Choosing a Cup for MMA Training

Why do I need a cup? Aren’t groin shots illegal in MMA?
Yes, they are, but there are many instances where you can receive a kick or a knee to the groin by accident. Even in pure grappling, when you are rolling around with somebody it is possibly to get hit or have some sort of pressure put on your groin area. Most schools require cups for class. If they do not require cups, keep in mind that you are responsible for your injuries if you decide not to wear one.

What kind of cup should I get for MMA?
Fortunately there is not much in the way of technology in cups, stick to a reliable brand and you will be okay. All you need to do is too make sure that the cup has a hard front, but flexible or padded sides. This will make it so that your pelvic area won’t get too sore from a totally hard cup. Some reliable brands are Shock Doctor, BIKE, Under Armor, and XO.

What are compression shorts, and should I get them instead of a jock strap?
Compression shorts are basically tight underwear that usually have a pocket for a cup. The upside is that that are more secure than jock straps, but they also can cost several times more. Another benefit is that compression shorts are made of a moisture wicking material, which will help you stay dry and comfortable. A jock strap should be fine, many people use them. You should try out both to see which you like better.

What about steel cups, do I need one?
If you are sparring very heavy contact, you can look into getting them. They are traditional used by Muay Thai guys. It is a bit overkill for grappling, but they are very durable, and if they are tied on correctly, are very secure.

Cups are pretty basic pieces of equipment. I highly suggest you wear one, even if you feel uncomfortable you have to get used to wearing it if you want to compete. Grappling, Striking, and MMA competitions require proper groin protection at the amateur and professional level.

There is also a cup system called the Nutty Buddy, which uses 3 parts; the cup, compression shorts, AND a jock strap. It could seem confusing at first, but I have tried it and it quickly became one of my favorite groin protectors, however it costs a little more than the standard cup.

If you are looking for a more affordable but also a high quality solution. We recommend the Shock Doctor ULTRA Short with Cup combo. It features rubber gripper panels to keep everything in place. It is one of the most comfortable MMA athletic protectors we have seen.

Our Recommended MMA Athletic Cups:

Jaco Guardian Compression Shorts and Cup

Jaco Guardian Compression Shorts and Cup
The Jaco MMA cup system is one the best groin proctection systems available. It has a unique outer elastic jock strap and compression shorts arrangement that holds the cup in place even in the most intense scrambles. This is perhaps the best system available today.

Shock Doctor Ultra LAX Short with BioFlex Cup

Shock Doctor Ultra LAX Short with BioFlex Cup
This MMA proctective cup from Shockdoctor is one of the best all-around groin protection systems. It can be used in a wide range of activities in training, grappling and competition. The compression shorts have rubberized grippers to hold the shorts in place. The cup is made of a combination of hard protective Polycarbonate material and a soft flex material that is close to your body.