Muay Thai is a martial art, but there’s a huge difference between the traditional and competitive style. The traditional style allows all kinds of strikes for successful self-defense. Yet, competitive Thai boxing rules prohibit, for example, nut shots, strikes to the back of the head, and kicking the downed opponent.
In the early stages of Thai boxing, fighters’ arms were wrapped with hemp ropes, which led to numerous injuries and dangerous consequences. Competitions look modern today, and Muay Thai regulation glove weight depends on many factors – weight division, age, model, fighting federation…
In this article, I will guide you through Muay Thai regulation glove weight. You will learn the differences between various promotions and tournaments. Different promotion, different ruleset. Keep reading to get to know the minor details.
Muay Thai Regulation Glove Weight – The Difference Between Weight Classes
The Thai boxing ruleset is pretty much unique when it comes to competition gloves. Heavier fighters wear thicker gloves, while minor weight classes allow thinner models. Now here’s why it makes sense.
Have you ever compared 125er with a Heavyweight ring warrior? What happens when they hit the heavy bag? The bag bounces more when it’s hit by a heavier opponent. This means that the 215+ lbs (Super Heavyweight) striker creates more damage than a flyweight ring warrior.
Smaller weight classes aren’t known for fabulous one-punch knockouts. Yet, in the Heavyweight or Super Heavyweight division, even a moderate counterpunch could lead to a face-plant finish. Muay Thai regulation glove weight is stricter for higher weight classes (it means more massive fighters wear thicker gloves). Glove sizes are prescribed according to a fighter’s weight (professional fights):
- Fighters who weigh 100-126 lbs (Mini Flyweight to Featherweight) must use 6 oz gloves;
- Ring warriors who weight 126-147 lbs (Super Featherweight to Welterweight) must wear 8 oz gloves;
- Fighters who compete in 147+ lbs weight classes must wear 10 oz gloves.
The same ruleset applies to female competitors too. It makes sense, there is not much difference between genders when it comes to hitting power. I mean, yeah, women use less muscle density than men, but that’s only one parameter. The fighter with good technique hits very hard, even if he competes in a smaller weight class.
This Sports Science video shows that a woman can hit nearly as hard as a man. Lucia Rijker, an undefeated Dutch boxer, and a former kickboxer is a hell of a hitter. She hit very hard with her powerful right hand after a big step in. The male MMA fighter didn’t step in, but the guy who felt both strikes said that Lucia’s hit was more powerful. Please watch the video.
Muay Thai regulation glove weight should be the same for both genders, should it? It is believed that even if a woman had muscles the same size as a man she is usually going to be weaker. This happens in 90-95% of cases, but there are exceptions.
Competition – Procedure Before Putting Gloves On
First of all, you can take part in a professional bout if and only if you are at least 15 years old. The 14-year-old will not be allowed to compete and put the Muay Thai gloves on his hands. You can be the most talented 14-year-old in the world, but rules are rules.
In Thailand, gloves are always provided by the organizers of the competition (it should be the same in the western world, but, in some cases, you are allowed to wear your own set of gloves). The official will check your weight class, then you’ll proceed to weigh-in. If you don’t miss the weight, you’ll wait for some time until the fight. You will probably get a fight number (it depends on the competition, sometimes you are called by the announcer).
There are two options when it comes to putting the gloves on:
- Option 1. Muay Thai regulation glove weight rule is applied when you’re entering the hall. The official is waiting for you, checking the size of your hand, and chooses the appropriate model (6, 8, or 10 oz). As soon as you put the gloves on, you are checked by the official again. If everything’s fine, he/she lets you proceed towards the ring.
- Option 2. You get the gloves when you enter the ring (this might happen in minor competitions). The official checks both fighters then proceed with further activities Wai Kru dance, etc.
But, in both cases, the referee will not let the fight begin until both fighters put on the appropriate set of fighting gloves. You are also allowed to wear Muay Thai hand wraps under the gloves.
The Difference Between Competitions
You might see a different federation allowing thicker gloves, especially outside of Thailand. There is way more protection in amateur fights. Let me elaborate.
A professional can handle 10 powerful shins to the liver or spleen, but what about an amateur? Well, I bet the answer is no. In some amateur Thai boxing competitions outside of Thailand, Muay Thai regulation glove weight can be 10+ oz. But it depends on the tournament host.
Let me give you an advice – read the tournament invitation letter thoroughly and you’ll see. You can read twice, if necessary.
Can I Wear MMA Or Boxing Gloves In Muay Thai Competition?
The tournament host shouldn’t allow such a thing, because providing gloves is his/her duty. Yet, the Muay Thai level varies from state to state. In Thailand, you can forget about it, because the Thai boxing tournament demands Thai boxing gloves. But some states are more flexible.
I will give you an example from Bulgaria, the southeastern European country on the western shore of the Black Sea. There are very few Thai boxing clubs, Sambo is martial art number 1. It means you can’t take part in many competitions unless you travel outside of Bulgaria.
In some minor competitions, hosts allow boxing gloves, but if and only if it matches the Muay Thai regulation glove weight rule (8 oz or 10 oz). I’ve heard it is allowed because of “too few competitors and too small popularity”.
Yet, allowing MMA glove in a pure Thai boxing match demands a special ruleset due to open fingers. You can look at ONE Championship Muay Thai bouts. They made a step up, allowing fighters to wear MMA-style gloves, which leads to better clinch control and more knees and elbows. Of course, ONE FC allows it if and only if the glove matches Muay Thai regulation glove weight.
ONE FC president Chatri Sityodtong created a revolutionary promotion, a mixture of MMA and Muay Thai.
Muay Thai bouts are sanctioned by Thai boxing rules, but fighters wear MMA gloves due to a greater amount of damage and “new construction options”, especially in the clinch. It is harder to establish a double-collar or single-collar tie clinch with a pair of Muay Thai gloves. This rule modification leads to more entertaining bouts and a greater number of stoppage wins.
If you ask me, this parameter depends on the promotion. Yet, as long as Muay Thai glove regulation weight is ok, there shouldn’t be problems.
Which Are The Most Often Models?
One of the most often fight night models in Thailand is Yokkao. It offers Muay Thai regulation glove weight of 6, 8, and 10 oz; specially designed for spar sessions and tournaments. This manufacturer inks contracts with tournament hosts. It leads to greater popularity in the market. You can find out more on Yokkao’s official website.
Another very popular model is Fairtex, but they produce both boxing and Muay Thai gloves. Some tournament hosts rather chose Fairtex due to the enhanced durability and breathability of the glove. This company is also known for many other training tools – mitts, hitting bags, belly pads, kick pads, etc.
There are many other popular sparring models – Hayabusa, Twins, Venum, Boon Thai, Windy Muay Thai, Sandee… Tournament hosts usually ink contracts with manufacturers in advance because fighters rather spar with thicker gloves in the training session due to injuries, so some of them rather produce sparring models by order.
Muay Thai regulation glove weight depends from tournament to tournament. In Thailand, competitors wear 6, 8, or 10oz gloves, depending on their weight class. Heavier ring warriors protect their knuckles with thicker gloves to minimize the amount of damage.
The tournament host is obliged to procure gloves. In many cases, you’ll never know which model of the glove will be on your hands until you put them on in the competition. But, in some states and promotions, hosts are ready to allow boxing or MMA gloves, depending on the ruleset. Some states even allow your own pair if it meets the standard.
Last Updated on May 21, 2022 by Deni