How Hard Is An MMA Floor?

By Logan •  Updated: 01/03/22 •  4 min read

An MMA floor is an important piece of equipment for most gyms. It can be used to train with takedowns, for conditioning, and even for cardio workouts. A lot of people wonder how hard an MMA floor is exactly. It’s hard enough to provide stability without being too hard to cause injury. Though the floor has some padding, it is kept to a minimum, so the floor doesn’t deform under the weight of the fighters.

Want to find out more about MMA, UFC, and the octagon? Keep reading to discover what materials make up a UFC floor, why they use an octagon, and more!

How Hard Is An MMA Floor?

How Hard Is A UFC Floor?

Because the floor in the octagon is made primarily of plywood and canvas, the floor is somewhat hard. The small foam layer adds a small amount of protection, but it isn’t springy or as nearly as soft as a wrestling ring.

Despite the thin padding, most fighters report that the protection it provides is more than sufficient. Though it can hurt to get thrown onto the floor, this doesn’t often happen due to the MMA fighting style—in most fights, opponents aren’t being slammed or spiked onto the ground. 

Though the floor isn’t particularly hard, some fighters report that the canvas material covering these floors can be abrasive. As a result, it’s not unusual to see fighters come away from a bout with scrapes on their knees from struggles atop the canvas. 

What Is The Floor In An MMA Octagon Made Of?

According to Oneshot MMA, the floor in an MMA octagon is made of plywood and canvas material. There is a thin layer of EVA-foam (Ethylene-vinyl acetate) material above the plywood. This layer is about an eighth of an inch thick and provides a small amount of padding. The corners of the octagon are also padded. 

Why Does The UFC Use The Octagon?

The primary reason for this is the safety of the fighters. The unique design of the octagon prevents fighters from falling out of or throwing each other from the ring. This is facilitated by the 6-foot tall fence surrounding it. Because of its wide angles, the octagon also prevents a single martial arts style from having an advantage.

Why Doesn’t The UFC Use A Boxing Ring?

MMA and boxing are entirely different sports, and the octagon is explicitly designed for mixed martial arts. The unique shape and tall fence keep the fighters inside the ring at all times. Though it is unlikely that a fighter would fall out or throw their opponent out of a boxing ring, the possibility exists. 

The unique design of the octagon also allows MMA to stand out as a sport. Many combat sports take place in unique rings. For example, boxing uses a square ring, wrestling uses a circular mat or ring, and other forms of MMA use only mats. 

Is There More Than One Size For A UFC Octagon?

Yes! UFC utilizes two different sizes of octagon depending on the fight. The typical UFC octagon is 30 feet, but a 25-foot octagon also exists. The 25-foot octagon has less room for fighters to maneuver, ultimately resulting in more finishes. However, the larger octagon is still considered the standard. 

How Tall Is The UFC Cage?

The UFC cage is 6 feet tall. The cage is in place to keep opponents in the ring at all times. Although the octagon diameter varies, the cage’s height is always the same. The size is perfect for keeping fighters inside the octagon but isn’t so tall that it makes them feel confined. 

In the early days of UFC, some fighters would manage to throw their opponents out of the ring despite the presence of the 6-foot tall cage. Due to mounting safety concerns, there was an official rule change forbidding fighters from tossing opponents over the fence. Without this rule, the octagon fence may have become even taller!

Additionally, the UFC octagon itself stands on the 4-foot high platform, so the overall height of the cage extends to 10 feet.

Final Thoughts

As an MMA fighter, you need to know how hard your floor is and how it will affect your strategy. MMA floors are usually made from plywood so are hard but have some give. This gives the benefits of stability on foot and some give to prevent injury when being slammed into the floor.


Hi, I've been an avid MMA fan all my life. I've been training in martial arts for the last 5 years and wanted to share some of the tips and tricks that I've picked up along the way to help to aspiring martial artists get started.

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