“Going to see a lot more KOs” – UFC 302’s NEW gloves instill hope amongst fight fans

On the heels of multiple eye pokes from 2023-2024 season, UFC has finally introduced five different variants of the "3Eight" and "5Eight" gloves for UFC 302.

“Going to see a lot more KOs” – UFC 302’s NEW gloves instill hope amongst fight fans

Fans weigh in on UFC's new Official Fight Gloves - 3EIGHT/5EIGHT (Source: Instagram)

UFC 302, on June 1st in Newark, NJ, sees the inception of new gloves by the promotion. It’s a far cry from the fingerless gloves of the old. But it’s expected to be scientifically better in every way. The new UFC Official Fight Glove redesign – called the “3Eight” and “5Eight” went public during UFC 300’s fight eve and post-fight conference.

There were already rumors abuzz about a new glove on the horizon for UFC 300. MMA Coverage journo John Morgan posted that the UFC 300 Official Weigh-in programs had a new kit announcement. This turned out true as UFC 300 ‘Embedded,’ No. 4 Vlog saw select fighters receive custom kits. More specifically, they were Venum Sports Fight kits representing their origin or ethnicity.

However, fan speculation of new incoming gloves was still alive. Amy Kaplan of @fansidedmma stretched it out and made it public knowledge with updates on X. With the 2023-2024 season incurring more eye-pokes than ever, they had reason to. Aliaskhab Khizriev vs. Makhmud Muradov at UFC Fight Night 235 was one. Chris Weidman’s controversial win and eye-poke at UFC on ESPN 54 was one of the last straws.

Soon after UFC 300, it came to light that at Newark’s Prudential Center (ESPN+), Dustin Poirier and Islam Makhachev will feature the first-ever usage of the new gloves. UFC bantamweight contender Garrett Armfield (@Armfield135) has taken to posting side-by-side comparisons of the old and new gloves on his socials. The matter has garnered many responses.

Fight fans react to visual imagery of UFC 302’s new gloves

The “3Eight” and “5Eight” have taken the internet by storm. The five different variants weigh 1 to 1.5 ounces less than the previous padded version. The VICIS RFLX foam layer stack now makes up for the bevel pads that made the uppers of the glove heavier, thus branching out the fingers and resulting in pokes. The gloves even have a data chip that links a pair of mitts to a specific fighter and authenticates as having been worn out.

Islam Makhachev will don the new gloves soon at UFC 302
Islam Makhachev will don the new gloves soon at UFC 302 (Source: IMAGO/UFC (@ufc) on Threads)

Visuals of the gloves have already taken netizens by storm. Here’s what fans think:

A prime reaction (@What_a_Bets) noted – “I feel like we’re going to see a lot more KO’s with the new gloves. I think they look great!” Concurrently, most fans have resounded that the redesign would have more effective striking. However, some fear it would come at the cost of palm injuries. They have noted Trevor Whittman’s variant as better.

Consequently, Islam Makhachev has tried on his gloves and posted snaps on his IG stories (@islam_makhachev). Switching from Reebok, he and WMMA flyweight Tracy Cortez were among the first fighters to don the Venum Sports kits and shorts. Now, he embodies the first roster to try out the new gloves as well.

All in all, the matter has boosted much anticipation of the gloves’ debut. However, a handful of fans remain cautiously optimistic about the fallout of the untested gear. It remains at the hands of Poirier and Makhachev, quite literally.

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