Can UFC Fighters Wear Contacts? (Explanation & Tips For Newbies)

In general, eyesight problems are one of the top concerns. According to statistics, in 2020, nearly 2.6 billion people (more than 30% of the world’s population) have eye diseases. Especially when it comes to martial arts fighters, this issue negatively influences their professional performance. 

As a result, their fans are curious about “Can UFC fighters wear contacts?”. This post will provide all the information you need about this matter. 

Can UFC Fighters Wear Contacts? 

Generally, UFC fighters are allowed to join the match while wearing contact lenses. However, before entering the ring, they must pass the vision test of the athletic commission in charge without wearing it. 

For example, many famous fighters wore contacts when sparring, such as Quinton Jackson, Karo Parisian, Derek Brunson, and Thibault Gouti.

How Does Bad Eyesight Affect UFC Fighters?

Can you imagine how difficult the fighters spar when meeting eyesight problems? Specifically, when their eyes suffer from one of the most common vision conditions:

  • Nearsightedness (myopia) is a typical vision problem in which you can clearly see items close to you. Therefore, when their opponent moves far away in a fight, it’s a considerable obstacle in predicting the next attack.
  • Farsightedness (hyperopia), on the contrary, is when you see things at a distance better than those from up close. So, this refractive error will dramatically influence the ability in melee combat of fighters.

How Does Bad Eyesight Affect UFC Fighters

It’s normal to wear glasses or contacts while you have eyesight issues in everyday life. Yet, sports, especially combat sports, might make things harder. Nevertheless, contacts will be one of the utmost choices for UFC fighters with lousy vision.

The following section will recommend some contact lenses that will help work well and reduce risks when fighting. 

Top 3 Contact Lens Types Recommended For Combat Sports

Soft contact lenses

In a real fight, one of the things fighters need is comfort. And if they must wear contact lenses while sparring, the soft ones are a suitable choice. Soft contact lenses are made from silicone hydrogel or soft hydrogel material. Compared to the RGP lenses, they are more pleasant and breathable. Furthermore, another strength of those is a short adjustment period and ease to wear.

In addition,  due to its perfect design, soft contacts can be wholly mounded with the eyeball shape. Therefore, it’s scarce for a contact lens to get dislodged from the eye even when training or fighting.

contact lens boxing

Daily disposable contact lenses

As its name suggests, Daily disposable contact lenses allow you to use them in a short time. For example, this kind is recommended if the fighters just want to wear contacts when fighting or training but not daily activities. Furthermore, due to its property, it doesn’t need cleaning and any after-care. Therefore, daily disposable contact lenses are safe and convenient for fighters. 

Orthokeratology contact lenses (ortho-k) 

Orthokeratology (Ortho-k) is also known as night lenses. Moreover, ortho-k is a unique contact lens used to reshape the cornea and temporarily reduce myopia and hyperopia. They work while you are wearing them overnight to sleep. Then, in the morning, you can remove them. As a result, ortho-k lenses have corrected your vision.

However, the point is this vision correction is just temporary. As a result, your refractive error will be the same as at first if you stop wearing ortho-k when sleeping.

Furthermore, the most significant benefit of this lens type is helping you not to wear contacts when fighting or training. 

Bonus Tips: How To Train To Overcome The Eyesight Barriers

Before any fights, the fighter should get used to wearing contact lenses while sparring. First, however, they need to train without contacts to learn how to respond and defend if something unpredictable happens.

Moreover, if fighters’ vision problems are not so serious, they might try to practice to improve their reflection ability:

  • Use training tools with colors (e.g., Double-End Bag, Punching Paddles, etc.): there is a truth that it is easier to find movements with colored targets. Therefore, this training method will help to improve the reflection with attacks by recognizing colors.
  • Practice repetitive movements: this is crucial to help fighters adjust their attack and defense well even they can’t see their opponents. As a result, their reflection might be significantly faster.


Can you do boxing with contact lenses?

Of course, you can practice or train with contact lenses in your eyes. Furthermore, if you want to fight, you might also need a head guard to protect your face, especially your eyes, from being punched.

However, wearing contacts is forbidden in boxing competitions. Because boxing is a dangerous sport with melee combat, a boxer might get punches to their face many times. Therefore, it will cause harm to your eyes.

Can you do MMA with bad eyesight?

MMA rules don’t allow you to fight with glasses, but contact lenses are acceptable if you have bad eyesight. However, fighters should prepare and train to improve their combat ability without contacts in case of risks in a fight. 

Can you do martial arts with glasses?

The answer is “not really.” Because you can train some martial arts when wearing glasses. Yet, it’s not a good idea to spar. Moreover, almost all martial arts require a lot of movement, and your glass might be fell and get damaged.

There are some methods to improve your eyesight to do martial arts conveniently:

  • Wear contact lenses instead of glasses.
  • Corrective eyesight surgery.
  • Prescription glasses for sports.

Can you do MMA after Lasik?

Yes, but not immediately after you get Lasik. Ideally, you will need your eyes to heal for roughly a few months before resuming fighting again. You may want to test this out by experiencing a steam room.

If your eyes do not feel irritated, then you are good to go!

Why are contacts banned in boxing?

As mentioned above, one reason why contacts are banned in professional sparring is that they can be harmful to the eyes if broken.

Another reason why contacts are not allowed in fights are due to their potential displacement. Once moved around, contacts may bring distorted visions for fighters. 


Although wearing contacts when sparring takes some risks, this option is still viable for those who have vision problems. However, fighters need to carefully reserve and clean their contacts after using them. 

To sum up, along with the detailed answer for the question “Can UFC fighters wear contacts,” this article also provides some information regarding contact lenses. Hopefully, these things can satisfy your curiosity about this matter.

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