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In combat sports, there are few things worse than taking a shot to the groin in training or competition. Every combat sport poses a serious risk of injury due to the very nature of the activity. Proper protective gear is vital for ensuring the long-term safety of your own body.
When it comes to protecting your most sensitive areas during MMA and BJJ, you should seriously consider investing in a good athletic cup for MMA or BJJ. The following article covers our top picks for jock-strap and compression shorts to keep your athletic cup in place and your groin protected.
If you are an MMA fighter or simply a weekend spar-warrior looking for maximum protection, you will need one of the best athletic cups for MMA. MMA poses a serious risk to your groin area due to the wide variety of legal kicking and grappling techniques. While no opponent should intentionally target the groin in sport MMA, if you’ve spent any time sparring or have any fight experience, you’ll know that accidents happen and that protection for your groin is a must.
Depending on your comfort and what you wear, you can consider a standalone jock-strap with an MMA cup, or go for the combination of compression shorts with a cup pocket if you plan to wear compression shorts under your fight shorts.
Athletic cups are required for most MMA competitions. We highly recommend investing in your MMA cup and groin protection system as early as possible to ensure proper fit, get used to the feel, and avoid any last minute issues before your event.
If you are not a competitive fighter but practice any live sparring or MMA drilling, we highly recommend getting one of the best MMA cups on the market. All it takes is one accidentally placed strike or bump to the right spot and you can take some serious, potentially permanent damage to your groin. Wearing a cup is simply not optional for any level of MMA training.
Check out our list of the best athletic cups for MMA and BJJ with a jock strap. If you prefer compression shorts, scroll down to our top 5 picks for compression shorts with cup pockets and you can rest assured you’ll be keeping your tender areas both safe and comfortable.
Should you get an athletic cup for BJJ?
When it comes to pure BJJ training, athletic cups can be a bit more controversial.
Protective cups are banned in many BJJ tournaments for several reasons. Due to the nature of certain submissions such as the classic armbar variations, the athletic cup can provide extra leverage and a hard surface that can put the attacker at an unfair advantage. Additionally, the dynamic and close quarter nature of BJJ fighting means that poorly placed or fitted athletic cups for BJJ can quickly become a hindrance during your match, requiring manual adjustment and interrupting the flow of the grappling exchanges.
Nevertheless, due to the risk of heavy pressure or accidental strikes to the groin area during BJJ, we strongly recommend purchasing and wearing one of the cups on our list of the best cups for BJJ and MMA, even if you strictly use it for training but leave it off during cup-banned competition.
A well-fitted cup will stay reliably secure during long bouts of training. All of the cups on our list provide great ventilation, comfort, and protection for BJJ training and will stay in place better than many other cups on the market.
For BJJ, we recommend trying out both a jock-strap and compression shorts with a cup to determine which option is best for you. Luckily, all of the cups on our list will work with most jock-strap and compression shorts designs.
Check out our top athletic cup options and then scroll down to our picks for compression shorts with cup pockets to find some of the best athletic cups for BJJ training.
Jockstraps and Athletic Cups for BJJ and MMA
If you want the traditional jockstrap and athletic cup combination, the following list is our top 8 picks for the best jockstrap and cups for both BJJ and MMA training.
We list affordable, entry level options for your first BJJ or MMA cup. You can also scroll towards the bottom of our list to see premium, higher-priced options for the best BJJ groin protection on the market.
#8 – Mueller Adult Athletic Supporter with Flex Shield Cup
If you need a budget option that offers good protection, Mueller Adult Flex Shield Cup offers incredible value at an affordable price.
The comfortable tagless waistband is included with the cup to ensure properly matched fit. Moisture management fabric with antimicrobial treatment keeps you strap, cup, and support from nasty buildup of bacteria and smells. The breathable panels in the cup offer superior ventilation and cooling.
This cup is built to protect the groin under any circumstance. Soft rubber edges offer comfort and impact protection. The material is more flexible than polycarbonate and is well suited as groin protection for BJJ.
#7 – Shock Doctor Jock Strap with BioFlex Cup Supporter for BJJ
Shock doctor is one of the biggest names in the industry when it comes to groin protection. The Shock Doctor BioFlex Cup for BJJ offers superior protection with a body-form cup that fits seamlessly into your athletic frame, offering unrestricted movement.
The vented Bio-Shape cup shields the area where protection is most crucial. The jock strap is included with the cup and is built from four-way stretch mesh to ensure optimum fit, ventilation, and comfort.
If you need a great mid-tier option for a BJJ cup, Shock Doctor will not let you down.
The RDX BJJ groin cup is a tough, durable polycarbonate cup. This athletic cup is perfect for BJJ and resists even the nastiest impact without any loss in shape. The hard, lightweight, shatterproof material is extremely efficient and provides unrestricted movement – a crucial consideration given the dynamic nature of BJJ.
The ergonomic design will not hinder movement of flexibility, and stays in position throughout training. The Shell-Shock gel lining provides impack protection to transfer force from your body and absorb it in the cup. Ventilation ensures airflow and avoids sweat buildup, preventing rashes and ensuring comfort.
Shell-Shock gel absorbs impact
Sturdy shell design maintains shape under pressure
For maximum impact protection up to 100mph, the Shock Doctor Titan Alloy Flex Cup is the go-to option. The stainless-steel alloy coupled with thermal plastic urethane can withstand even the most massive impact before any deformation occurs.
If you plan on intense rolling or need maximum protection for BJJ and MMA sparring, the Shock Doctor Titan Alloy Flex Cup should be your first pick.
#4 – Shock Doctor Athletic Supporter Jock w/ Aircore Protective BJJ Cup
Not only does Shock Doctor offer the most durable cup for serious training, they also offer lightweight options that will offer dependable protection with minimum discomfort or noticeable weight in the groin area.
For fast-paced rolling where maximum mobility is needed, the Shock Doctor Aircore Protective BJJ cup is your best bet. The cup is 30% lighter than traditional molded cups. The chafe-free flat lock stitching jock strap with premium micro-knit waistband is machine-washable and fits perfectly with the cup. Available in youth and adult sizes.
#2 – Shock Doctor Ultra Pro BJJ Groin Protection Cup
As we mentioned, Shock Doctor leads the athletic cup industry in brand name and quality reputation.
The Shock Doctor Ultra Pro BJJ Cup offers the best combination of premium comfort and maximum protection. Secure, breathable mesh jock stap material offers comfort, unrestricted range of motion, and maximum security during BJJ and other combat sports activities.
The Ultra Carbon Flex Cup gives you advantage multi-layer impact protection and transfers shock away from vital areas while flex-curve design and gel perimeter maximizes mobility and comfort.
The Ultra Comfort Micro-Knit Waistband gives a superior fit and is included with the BJJ groin protection cup.
The Diamond MMA Quad Strap Jock and Cup System is a premium groin protector built specifically for high impact sport athletes such as BJJ and MMA.
This groin cup incorporates co-molded elastomer material alongside a polycarbonate core to provide maximum protection and comfort for athletes. Sizes range from 28” waist up to 44” waist. This cup is designed to have a tight fit.
If you are looking for a premium cup for BJJ, Diamond MMA has you covered.
If you enjoy the comfort and feel of compression shorts under your gi or fight shorts, a combination compression shorts with cup option is a great way to get the best of both worlds. Compression shorts improve blood-flow and keep your muscles warm during and between training rounds and competition, and are becoming increasingly popular among athletes in all combat sports.
The following list is our top 6 picks for compression shorts with athletic cup pockets. We recommend these compression shorts based on comfort, durability, and the fact that they will comfortably fit most athletic cup styles and sizes.
Some of these compression shorts come as a combination with the cups. Other options require you to purchase your cup separately. All of our options feature the cup pocket and are excellent options for groin protection systems for BJJ and MMA.
#6 – Shock Doctor Compression Shorts with Cup Pocket
*Cup not included*
For high-performance maximum protection, the Shock Doctor Compression Shorts with Cup Pocket has you (and your groin) covered. These compression shorts are ideal for elite athletes or weekend warriors alike seeking premium comfort and maximum protection
These shorts prevent moisture and odor build-up with their antimicrobial 4-way stretch material made from synthetic fabric. The comfort fit waistband ensures you can grapple and spar without irritation.
These shorts are great for newbies and pros alike, and are trusted by professional and collegiate athletes worldwide.
The shorts fit most athletic cups, which must be purchased separately.
#5 – Meister MMA Compression Rush Fight Shorts with Cup Pocket
If you need the compression shorts with a cup pocket for BJJ and are on a tight budget, the Meister MMA Compression Rush Fight Shorts should be on the top of your list.
Featuring premium 4-way stretch fabric made of spandex and polyester, the anti odor material wicks moisture and controls body temperature. The smooth, double-sticked interlocking seem offers maximum comfort.
Your BJJ groin protection cup is fully supported by a secure velcro closure that will work with any athletic cup.
You can wear the Meister MMA Compression Rush Fight Shorts under your gi or shorts. Cup not included.
If you want name-brand dependability in your BJJ compression shorts and groin protection, the McDavid boxer shorts offer great value at a reasonable price. The 100% made in the USA compression shorts are constructed from polyester and spandex and are built specifically for maximum protection and injury prevention.
The stretch fabric in these compression shorts features Hydra vent moisture management technology keeps you cool and dry without any restrictions to mobility. The Flex Cup design offers full groin protection with a lightweight feel and multiple airflow ports for superior ventilation.
The McDavid Athletic cup easily slides into the shorts’ pocket, allowing you to wear it as needed and remove it between matches, rolls, or before heading home from practice.
Fabric blend less comfortable than premium options
For high value options at an affordable price, the Youper athletic compression shorts are tough to beat. The Core Compression Shorts material provides a comfortable fit during all athletic activities and is great for both BJJ and MMA in addition to any other combat sport.
Moisture-wicking 4-way stretch fabric eliminates sweat and moves seamlessly with your body. A blend of 88% polyester and 12% spandex ensures superior comfort and durability.
The cup pocket fits most standard athletic cups. Shorts are available in youth and adult sizes.
#2 – Shock Doctor Men’s Ultra Pro Boxer Compression Shorts with BJJ Ultra Cup
If you want the reputation, reliability, and comfort of the Shock Doctor brand, the Shock Doctor Men’s Ultra Pro Boxer Compression Shorts with BJJ Ultra Cup is a great option.
The secure fit and Ultra Cup retention system ensures maximum comfort, range of motion, and cup stability during intense rolling and sparring.
The Ultra Cup BJJ groin protection offers the same benefits as any Shock Doctor Carbon Flex cup to shield and transfer shock away from areas where you need the most protection.
The shorts are made from 4-way stretch moisture wicking fabric and ensure superior cup position and comfort while avoiding bacterial buildup. The ultra comfort micro-knit waistband will keep you from discomfort and cup-shift while going live during BJJ training.
Carbon flex cup ensures serious impact protection
Premium BJJ Ultra Cup Retention System keeps cup secure
#1 – Diamond MMA BJJ Athletic Cup Groin Protector & Compression Shorts System
Diamond MMA groin protection products are built with combat sports in mind. If you want the sturdy, premium BJJ cup design we have come to expect from Diamond MMA alongside the comfort and reliability of compression shorts with built-in jock strap, check out the Diamond MMA BJJ Athletic Cup Groin Protector & Compression Shorts System.
Diamond MMA compression jock strap and cup system is the ultimate groin protection for high-impact sports and delivers effective groin protection without any sacrifice in terms of comfort.
The BJJ Groin Protection compression shorts with cup is constructed from military grade plastic and premium spandex. The high-performance 4-strap jock system is designed for a custom fit with the Diamond MMA BJJ athletic cup. This patent-pending system keeps the cup from shifting both vertically or horizontally during intense BJJ training.
A co-molded elastomer design and polycarbonate core protects the sensitive nerves and muscles around the groin so you can train with confidence and safety while improving your BJJ skills. This system is proven by doctors and urologists to provide the best groin protection on the market.
Conclusion: Invest in your athletic cup today – you won’t regret it!
Whether you are a serious MMA fighter or a BJJ open-mat warrior, your gym bag is simply incomplete without an athletic cup system for protecting your groin.
Traditional jock-straps are a great option if you are used to the traditional jock-strap feel. If you prefer compression shorts to a jock-strap, our list of the top picks for BJJ and MMA compression shorts with a cup pocket will get you well on your way to selecting the best option for your budget and needs.
Don’t wait until you are injured to invest in your athletic cup. Pick one of our options and order today!
Let's Roll BJJ aims to be the leading source of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Grappling information and news on the web. Dorian, the owner and editor of Let's Roll BJJ is a purple belt in Jiu Jitsu and has been training and competing for over 6 years.
Apart from being a BJJ geek, Dorian is a software developer by trade, a husband, and a father of two wonderful kids who he's recently began teaching Jiu Jitsu. When he's not training, coding, or writing, you can find him hiking, camping or occasionally binging on video games.