good mouthguard. These mouthguards allow you to fight better, stay more focused on the opponent, and hone your technique better without fearing about dental injuries.
The first factor that MMA fighters consider when buying a mouthguard for their fights; is the fit of the equipment. Just like boxers take extreme care of their gloves’ size and fit, the same care and consideration should be taken when it comes to mouthguards.
It would be best to make sure that the guard you buy does not cause problems with your breathing and lets you breathe freely during the fight. If there are any problems with your air intake, it can cause severe problems.
Moreover, your guard needs to be a good fit but not make you gag or slip off. It needs to stay snugly in your mouth throughout the entire fight but still allow you to breathe properly.
Secondly, there is a CE certification that a mouthguard needs before it can be approved to be used by professional MMA fighters. To gain this certification, a mouthguard brand needs to get their products tested for impact.
A third-party lab should also perform these tests to ensure that no tampering takes place with the test. The guards are then given a CE certificate with the level of impact resistance that they possess.
Lastly, the design and build of your mouthguard matters as well. You need to buy a guard with good shock absorption technology, and a gel lining is also recommended.
However, the mouthguard you end up buying at the end should always depend upon your comfort and style of fighting. The type of mouthguards MMA fighters buy depends much on the technique of their fighting in the ring.
Our recommendation for mouthguards for MMA:
There are several mouthguards available online that are CE certified as well as of excellent quality. To further ease you and make sure you do not have to go through too much hassle, we have picked our favorite mouthguard that we have tried. Also, if you are on a tight budget, we have a recommendation for you below as well:
Best mouthguard for MMA – overall:
The Champ’s Breathable Mouthguard is one of the best mouthguard being sold online currently. The price is not that high, and the product is extremely long-lasting as well. It is available for both young people and adults. It is gel lined and provides amazing shock-absorption and cushioning to help you. You can place your order and check out the prices for this fantastic product here.
Best mouthguard for MMA – budget pick:
The Venum Challenger Mouthguard is cheaper than your regular high-quality mouthguards, but you have nothing to worry about when using this product. Not only does the company ensure fantastic quality, but for what we have used it, it did a great job. It provides terrific cushioning and shock absorption and allows the fighter to have more stamina. You can find the product here.
It is vital to have the proper mouthguards before you step into the cage. You need to ensure that your mouthguards are certified as well if you are stepping into a professional fight.