The Ecstasy of Gold: 5 Best Title Fights of the Weekend

The Ecstasy of Gold: 5 Best Title Fights of the Weekend


The Ecstasy of Gold: 5 Best Title Fights of the Weekend



The championship fight. The pinnacle of achievement across combat sports for centuries. A premiere attraction that draws millions every year. But not all title bouts are created equally.

So which title bouts every week are the ones to watch? We’ll look over every title fight from across the combat sports landscape and give you the five best based on five criteria:


  • Competitiveness: Is this an even matchup? Or just a warm body to throw at a champion? It’s a title fight, so we want the best possible at that division in that promotion.
  • Excitement: How exciting will this fight be? A clash of two elite talents throwing everything they have at each other in an attempt to win the gold? Or a half-dead plod-fest devoid of action or risk?
  • Juice: A sort of catch-all term for all the factors behind the matchup. Is there a story leading up to the match? A true rivalry? Anticipated rematch? Do the fighters dislike each other? Were the circumstances leading to the fight extraordinary, or was it just a promoter putting two names against each other? Is there a lot of excitement or hype going into it?
  • Prestige: Applies to the belt itself, but also to the fighter wearing it. Is this a long-tenured champion defending? Is this an interim title or one that was vacated? Has the champion increased the prestige of the title or is this a fight that will increase the prestige of it?
  • Viewing Ease: We all don’t mind suffering for our art (or hobbies), but sometimes paying twenty dollars for a choppy stream, or searching your cable plan for a channel you’re pretty sure was just invented three days ago in the 6000s isn’t the best of times. How easy, affordable, and stress-free is this bout to watch?



1. WBC World Flyweight Championship: Daigo Higa (c) (15-0) vs. Cristofer Rosales (26-3)

When/Where: Sunday, 8:00am, ESPN2

Competitiveness: 4
Excitement: 5: Higa is a moster and I’m glad he’s getting national airtime. 15 wins by 15 T/KOs is unheard of for a flyweight.
Juice: 1
Prestige: 5

Total: 19


2. Kasai Pro Lightweight Championship: Renato Canuto (c) vs. Eddie Cummings

When/Where: Saturday, 7:00pm, FloGrappling

Competitiveness: 5: Two of the best to do it. KASAI vs. EBI
Excitement: 5
Juice: 1
Prestige: 2: Nothing detracting to the competitors, but it’s on Kasai’s second event, and their last was in December.
Viewing Ease: 4

Total: 17


3. IBF World Female Junior Featherweight Championship: Marcela Eliana Acuna (c) (46-6-1) vs. Daniela Romina Bermudez (22-3-3)

When/Where: Saturday, Untelevised

Competitiveness: 5: This is a true #1 vs. #2 matchup. Bermudez has been a world champion at bantamweight and junior bantamweight, now she’s making the step up to face Acuna, who’s defended this title for five years.
Excitement: 2
Juice: 2
Prestige: 5: Acuna has been successfully defending this belt since 2013, this is her belt and a big freaking deal.
Viewing Ease: 1

Total: 15


t4. WBA World Middleweight Championship: Ryoto Murata (c) (13-1) vs. Emanuele Felice Blandamura (27-2)

When/Where: Sunday, 8:00am, ESPN2

Competitiveness: 2: Blandamura is 38 and never fought for anything above the EBU level.
Excitement: 2
Juice: 1
Prestige: 4: Unfortunately, because the WBA blows, this isn’t their “SUPER” world championship, which is currently held by GGG.
Viewing Ease: 4

Total: 13


t4. Strawweight King of Pancrase: Mitsuhisa Sunabe (c) (28-7-4) vs. Shinya Murofushi (13-5-1)

When/Where: Sunday, 2:00am, UFC Fight Pass

Competitiveness: 3
Excitement: 3
Juice: 1
Prestige: 3: Especially in the lighter weight-classes, King Of Pancrase still has cache.
Viewing Ease: 3: Four for the platform, two for the time.

Total: 13

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