Bellator MMA have announced that they're willing to share their new fight glove design, which reduces the amount of hand injuries suffered by fighters.
The announcement comes at a time when the UFC, and in particular their heavyweight division, is suffering from a blight of hand injuries to their top stars.
Former UFC Heavyweight champion, Junior dos Santos had to pull out of his upcoming clash with Stipe Miocic at TUF: Brazil 3 finale with a hand injury suffered in training. He was replaced by compatriot Fabio Maldonado, but the UFC is still offering refunds to those who bought tickets.
Fellow heavyweights Travis Browne and Roy Nelson are also on the shelf with injuries. Browne suffered a broken hand in his loss to number one contender, Fabricio Werdum, while crowd favourite Roy Nelson broke his right hand knocking out Antonio Nogueira in the first round of their fight.
So with a string of injuries in their big-hitting division, maybe it's in the UFC's best interests to protect their fighters and adopt the technology but so far the company has said nothing on the matter.
For Bellator, they adopted the gloves for Bellator 110 and all shows moving forwards from that after they lost several of their biggest talents to long-term hand injuries, including now welterweight champion, Douglas Lima, twice.
A press release from Bellator stated "Since the new gloves debuted at Bellator 110, Bellator has held nine events and experienced zero hand breaks inside the Bellator cage. By way of comparison, Bellator Season 8 saw eleven events using the old glove design, and included eight broken hands during the season, including welterweight champion Douglas Lima and lightweight standouts Saad Awad and Alexander Sarnavskiy. Bellator’s ninth season also featured eleven events, and saw seven fighters suffer breaks, including Herman Terrado, Joe Taimanglo and once again, Douglas Lima."
Lima has been incredibly supportive of the gloves, saying ahead of Bellator 120 that the new gloves put him "more at ease" and that they feel "designed just for me".
The difference in the new gloves and old gloves can be seen in this picture here.
The curve to the glove adds more support and cushioning to the first and fifth metacarpal, which are two of the most commonly injured joints in the hand, as well as redesigned foam that does less damage to the face, hand and wrists.
Bellator chairman and CEO, Bjorn Rebney said "I would be willing to share these gloves and this technology with anybody - any small organization, the UFC, anybody who wants this technology. They should have it because it has absolutely changed the dynamic of guys breaking their hands in our organization"
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