As one Joe Rogan would say “rings are dangerous”, he says this because MMA rings truly are dangerous. Weather you’re competing or sparing the dangers associated will always play a large role in how you fight, and the dangers don’t come from the actual fighters themselves. It takes good coaching, excessive training and really good gear to actually overcome your faults and improve as a fighter. Dedicating your free time to becoming a better fighter or doing it just as a hobby sport, either way you’re going to have to focus on specific aspects of your fighting style. However, I can’t really help coach you through an article, so the best I can do is to explain the equipment you’ll need and why it plays an important role in how well you’ll be fighting.
First the protective equipment, you’re going to need some high quality gear if you plan on being not only safe but also more effective. High quality martial arts equipment is needed for safety, the wraps, gloves, head gear, leg wraps and a groin guard all of which shouldn’t inhibit your movement.
Your safety should always be insured when going in to spar or to compete against another contestant. So getting the right safety equipment and sports gear, the right martial arts equipment will keep you safe from damage and from rashes which is fairly important.
One of the largest problems with MMA is the rashes that one can get from grappling and rolling on the matt. You could get some really bad rashes from rolling and grappling on a rubber, or synthetic matt, the rashes they cause can lead to your opponents using the rash against you. The entire process of choosing equipment should be based on what exactly you want to protect, there are shirts that are made to protect you from rashes while also soaking up your sweat. Shorts used for MMA also have the same properties as the aforementioned rash protectors, which also have enough space to fit the groin protector.
As for protection from physical damage, there are head protectors, gloves, leg protectors and wraps for the hands that are basically required if you plan on going up against another person in a sparing match. The martial arts equipment for protection isn’t used in competitive matches, in competitive matches there are special rules and guidelines that every participant is required to follow.