The MMA Encyclopedia Review

Hundreds of pages jam-packed in The MMA Encyclopedia, with so much mixed martial arts history, facts, interviews, detail, and dramatic photography, can leave you with multiple headaches if you read it too fast.

Photo of UFC Fighter Vitor Belfort
Photo Courtesy UFC of Vitor Belfort

Jonathan Snowden, a member of the U.S. Department of Defense, and Kendall Shields, an English and judo teacher, have tried to cover everything you could imagine on the sport of MMA in their The MMA Encyclopedia. From the Gracies to Brock Lesnar, this encyclopedia allows you to look back, A-to-Z, at MMA’s evolution from the mid-20th century to the summer of 2010. 

Canadian UFC fighter Sara Kaufman
Canadian UFC fighter Sara Kaufman

Absences from the MMA Encyclopedia

Not every fighter to compete in MMA is mentioned—Cristiane Santos is profiled, but not Sarah Kaufman. However, if the fighter competes at some point in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, there is a good chance they will be mentioned. Some fighters/celebrities/personalities are mentioned only in passing, like Butterbean, Mark Schultz and Reed Harris. Regardless, more than enough MMA individuals are profiled to satisfy even hardcore fans.

Support the Ringside Report Network
Georges St. Pierre vs Nick Diaz at UFC 158 in Montreal
Georges St. Pierre vs Nick Diaz at UFC 158 in Montreal

Mega stars like Fedor Emelianenko, Randy Couture, and Georges St. Pierre get about four pages, while fighters like Matt Hume, Ed Herman, and Patrick Smith barely get a page. Each fighter profile comes with their win-loss-draw record, debut, and notable wins and losses. The personal stats give you an idea of the fighter before you read the bio. The back of the book has listings of every UFC event result as of 2009, UFC streaks and records, all Pride results and records, Dream events as of 2009, Dynamite!! And Sen Goku event results.

MMA Encyclopedia Goes Beyond thew Stats

The content of the encyclopedia is more than just straight statistical information. Interviews with certain fighters give a better idea of rivalries and why they decide to fight. The authors give opinionated views on fighters and do not shy away from rumours. For example, Chuck Liddell was pushed as one of the main UFC stars despite his eye-poking that UFC commentators always conveniently said was “inadvertent” or did not mention it. Steroids have a section where the authors discuss how this problem has hurt the sport and will continue to unless action is taken.

Support the Ringside Report Network

For those looking to learn about the background of MMA and for those obsessing about knowing everything about MMA, this book is for you. The authors did a spectacular job researching and compiling together this encyclopedia. An appendix would have been handy, and dating the encyclopedia in the title would help when the book becomes dated. This read is a strong challenge for any definitive MMA guide; although controversial at times, it is always entertaining and informative.    

Enjoy this read, a book you will want to read repeatedly.

The MMA Encyclopedia

By Jonathan Snowden and Kendall Shields

ECW Press

Released in November 2010

585 pp. (listed 340 pp. elsewhere, but listed in the book are 585 pages)

The MMA Encyclopedia
  • Snowden, Jonathan (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 594 Pages - 10/31/2010 (Publication Date) - ECW Press (Publisher)

Johnny North

Catch us Live or on Replay

We broadcast live every Thursday at 8 PM Eastern with Ringside Report MMA.

Pro Wrestling Fan? Join us each Friday at 10 PM Eastern.

Did you miss the live show? Catch the replays on YouTube, Rumble, Twitch, Kick, or our website.

On the move? Subscribe to our audio podcasts via RSS.