The FF-Files: A Brief Tutorial

By Chris Nelson Sep 11, 2014

Every day, we here at Sherdog get dozens of emails requesting Fight Finder updates. And when I say “every day,” I mean every damn day. I’ve seen frantic requests from “The Ultimate Fighter” hopefuls sent in hours before tryouts. I’ve gotten a few emails on Christmas.

Sometimes these emails are full of detailed information, helpful links to event reports and YouTube clips -- things that enable our crack team of record-keeping gnomes to quickly verify results and get them added to the database. All too often, however, the emails go like this:

Unidentified Person: Please add this fight, Bruno won Felipe submission June 2009.

Unidentified Person: [sends same email 3 more times]

Me: Thank you for contacting Sherdog about this matter. I will need some additional information about the fight in order to record it. Could you please provide a link where I can view the results from this event?

Unidentified Person: [sends same email 3 more times]

Trust me when I say we’re not trying to throw up roadblocks or make it difficult for anyone to update their profile. Every person who works on the FF desires 100-percent accurate records just as much as the fighters who own them, probably even moreso in some cases. We don’t expect notarized bout sheets and HD fight videos, but we do have certain requirements. The problem, I think, is that we’ve never clearly laid out those requirements.

In the interest of fostering a more harmonious relationship between Fight Finders and Fight Findees, here’s a list of the info that we collect for events and individual bouts, along with some some specifics for each field. Please feel free to send it to every fighter, manager and promoter you know. Please.

Event Information

This is the name of the organization promoting the event; for example, King of the Cage or Ultimate Fighting Championship. Sometimes events are promoted by a gym or team, such as Team Nogueira, in which case that name should be listed.

Event Title
This is the title of the specific event being submitted. While the UFC titles its pay-per-views with a number and the surnames of the main-eventers, other orgs can have more complex naming schemes. Some events have no titles at all, and that’s fine, but if there is a title, we want to record it.

Self-explanatory, right? Yes and no. Obviously, this is the date on which the event occurred, but we get results from all over the globe and not everyone writes dates the same way. Because of this, I always suggest using the year/month/day method, such as 2014/09/11.

Venue and Location
Another field that should be simple but isn’t always. Just like fighters, venues sometimes have nicknames. In May, the UFC went to Sao Paulo for “The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 3” finale at a venue commonly known as Ibirapuera but officially called Geraldo Jose de Almeida Gymnasium. When it comes to the Fight Finder, we’re always looking for the full name of the venue, along with the city, state and country where it’s located.

Bout Information

Winning and Losing Fighters
The quickest and easiest way to identify fighters when sending results is by using their Fight Finder ID numbers. These are the digits on the end of a fighter’s profile URL: Anderson Silva is 1356, Nick Diaz is 2831, etc. If the fighter in question doesn’t have a profile, send the given name first, the surname(s) last, and any nickname in quotation marks (e.g. Chan Sung “The Korean Zombie” Jung). Additional information on any fighter -- such as their country, team, height and weight -- is always appreciated, too.

Round, Time and Method
Again, specificity is the name of the game here. Many promoters and even sanctioning bodies only record the results of fights as “submission” or “TKO,” and that doesn’t do anyone much good. I’ve said before that a good 85 percent of nonspecific TKOs sent in are due to punches, but we always prefer to have it confirmed rather than assumed. If a guy gets knocked down with a knee and finished with punches, that’s a “TKO (Knee and Punches).” Not only do these kind of details make a profile look fuller, they also tell people reading it more about the fighter.

This one’s easy, but often overlooked. The idea is to eventually have a database of referees, so you can view all the fights a specific ref has officiated, along with other details. While their names aren’t clickable right now, we still display the referee assignments whenever they’re made available to us.

Weight Class
Ah, the secret category! Yes, we do (try to) keep track of the weight classes for every fight, a feature that was only recently installed in our CMS. For whatever reason, this information is not yet viewable on the front end of the Fight Finder, but hopefully it will be someday. In the meantime, getting the contracted weights for bouts allows us to keep fighters’ profiles up to date with their current weights and divisions.

That just about does it. That’s every piece of information we collect when registering fights. The more of it we get, the quicker we’re able to turn events around and update everyone’s record. So, fighters, managers and promoters, to quote a wise man, “help me help you.” Who said that anyway? Winston Churchill? I think it was Churchill.


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