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

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

Combat

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?

 

So here are your five best gold options for the weekend.

 

t1. WBC World Light Heavyweight Championship: Adonis Stevenson (c) (29-1) vs. Badou Jack (22-1-2)

When/Where: Saturday, 10:00pm, Showtime

Competitiveness: 5
Excitement: 4: Adonis is going to come out swinging, and Jack has a combination of power when he needs it, and finesse to challenge him.
Juice: 3: Lots of trash talking, and rightfully so, as Stevenson doesn’t exactly step up to take on dangerous challengers.
Prestige: 5
Viewing Ease: 3

Total: 20

 

t1. OneFC Featherweight Championship: Martin Nguyen (c) (10-2) vs. Christian Lee (9-1)

When/Where: Friday, 8:30am, OneFC App

Competitiveness: 5
Excitement: 5
Juice: 3: Nguyen handed Lee his only loss nearly two years ago, and Lee has been fighting and beating JMMA legends like Kotetsu Noku and Kazunori Yokota to get back to him.
Prestige: 3: Nguyen’s quest to hold every belt in OneFC is damned admirable. He failed in getting his third, but he’s still the featherweight and lightweight champ, and he’s defending his 145lb strap here.
Viewing Ease: 4

Total: 20

 

3. IBF World Featherweight Championship: Lee Selby (c) (26-1) vs. Josh Warrington (26-0)

When/Where: Saturday, 5:00pm, YouTube

Competitiveness: 4
Excitement: 3
Juice: 2: The bout is in Warrington’s hometown of Leeds and promises to be a rowdy affair.
Prestige: 5: Selby is coming on three years as the IBF Featherweight champ with four defenses under his belt. He’s made this his title.
Viewing Ease: 5

Total: 19

 

4. WBC World Featherweight Championship: Gary Russell Jr. (c) (28-1) vs. Joseph Diaz (26-0)

When/Where: Saturday, 10:00pm, Showtime

Competitiveness: 4
Excitement: 3
Juice: 2: Russell has been around the block and back, while 25-year old Diaz is fighting for his first world championship. Russell won his first world title at 26. Will history repeat itself?
Prestige: 5
Viewing Ease: 3: Love that Showtime is combining the two fights, as they do on big occasions.

Total: 17

 

5. OneFC Women’s Strawweight Championship: Angela Lee (c) (8-0) vs. Mei Yamaguchi (17-10-1)

When/Where: Friday, 8:30am, OneFC App

Competitiveness: 4
Excitement: 2
Juice: 3: On the passing of the two-year anniversary of Lee holding the OneFC 115lb championship, she faces the woman she defeated for it.
Prestige: 3
Viewing Ease: 4: OneFC is getting into the WWE Network/Fight Pass game of having their own mobile app to stream their shows. The reviews are mostly good, 4.7 on Android, and it’s free. Solid work on their end.

Total: 16

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