It's an idea that the UFC has been kicking around for at least the last half decade, a narrative fans have raised since the heyday of pride and their famous blue gloves (if not before that); how could you make MMA gloves better? Bellator isn't the first to try and improve up on the MMA glove, but they may be the most recent. They announced the redesign in partnership with Everlast and their plan to debut the gloves at Bellator 110, via press release.
Newport Beach, Calif. (February 27, 2014) - Everlast Worldwide Inc. and Bellator MMA, have collaborated to produce the next-generation of MMA fight glove. The new glove will debut when Bellator's 10th season kicks-off this Friday, February 28th, 2014.
Over the last year Everlast product designers have worked closely with Bellator's team and its athletes to create the PowerLock MMA Fight glove. The new glove promotes proper hand form and technique, which can help to reduce the risk of face, hand and wrist injuries. The PowerLock displays a number of improvements over earlier generations of MMA gloves; these changes include a curved striking surface that aides proper hand form, redesigned foam to maximize hand protection on the impact zone and additional padding that shields the first and fifth metacarpals, two commonly injured bones of the hand.
From the looks of things it appears that the biggest change will be the curving of the glove to a more closed fist style. This has been a long talked of change by those fighters and fans concerned with eye pokes. Fighters are required to wear a brand new pair, provided by the promotion each time they fight, which means that their gloves tend to be fairly rigid. Some have argued that this promotes fighters to keep their hands open, fingers extended as they fight. The second, less obvious change is in the added padding to the inner and outer fingers, with the intention of preventing bone breaks.
It will obviously take some time to determine whether these new gloves are effective or not. Only after several years and hundreds of fights could any meaningful data hope to be gathered as to whether or not the gloves are helping to reduce injury. But, it will be interesting to see them in action tomorrow and hopefully hear from a few fighters regarding their experiences wearing them in the cage.