SEA MMA Gear Guide

Sprawl Fusion Stretch Fight Shorts Review

Introduction

Sprawl was one of the early fight shorts companies that led to the wave of current fight shorts. I have quite a number of Sprawls, including the older GripFlex. They tend to have an odd taste for colour choices though (like some weird tone of red).

Anyway, the Fusion-S series is their most updated offering for fight shorts, and the design choices have gotten much more palatable. They even make a bold claim that this is the last pair of fight shorts you'll ever need to buy!

Official Specs:

  • Designed to fit securely where needed, yet allow unrestricted body movement when training or competing
  • Channel Lock™ waistband—the first non-slip waistband that allows a full size range of adjustability.
  • Streamlined fit to better conform to the athletes body
  • Lightweight 4-way stretch fabric provides unparalleled comfort, flexibility and durability.
  • The Fusion fabric is treated to be sweat and blood repellent, as well as fungus resistant.

Aesthetics

Compared to a lot of the newer MMA fight shorts out there, I'd say the Sprawl designs are pretty simple and tame. The Fusion series comes in 6 different designs, sporting combinations of white, black, gray, light blue, and urban camo. They all have the Sprawl words stitched on in large font across the front right thigh and back left hamstring.

The colour choices aren't named in the easiest way to differentiate e.g. blue/white/gray vs white/blue/gray, but I have the blue/white/gray version. The colours still look as fresh as when I bought them despite repeated washings.

Form & Fit

One of the reasons I chose Sprawl when I first started out, was because they had an Asian friendly waist-size of *gasp* 28! For the smaller guys, this is godsent, as most other brands start from 30 onwards. However, a word of caution here - the Sprawl Fusion series is very true to size, and you might want to get a bit larger if you don't like your shorts to be too tight. You can still tighten it thanks to the various options available.

On the older GripFlex models, size 28 was just right for me as the elastic waistband could stretch quite a fair bit. However, on the newer Fusion model, the elastic is a lot tighter, and there might be a slight struggle to pull on the shorts. Not a major issue, just mildly irritating at times.

Added to the mix is also a grippy rubber material along the inside waistband area to ensure that the pants doesn't slip. Again, this can be a little irritating when it gets caught on skin or tights when trying to pull the short on or off. (Yes, I know all these can be solved by unstrapping the velcro strap, but I can be lazy to a fault sometimes.)

As if that's not enough, there's still a velcro strap and a drawstring to tighten or loosen the shorts. With all that,  once the shorts is on, it stays on and hardly ever shifts thanks to the grip material. Coupled with the tight elastic, it's virtually impossible for the shorts to come off. I don't have to adjust or pull my shorts up during intense workouts or doing kicks.

At my height of 169cm, the shorts comes up almost to my knees. Depending on your preference, this may or may not be suitable for you. I prefer my shorts higher up, so this is a little too long for me.

Functionality

The entire shorts is made of soft and slightly stretchy material, which makes it extremely comfortable. The crotch panel is of a different, more elastic material to allow unrestricted movement during kicks and grappling.  During training, I hardly ever felt limited by the shorts.

There's also a split seam at the sides, again to allow for greater mobility. The split is relatively lower than some of my other fight shorts, so it doesn't swish around like a skirt when running around during warm-ups.

One gripe with this pair of shorts, and any other Sprawl shorts I have for that matter, is that the fabric is extremely good at collecting moisture. As training goes on, the shorts get progressively heavier. While it's just another minor irritant, there are other brands with fight shorts that do a much better job in this department at a similar price range.

While there's yet to be any signs of rips and tears, there are a couple of loose threads from use. Beyond that, it's been a pretty durable piece of shorts.

Affordability

A pair of this shorts will set you back US$ 56.50 (SGD$ 73) based on the official price on the Sprawl website. You might be able to find these pair of shorts at your local MMA retailer for a decent price given the popularity of Sprawl shorts. You can also get a pair from Budovideos.

While the price is decent for a pair of MMA shorts, there are other newer brands with slicker designs and more advanced technology that you might want to top up for. It comes down to what's available in your area and your preference on material and design.

Conclusion

Sprawl Fusion Stretch are a great pair of shorts for guys with smaller waist sizes, though the heavy-when-wet material might be a little deterrent for those who don't mind forking out a little extra for other top name MMA brands.

Disclaimer
All comments in the review are my own personal opinion. Prices provided in brackets are merely for reference and are based on exchange rates at the time of writing.

If you like this review and found it helpful, please post a comment or let the company or retailer know too. Should you decide to purchase them online, you might want to consult the online buying guide for advice.

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