One of the most common and most important pieces in any contact sport is the protective cup. In Mixed Martial Arts there are many situations where you are happy that you decided to purchase a cup. We recommend that a cup would generally be worn during either training or sparring, but you don’t need to break to bank to buy decent protection. There are plenty of well-priced and low-cost options available on the market. Wearing a cup during training will help you get used to wearing one and will make you feel a lot more comfortable when your drilling techniques, just incase any freak limbs were to fly in that region, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Our Recommended Cups for MMA or BJJ
Diamond MMA Cup and Compression Shorts
When it comes to good-fitting and excellent protection, you can’t beat the Diamond MMA cup. The Diamond MMA Cup is one of the best designed groin protection products on the market and can be used for any contact sport. The cup itself feels solid and is shaped to fit comfortably to give increased protection around the groin area. You can take some seriously hard strikes on this guard and you won’t feel a thing!
The Diamond MMA Compression Shorts are really what makes this product stand out from the rest, the shorts have a build in Jockstrap that securely holds the cup in place. Where most compression shorts just have a pocket for the cup, the Diamond MMA Cup’s shorts are designed not just the cup, but make sure that it is securely in place.
- Seemless between cup and shorts
- Very comfortable
- Extremely curable
- Some people said shorts run a little tight
Shock Doctor BioFlex Cup and Compression Shorts
Next on our list is the one company that has pretty much cornered the combat sport protection market, Shock Doctor. Shock Doctor are world leaders when it come to protecting fighters and sports stars. If you’re on a budget and looking for some great protection, this is the product for your needs.
The BioFlex cup fits comfortably and have an internal system designed to help keep the cup in place. this is a great product for someone who is looking to get into the sport and not looking to spend too much money.
- Flexible cup
- Soft waistband
- Remove able cup
- Elastic can be tight when new
Under Armour Compression Shorts and Cup
Under Armour is another front runner when it comes to MMA Cups. The Under Armour is designed to be lighter than most on-the-shelf products but that doesn’t mean it lacks in protection. This is a perfect cup for BJJ and Grappling due to it’s size and weight. The Cup itself is quite an unusual shape and features a unique design that the designers claim is anatomically correct.
This Cup is extremely comfortable to wear and fit extremely well when worn with compression shorts. The compression shorts are a hybrid shorts, jockstrap design, with jockstrap-style straps built in the inside of the shorts. This Cup has been featured on Sports Science TV Show and has also help up to some pretty impressive tests. The Cup comes in 5 sizes and the compression shorts come in 11 sizes, so you know that everything is going to fit just right. Just don’t ask us how to measure everything.
- Anti Odor Technology
- Temperature Controlling
- Cup can feel a little stiff
Venum Challenger Cup with Jock Strap
Venum are one of the leading companies to provide excellent quality combat gear at a reasonable price, and that also includes protective cups. The Venum Challenger Cup is a similar design to other groin protection products, so it doesn’t win any points on style. But what it does win on is value. For $27 you can have some extremely good crotch protection that doesn’t only protect you well but is comfortable for long training sessions.
The Jock strap does a good job of holding the cup in place but we would recommend some compression shorts to go over it, just to help keep it all in place. Venum make excellent low-cost training gear and this product is no exception. If you are looking for a basic but well designed cup for a decent price then I suggest giving this a shot.
- Trusted MMA Brand
- High-quality product
- Can withstand hard blows
- Jock Strap not as secure as compression shorts
McDavid Compression Shorts and Cup
McDavid provide a huge range of protection gear for mixed martial artists, and the cup that they make is probably one of the best cups for MMA. This cup can withstand some seriously heavy strikes and keep you safe and ready to fight. The Compression shorts are adjustable through a number of straps, which keep the cup in place.
While this is not as good as the Diamond cup, this product certainly does the job, especially when it comes to MMA. This cup is nice a strong and the strap design is one of the best on the market.
- Breathable material
- Durable cup
- Cup runs a bit big for some
How to choose the best groin protector
Groin protection and cups are very important when it comes to grappling, mixed martial arts and any contact sports. While some come with shorts, others come with a jock strap and even traditional thai comes come with fabric you need to ie up! The key is finding the right protection that you’re going to find useful and more importantly comfortable.
Illegal low blows
But you’re probably thinking to yourself, “aren’t groin shots illegal in mixed martial arts?” Well while they are, it doesn’t mean that you’re not going to get kicked in that region by accident. Even in a pure submission grappling match, there are a lot of limbs flying and the real chance of you getting clipped somewhere you don’t want to get hit. A lot of MMA schools require you to wear a cup to class, so you might as well make the investment in a product that will last you years and not get cracked on the first shot.
What kind of groin protection is available?
Technology for cups hasn’t changed much over the last few years so brands that were reliable 5 or so years ago still stand true today. The true test of a good fitting cup includes a hard plastic fit around the groin area, and a flexible or padded edge to stop any chaffing during training.
Compression shorts or Jock Straps
Generally you can wear your cup with either a jock strap, which is the traditional way to wear one or compression shorts that have a pocket for the cup. Compression shorts are more secure than jockstraps, but with the security comes an increased cost. The benefit of compression short are that they are normally made from the same material as rash guards, meaning they material wicks sweat and moisture away from the area. A jock strap is normally used for more mobile contact sports so for MMA and grappling, we would tend to lean towards the compression shorts
If you are sparring very heavily then a steel cup maybe an alternative to plastic cups available. These are recommended for anyone who is sparring full contact Muay Thai. Steel cups are overkill for grappling, but they are very durable and if tied of correctly, are also extremely secure.
What material are cups made from?
As mentioned before, steel was the go to for designing cups back in the day but as technology has moved forward, so has cup protection and over time, from the days of cold steel cups, which weren’t pleasant, we replaced them with carbon fibre cups, which were more comfortable and offered more protection.
Today’s modern carbon fibre cups were a huge success. Known for it’s strong, durable qualities, carbon fibre is known for absorbing and dissipating impact shocks at a microscopic level. When a carbon fibre cup is struck, small vibrations will go through the fibre, which carry small pockets of air. These pockets of air absorb the shockwaves, dissipating the energy. Despite all this, the real reason carbon fibre technology became so popular for cups is the fact it’s so lightweight.
Newer cups also started introducing layers of gel and foam around the edge, to help stop chafing and being uncomfortable, especially if you liked to have your jockstrap tight.
Cups are pretty basic but an essential if you want to train MMA or BJJ and we highly suggest that you wear one, just in case the worst happens you are at least protected. If you want to compete in MMA it is better to get used to wearing one while you’re sparring. However it is noted that cups and any groin protection are prohibited at any Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competition. This is due to the hard cup being used as a painful fulcrum point in any arm bars or joint locks.