There are a few forms of competition where use of a mouthguard is fully mandatory rather than even somewhat optional, and the realm of mixed martial arts (MMA) is a top example. No reputable MMA organization on earth allows its fighters to compete without a protective mouthguard in place, and fighters should be prioritizing a quality mouthguard not only for rules-related reasons, but also for personal safety and protection.
At Damage Control Mouthguards, we're here to offer a variety of high-quality MMA mouthguards, along with options for similar combat activities like Muay Thai, boxing and more. In this two-part blog series, we're going to discuss all the reasons why mouthguards are such a vital part of MMA - today's part one will focus on rules and regulations typically surrounding their use, while part two will go over the safety and protection reasons why they're so important.
Mouthguards Are Mandatory
As we noted above, there are simply no forms of reputable MMA competition where a mouthguard isn't mandatory - even if you're competing in your own local organization or gym, it's likely still required. You will not be allowed to compete if you are not wearing one.
Some of the most well-known MMA organizations, such as the UFC and Bellator, take this rule to its utmost extreme - not only must fighters wear a mouthguard during competition, but also when engaging in contact sparring practice in the gym. In fact, some of these organizations even have entire policies dedicated to mouthguard use and regulation within their establishments - for instance, UFC fighters must use an approved form of closed-cell rubber mouthguards when taking part in any kind of contact activities, and this includes not just competition but also training.
Mouthguard Fall-Out Rules
One area where different MMA organizations may vary somewhat is in their rules for what to do if a fighter's mouthguard falls out during competition. In some cases, the fight must be halted immediately to allow the fighter replace it - while this may like an inconvenience, it's there for safety reasons and should treated as such.
In other cases, the referee will give fighters a few seconds to locate and replace their mouthguard without having to stop the fight. In general, all organizations agree that if a mouthguard does fall out, a key priority should be ensuring it's replaced before the fighter has to take any kind of significant contact.
By adhering to all relevant rules and regulations with respect to mouthguard use, fighters can ensure they're taking the proper safety measures - and that's what we'll discuss in greater depth in part two of this series. Stay tuned!
At Damage Control Mouthguards, we offer a wide selection of MMA-specific mouthguard options for both competition and training. Check out our products today to find the best option for your needs!