10 Best MMA Cups | Simply Explained
For years I struggled to find a good cup that would last, and that I wouldn’t have to worry about readjusting all the time.
Until one day I decided enough was enough, and that I need to find the best ones. So I’ve created this guide.
Table of Contents
Compression Shorts Cups
What You Must Know About Cups
There are two different types of cups, the compression shorts cup, and the jockstrap cup. In this guide we'll break down the top 10 best mma cups available on the market today for both types.
Below the reviews, you'll find information on what to look for in a cup, types of cups, cons of not wearing a cup, adjustment period, the best cups for different disciplines and much more.
Best Compression Shorts Cups
Pros: Highest quality, great protection fit and comfort
Known as the best cup on the market, the Diamond MMA athletic cup is made out of high quality material such as premium spandex and military grade elastics. On top of this it boasts a 4 strap jock system that keeps the cup in place no matter what movements you are doing. Their system prevents the cup from moving vertically or horizontally.
Their system eliminates the headaches that cups can come with when you are training and constantly have to adjust your cup.
The interior of the cup is made out polycarbonate, which happens to be the same plastic used in bulletproof glass. This provides you with maximum protection. On the other side of that, the side that rests against your groin and near you inner thighs contain a soft elastomer edge.
Pros: Reliable, great protection fit and comfort
Cons: Can't order shorts without cup
Shock Doctor is a reputable company that has created this very popular cup that features a premium 4 way stretch fabric. This ensures solid positioning of the cup while preventing build up of bacteria.
The Dual mesh cup panel allows for maximum comfort and ventilation. Anyone who has owned a cup before knows how important it is to receive some sort of ventilation while wearing a cup.
One of the cons with this is you are unable to order the cup without the cup. You may ask 'Why would anyone want to do that?' well some prefer to use the same cup for years while only having to swap compression shorts. Some compression shorts are more comfortable, and some cups are more comfortable, so it's very common to mix and match cups and compression shorts.
Best Bargain For Adults
Pros: Bargain price, solid protection, can wear with or without the cup
Cons: Run on the smaller side
Provided with anti odor fabrics that prevents moisture and also controls body temperature, the Meister MMA cup is one of the best bargains in the market. It is made out of polyester/spandex material and the cup area contains a velcro enclosure to ensure it stays in its intended location.
These shorts can also be worn with and without the cup, which make it very popular with users.
Best For Youth on a Budget
Pros: Soft fabric, great for youth
Cons: Cup not included
Made out of 80% polyester and 20% spandex, the four way stretch fabric is inteneded to reduce moisture while still providing a comfortable fit.
The soft fabric minimizes skin irriation and provides a fabric that younger kids will feel comfortable with. The elastic stretch waistband also provides a snug fit.
Best for Those Needing a Larger Size
Cons: Tends to run on the larger side
Made out of high quality stretch fabric along with hydravent moisture technology to maximize cooling, this cup is a great choice. It typically runs on the larger size and they offer sizes up to XXXL.
This cup will work for both youth and adults, and if you're looking for a larger sized product, look no further.
Best Jockstrap Cups
Pros: High quality, great protection, price
Cons: Limited sizes
Featuring double layer shock absrobers for maximum protection, this jockstrap is designed to allow maximum mobility and comfort. This specific waistband and design allows for a great fit.
Venum is also a very reputable company who has recently signed an apparel deal with the UFC.
Pros: High quality, great protection
Cons: Runs on the smaller side
This cup was designed by athletes specifically for athletes. One of the most popular (for good reason) cups on the market, its fitting system is designed for maximum range of motion and is very easy to use. You adjust the straps one time and that's it! According to the manufacturer you're also able to just throw it in the washing machine when it becomes dirty.
Best for Sparring, contact sports specifically thai boxing.
Pros: Great fit and protection
Cons: Runs small
This anti odor and breathable jockstrap made by Shock Doctor provides a fantastic fit and protection. It has fantastic reviews for these reasons as well as for not limiting the user's range of motion.
If your prioritize having the best fit possible, this may be something that will interest you.
Pros: Protection, long durability
Cons: Cup not included
This jockstrap is handcrafted by Maya hide leather for ultimate durability. The double layered closed cell foam provides great protection to the groin area. This thick padded and best for striking disciplines rather than grappling ones.
Best For Boxing
Pros: High quality, can be used for multiple martial arts
Cons: A little bulky
This high quality jockstrap with leather shell construction provides fantastic protection from hits below the belt. An added benefit is that there is also padding for the abdominal area as you can see in the picture above.
For an optimal fit, it sits high on the hips allowing the user for maximum range of motion as well.
One of the great things about this product is that you can use this for almost all disciplines. Whether you're training boxing one day, and muay thai the next, you wont have to worry about having a different type of equipment when protecting yourself.
If you've never worn a cup before, there will be an adjustment period. Quick for some, longer for others. When wearing it for the first time, you'll notice that you feel the cup while walking and even stretching. Using your footwork when doing drills, or throwing kicks while doing sparring will feel awkward at first.
The good news is all of this is temporary. Eventually you will become accustomed to wearing a cup as it will become second nature. And the only time during training that you'll even think about it, is when you've realized that you forgot to put it on.
Something to keep in mind to get you through the adjustment period is that everyone else has gone through the same initial discomfort. Whether a 'casual' fighter or a professional, they've all gone through it and overcome it.
Cons of NOT Wearing a Cup
Injuries are a common occurrence in MMA. Once you've had an accidental hit to the groin, you will never want to feel that pain again.
In best cases, you can be incapacitated for a few seconds, with lingering effects that can last a few minutes.
In more severe cases you can find yourself in the emergency room. Avoid all of these problems by getting yourself a high quality mma groin protector.
Types of Cups
A more traditional cup that has been around forever. It contains a waistband, a cup in the front and two elastic bands for the user to put their legs through as it secures around the hamstrings to the waistband.
Compression Shorts With Cup - Built in Jockstrap
Known as the more modern cup, this cup is as easy as it gets to put on and wash. How it works is a compression short was built with a cup slot in the front. All the user would have to do is put on that specific compression short (with the cup inside of course) under their shorts and voila! All done.
What to Look for in a Cup & Choosing the Best MMA Groin Protector
The best fit when it comes to cups is very simple. You want to maintain a full range of motion without having to fix your cup frequently. This means the cup should be a little tight on your body, however not too tight to the point where it pokes your inner thighs.
Fit - Proper Size
There are one size fits all cups as well as the traditional small, medium, large and extra large cups.
However, something of note is that some manufacturers do this in both kids and adult sizes. The last thing you'll want to deal with after ordering your cup is realizing that it is actually in a kids size. Then you'll have to decide whether you want to go through the process of shipping the item back for the correct size, getting a refund, or biting the bullet and just ordering another one.
Save yourself a headache! All of this can be avoided by spending an extra 20 seconds reading carefully before clicking the order button.
Typically the actual cup is made out of plastic, containing hard padding on the front to protect vs impact, and softer padding on the back of the cup (that rests on the body of the user). This allows the user maximum comfort as well as maximum protection.
Like any other item, you'll want the best value for what you're purchasing. This has different meanings for each person.
Budget: There are low priced groin cups for those who are on a budget. These may not have the highest quality gear, however some protection is always better than no protection.
This is a very popular pick with beginners who just want to get the necessary items to train properly and safely.
High Quality: The saying 'You get what you pay for' rings true in the MMA world as well. There are a variety of high quality cups in the market to choose from, however prices are on the higher end.
If you're looking for the best protection, you'll want to invest in high quality cups. This is a very popular pick for those who train frequently and for those who aren't restricted to a budget.
Best Overall: This combines the high quality aspect of the cup while being on the lower end of pricing, the best of both worlds. We were very careful compiling this list ensuring we've chosen the top of the line for our 'best overall' choice.
Best Cup For Jiu Jitsu - Best Groin Cup for BJJ
When it comes to bjj, getting a cup can be a bit tricky as they can actually be used as a performance enhancer. Now yes that sounds ridiculous at first, but let me give you an example. When holding an arm bar, as you extend your hips looking for the tap, you can use your cup as extra leverage. Due to this cups are banned in many tournaments.
Another aspect when it comes to bjj is it could actually hinder you during a competition. It can become dislodged and it'll be hard to adjust your cup in the middle of a match.
Due to this you'll want to use our list and choose the cup that has technology preventing it from moving vertically or horizontally such as the Diamond MMA cup.
Best Cup For Muay Thai
Muay Thai consists of tremendous explosion when striking and is unique. Unlike other disciplines, kicks to the head, body, and legs are allowed. This means your body and legs will be at different levels throughout training, many more angles than other disciplines. There will be more chances of the cup moving around or dislodging. You'll want to invest in a high quality cup that prevents this, and a cup like this you will find at the top of our list.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Long Can I Use a Groin Cup?
A high quality cup can last several years despite training frequently.
Can Cups be Washed?
Yes. Most cups can be washed in warm and cold water, but you'll want to double check the specifics included in the box.
How Many Cups do I Need?
Most people will only need 1. However, depending on how often you train and compete you may consider getting more. If you're training near every day, you'll have a hard time keeping the cup clean through washing it, as your window to do that will be a lot shorter than if you say, only trained twice a week.
If you decide to purchase more than one cup, something you should think about is getting a similar, if not the same cup that you already have. That would eliminate the adjustment period that usually comes along with using a new cup, and you'll be able to rotate your cups throughout the week seamlessly.