Touching Gloves in MMA and boxing

Touching Gloves in MMA and boxing (What Does it Mean?)

You might have seen fighters touch gloves before the fight starts. But what does it mean?

Touching gloves is a sign of respect before the opponent. It is an alternative to bowing in Asian martial arts. Depending on the fighters in hand, some might try to use glove touch against their opponent, tricking them into lowering their guard.

Let’s take a deeper look into glove touching and other signs of respect in fights.

What is glove touching in boxing?

Glove touching in general is meant to show respect and good sportsmanship towards the opponent and the fight. It is an alternative to bowing in Asian martial arts.

A glove touch is simply a gesture, where you put your hand forward and expect your opponent to tap on them.

Typically glove touch occurs before the fight formally starts. At this time, there is no danger of getting knocked out.

However, during a fight, people might try to fake glove touch to get their opponent to lower their guard. During the fight, you will be at risk of getting punched trying to touch gloves.

What is glove touching in MMA?

Glove touching in MMA has a similar meaning as in boxing. It is a sign of respect and good sportsmanship.

In MMA as well, before the fight glove touch comes with no risk of getting attacked, since the fight has not formally started yet.

However, during the fight, if your opponent offers a glove touch, you will be at risk of getting attacked during the glove touch.

Additionally to boxing, you could be punched, kicked, or taken down as your lower your guard. More about fake glove touch in the next section.

What is fake glove touching?

Fake glove touching in short means when someone offers a glove to touch, and while the opponent lowers their guard to touch gloves, they will attack them.

An example of fake glove touching in a video below, I am not the creator of this video.

As you might see in the video, some people who went in for glove touch got knocked out badly.

All this because they were tricked into a good sportsmanship sign of touching gloves.

Faking glove touch will overall make the fighter less trusted in future fights if they wish to do glove touch. It will hurt their personal brand if they want to be trusted.

Is touching gloves mandatory for fighters?

Touching gloves is by no means mandatory. However, if fighters do not touch gloves, it can be considered very disrespectful toward the opponent.

Whether fighters touch gloves before the fight depends a lot on the character of a fighter. Fighters do have “personal brands” around them.

Some might want to seem arrogant and rude, while others try to maintain a polite and respectful image of themselves.

Glove touch is one of those situations, where the character really comes out. The more polite the fight is, the more likely clean glove touch before and during the fight is.

Why respect is important in boxing and MMA?

Showing respect towards your opponent has always been a component of martial arts.

Especially in Asian martial arts, where bowing is more common in the daily culture as well, showing respect towards your opponent is mandatory.

I think showing respect towards your opponent is an important aspect of boxing and MMA as well.

However, this is not always the case. More and more fighters, especially in MMA are arrogant and rude, refusing to show any signs of respect toward their opponents.

By showing respect towards your opponent, losing is less shameful. Imagine trash talking all day long before the fight and ending up losing.

Final thoughts

In conclusion, glove touch is an alternative to bowing in other martial arts.

It is not mandatory, and it depends a lot on the character of the fighter, whether they will touch gloves before fights or not.

It is still expected, as it shows good sportsmanship and respect towards the opponent and the fight.

There is a big pay gap between professional boxers and MMA fighters. Find out more about why boxers get paid more in this post.

Hopefully this was helpful, have a wonderful day!

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