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Best Compression Shorts for Combat Sports

Best Compression Shorts Cover

Taylor Saipe |

Have you ever wondered what athletes wear in the exciting world of combat sports? 

From mixed martial arts to Muay Thai, choosing the right outfit is about more than just looking good—it’s about enhancing performance and feeling completely at ease when the action heats up.

One essential item for any fighter is a pair of compression shorts. The last thing anyone wants during training or a match is to be distracted by uncomfortable gear.

We've put together a guide to help you find the best compression shorts for combat sports, covering everything from MMA to Jiu Jitsu compression shorts. We'll highlight some of the top choices available, ensuring you're equipped to train and compete at your best.

Why are Compression Shorts worn in MMA?

Compression shorts, often known as Vale Tudo shorts in the MMA community, have become incredibly popular among athletes. If you’ve watched UFC events, you’ve likely seen competitors sporting them.

So, why do they choose compression shorts for MMA? 

First off, these shorts enhance blood circulation, ensuring that muscles get the oxygen and nutrients they need. This is especially helpful during the strenuous moments of rolling on the mat or engaging in intense MMA grappling.

They fit snugly, which helps prevent muscles from tiring too quickly and decreases the risk of strains. Additionally, they minimize friction, adding a layer of comfort to those vigorous grappling and striking sessions by protecting against chafing.

With recent innovations, these shorts also help maintain an ideal body temperature, boosting your performance in the ring. Plus, with all the latest designs, colorways, and collaborations available, there are fantastic options to consider, from high-end to more budget-friendly choices.

In other martial arts like no-gi jiu-jitsu, these shorts are equally essential, providing similar advantages during training and competition by allowing for greater mobility and comfort.

Diamond MMA Compression Shorts

Top Compression Short Picks from Made4Fighters

1. Venum UFC Pro Line Vale Tudo Shorts

Overview: A result of a fantastic collaboration between Venum and UFC, these shorts have been a standout in the MMA world since 2005.

These shorts are part of the Pro Line series, featuring unique designs inspired by the Fight Night outfits that fighters wear during their walkouts.

Designed to feel like a second skin, they offer excellent muscular support. Flexible and robust, these Pro Line Vale Tudo shorts come in seven vibrant colours.

Guarantee: The Pro Line series represents the second collection of Authentic Products by Venum x UFC.

Note: Please cold wash only, do not iron, and avoid tumble drying.

Size Options: S, M, L, XL, XXL

Colour Options: Black/Gold, Yellow, Blue, White, Black

2. Shock Doctor Core Compression Short/Bioflex Cup

Next, let’s take a look at a brand renowned for its exceptional protection – Shock Doctor.

These shorts are versatile enough to be worn either under your shorts or by themselves, its personal preferance.

Also included is the Shock Doctor BioFlex Cup, a vented bio-shaped device crafted to guard areas where protection is vital – certainly not a place you’d want to take a kick!

We're genuinely impressed by the airflow, comfort, and protection these provide, earning them a perfect score from us.

Size Options: S, M, L, XL, XXL

Colour Options: Black, White

3. Fairtex GC3 Compression Short with Athletic Cup

Overview: Fairtex is a name that's become synonymous with quality in combat sports, particularly famous for their Muay Thai compression shorts.

These shorts are made from a material that’s not only breathable but also exceptionally comfortable to wear.

They're easily some of the best compression shorts around, also perfect for MMA, and any other combat sport you might be into!

  • Main fabric: 200 GSM (85% Nylon, 15% Spandex)
  • Inside mesh: 160 GSM (84% Nylon, 16% Spandex)

Size Options: S, M, L, XL

Colour Options: Black

4. Manto Leopard Vale Tudo Shorts

Next up in our best Compression Shorts for combat sports showcase, we have something for those who love to stand out with unique designs. Think Sugar Sean style!

Introducing the MANTO VT Leopard Shorts!

Made from a  blend of 82% polyester and 18% elastane, these shorts are built to last and can handle even the most intense training sessions – so go ahead and grapple to your heart’s content!

Plus, their stylish sublimation print features a striking leopard pattern that’s guaranteed to make heads turn whether you’re in the gym or stepping into the ring.

Coordinate Style: With the Black MANTO VT Leopard Rashguard for a complete look.

Size Options: S, M, L, XL, XXL

Colour Options: Pink/Orange

5. Fumetsu Mjolnir Vale Tudo Shorts

Overview: Fumetsu is renowned for creating some of the most unique compression shorts, each design carrying its own tale.

These particular shorts draw inspiration from the powerful forces of Norse mythology and ancient legends. Inspired by Mjolnir, the mythical hammer of the gods, they feature hand-drawn artwork that pays tribute to this legendary weapon. 

Not only do they boast fully sublimated graphics on soft, comfortable, and durable polyester, but they are also perfect as compression shorts for Muay Thai and MMA. 

Size Options: S, M, L, XL, XXL

Colour Options: Black/Bronze, Blue/Black

7. Scramble Senshu Vale Tudo Shorts

Overview: Super comfortable and supportive these Scramble compression shorts are  designed to wick away moisture and provide excellent breathability, ensuring you feel fantastic whether training or competing.

Jiu-Jitsu and MMA athletes have thoroughly tested these Vale Tudo shorts, and they come highly recommended.

Champion’s Choice: Endorsed for prestigious events like ADCC and Polaris.

Size Options: S, M, L, XL, XXL

Colour Options: Black/White

8. Bytomic Red Label Vale Tudo Shorts

Soft, Comfortable, Durable, Opaque Material with a simple yet pleasing design.

They're an excellent budget-friendly option that we happily recommend for both quality and price.

Bytomic has also launched an entire Red Label Range, so you can coordinate all your martial arts training wear and even find matching equipment!

Size Options: S, M, L, XL, XXL

Colour Options: Black

Best Budget Friendly Compression Shorts: Venum Tempest 2.0 Vale Tudo Shorts

Best Compression Shorts for Women: Venum Monogram Women's Compression Shorts

Best Compression Shorts for Kids: Shock Doctor Youth Core Compression Short/Bioflex Cup

Best Compression Shorts for training: Scramble Senshu Vale Tudo Shorts

Israel Adesanya Fight

How to Pick the Best Compression Shorts for Combat Training

  1. Material and Comfort: The fabric of the compression shorts plays a pivotal role in determining comfort. Look for materials that offer breathability and moisture-wicking properties. After all, during intense training sessions, the last thing you'd want is to feel restricted or uncomfortable.

  2. Fit: A snug fit is essential for compression shorts to work their magic. However, it shouldn't be too tight that it restricts movement. Remember, flexibility, especially during rolls on the mat or mma grappling, is crucial.

  3. Durability: Combat sports can be demanding, and the last thing you'd want is a pair of shorts that wear out quickly. 

  4. Additional Features: Some shorts come with added features like a groin cup or pockets. Depending on your requirements, these features can be beneficial.

"The best compression shorts are not just about aesthetics; they're about functionality, comfort, and enhancing your performance."

Manto Compression Shorts

Layering Compression Shorts Beneath Traditional Shorts

Mixed martial arts, jiu jitsu, and muay thai athletes often choose to layer compression shorts under their traditional shorts. This practice varies depending on the sport's specific rules or the athlete's training preferences.

While some regulations may require or restrict this layering for competition, many athletes find wearing compression shorts beneficial for added support and comfort during training sessions.

For example, MMA frequently permits the use of compression gear beneath fight shorts (unless only vale tudo shorts are being worn), whereas traditional Muay Thai competitions may enforce more stringent dress codes.

Boxing, too, has its own set of rules regarding undergarments. Always check with the event or sanctioning body's regulations before stepping into the ring or cage.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What material are compression shorts made from?

Compression shorts are typically made from a blend of polyester and spandex. This combination provides the elasticity and snug fit that compression shorts are known for. The material is also moisture-wicking, ensuring that the wearer remains dry and comfortable during intense physical activities.

What are the differences between Vale Tudo shorts and compression shorts?

Vale Tudo shorts are a type of compression shorts specifically designed for MMA and no-gi grappling. They are shorter in length, often resembling briefs, and fit very snugly to the body. Compression shorts, on the other hand, can vary in length and are used in various sports, not just MMA. Both are designed to provide muscle support, but Vale Tudo shorts often come with reinforced stitching to withstand the rigors of combat sports.

What different sizes do compression shorts come in?

Compression shorts are designed to cater to a variety of body types and sizes. Typically, they are available in sizes ranging from Small (S) to Double Extra-Large (XXL) to ensure a snug and comfortable fit for everyone.

How do I choose the right size for my compression shorts?

When choosing compression shorts, it's essential to refer to the brand's specific sizing chart. Measure your waist and hips and compare them to the chart. The shorts should fit snugly but not restrict movement. If you're between sizes, it's usually recommended to go for the smaller size to ensure adequate compression.

How often should I replace my compression shorts?

The lifespan of compression shorts depends on their frequency of use and how they're cared for. Generally, if you notice the shorts losing their elasticity, developing holes, or the seams coming apart, it's time for a replacement. With regular use, it's a good idea to replace them every 6-12 months.

Are there any downsides to wearing compression shorts?

While compression shorts offer numerous benefits, wearing them too tight or for extended periods can cause issues. Overly tight shorts can restrict blood flow, and prolonged use can sometimes lead to skin chafing or irritation. It's essential to choose the right size and give your body a break from compression now and then.

Can I wear compression shorts without a groin cup during training sessions?

Yes, you can wear compression shorts without a groin cup. However, for sports or training sessions where there's a risk of impact to the groin area, it's advisable to use a groin cup for added protection. Make sure you check with the instructor.

How should compression shorts fit?

Compression shorts should fit snugly against the skin to provide muscle support and reduce vibration. However, they shouldn't be so tight that they restrict movement or cause discomfort. The waistband should sit comfortably without digging into the skin.

Can you wear compression shorts to Jiu Jitsu?

Yes, compression shorts are commonly worn in Jiu Jitsu, especially during no-gi training sessions. They provide muscle support, reduce friction on the mats, and prevent skin burns. Some practitioners also wear them under their gi pants for added support.