There is not much info on how much damage can blows to the breasts cause in the long term.
However, several studies have shown that it might be quite dangerous.
Protecting the vulnerable parts of your body is a must when thinking of competing, or even training in this sport.
The soft tissue or layer that covers the pectoral muscles on a female body is known as the breast.
The consistency of this layer is fat and glands that produce milk.
The breasts are a very sensitive area in females since the area is very richly ‘equipped’ with nerve endings.
These nerve endings are present due to numerous reasons such as helping with reflexes for breastfeeding.
And unfortunately for MMA fighters, they also make the area sensitive to touch and especially strikes.
Taking into consideration that strikes to the breast area in sanctioned MMA fights are legal and are not penalized, you must be aware of the effect that they might have on your body.
Receiving hard hits to the chest might cause serious trauma and health complications such as pain, cysts, bruises, bleeding, forming of lumps, and some combinations of the above.
We are speaking of high-grade pain and painful life-threatening internal bleeding.
Do female MMA fighters wear anything to protect their breasts?
So, naturally, you might conclude that wearing protection for the breast area is a must – to avoid injuries and minimize the pain that is caused.
There has been some controversy over this subject, ‘what protection do the female MMA fighters need to wear.’
In all organized sanctioned fights, female fighters are required to wear chest protection.
At the beginning of each fight, the referee starts the fight with the words:
“Protect yourself at all times!”
Meaning that you should already wear all the prescribed equipment.
This equipment includes chest protection as well.
The chest protection provides absorption of the strikes directed to the chest.
The materials that it is built from have the properties of absorbing the force and not transferring the effect of the blow to the guarded part.
The main visible part of the protector is made out of premium polyester, and the insides are made of stiff polyethylene basis shaped in the form of a sports bra.
Polyethylene cells are structured in a way that they offer maximum shock absorption whilst being extremely lightweight.
The protection is designed to hold the breasts firmly in a natural position and comes in different sizes, so the fighters can choose the best fit.
On the other side, some MMA fighters are complaining that wearing a chest guard leaves them without enough oxygen due to the pressure that it causes on the upper body.
This will cause you to feel dizzy, and overly fatigued and might easily cost you a win.
For this issue, the correct choice of chest gear should minimize, if not completely exclude the unpleasant feeling of pressure.
Also, the correct gear should help avoid any malfunctions or movement of the gear during the fight.
Miesha Tate is a strong supporter of choosing your chest gear wisely.
She revealed in several interviews that she would go for gear with a thicker band around the bottom base.
This should help to reduce the movement of the protection and minimize the pressure on the sensitive area.
The choice of whether you will wear chest protection or not for sanctioned fights should be a must.
The type and brand should be chosen on the fighters’ preferences.
So with the question of whether we should or shouldn’t wear chest protection taken out of the way, it all comes down to the type of chest protection.
So, for all female MMA fighters – choose your chest protection wisely.
It may cost you a win.