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 Junior Lightweight Championship: Miguel Berchelt (c) (34-1) vs. Miguel Roman (60-12)

When/Where: Saturday, 9:30pm, ESPN+

Competitiveness: 5: We need a 130lb World Boxing Super Series ASAP. It’s too goddamned cluttered.
Excitement: 5: Both of these vets are blood and guts fighters.
Juice: 1
Prestige: 5
Viewing Ease: 4

Total: 20


2. WBA “Super” World Bantamweight Championship/World Boxing Super Series Quarterfinals: Ryan Burnett (c) (19-0) vs. Nonito Donaire (38-5)

When/Where: Saturday, 2:00pm, DAZN

Competitiveness: 5
Excitement: 2: Burnett hasn’t finished a fight in over three years, and Nonito is too far past his prime to lay some hands. This is going to be an unfortunate bout.
Juice: 3:
Viewing Ease: 4

Total: 19


3. Glory Women’s Super Bantamweight Championship: Jady Menezes (c) (13-2) vs. Anissa Meksen (96-4)

When/Where: Friday, 9:30pm, ESPN3

Competitiveness: 5
Excitement: 2
Juice: 3: These two battled at Glory 56 for Glory gold, and it went to a five-round split-decision. Now they meet again.
Prestige: 3: This title was ostensibly created to be the Tiffany Van Soest showcase title, but Meksen spoiled those plans.
Viewing Ease: 4

Total: 17


4. UFC Heavyweight Championship: Daniel Cormier (c) (21-1) vs. Derrick Lewis (21-5)

When/Where: Saturday, 10:00pm, Pay-Per-View

Competitiveness: 3
Excitement: 4
Juice: 1: Really couldn’t be less here, especially for a heavyweight title fight. It just reeks of the UFC desperately needing a big-name title fight for MSG and throwing together whatever they could. Also, Curtis Blaydes has a better case for a title fight than Lewis, and he’s fighting in China on Fight Pass.
Prestige: 5
Viewing Ease: 3: You have to wonder how much longer the Pay-Per-View model is going to stick around after WWE, and now DAZN are making moves to show that it isn’t needed to profit in 2018.

Total: 16


5. Glory Lightweight Championship: Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong (c) (121-30-5) vs. Josh Jauncey (29-8)

When/Where: Friday, 9:30pm, ESPN3

Competitiveness: 2: 5-5 in his last ten, with his last two wins by split-decision doesn’t exactly inspire confidence.
Excitement: 2: Sitthichai is a prototypical Thai fighter. Slow-going to learn a fighter’s rhythm, then waiting to counter. Add to the fact that Jauncey isn’t exactly a highlight-reel, and this won’t be must-see TV.
Juice: 1
Prestige: 4
Viewing Ease: 4

Total: 13

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