In early 2014, Bellator and Everlast collaborated to create the next-generation of MMA fight gloves with the “Powerlock” design. The “Powerlock” glove promotes proper hand form and technique, which can help to reduce the risk of face, hand and wrist injuries by introducing a curved striking surface that aides proper hand form, along with a redesigned foam to maximize hand protection on the impact zone and additional padding that shields the first and fifth metacarpals, two of the most commonly injured bones of the hand.
“When this process began, we worked hand in hand with our partners at Everlast to create a completely unique MMA glove that could reduce hand injuries and enhance fighter safety,” Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney said. “We went through numerous iterations of the glove during a design process that was headed by Dean Lassiter from our Operations team collaborating with the team at Everlast. And, we worked closely with our fighters to get their input on what they wanted to see and feel from a new design as well. This was a focused, collaborative process and the end results speak for themselves.”
The new glove design debuted at Bellator 110, which featured a dominant first round KO victory by Rampage Jackson in the nights main event. Debuting in 1999, Jackson has nearly 50 professional fights to his name and has fought for some of the biggest organizations in the world.
“I’ve been fighting for a long time, and have worn a lot of different gloves,” Jackson said. “When I put these new gloves on for the first time, you could feel the difference right away. The glove just feels perfect on your hands. Mo’s going to get a mouthful of these new gloves on May 17th, so I hope he likes them too.”
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.
“I guess I hit too hard, because I’ve broken my right hand three times, and I didn’t think it was ever going to end,” Lima said. “When I put on these new gloves for my recent title fight, I already felt better. I could tell it was going to add more protection and felt like it was designed just for me. It put me more at ease, and I walked out of that fight with the belt around my waist and my hands felt great. The Bellator team did a great job with these new gloves, and I’m so happy I get to keep wearing them every time I walk into the cage.”
“As our sport continues developing, fighters have become bigger, faster and stronger while delivering strikes with more velocity and power,” Rebney said. “Broken hands take fighters out of the sport for months and sometimes years. It’s incumbent on us to put fighters in the best possible position to eliminate those injuries where possible. This new design has revolutionized fighter hand protection and safety. And, I will keep working with our team and partners to find additional sports technology advancements that can help our fighters.”