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

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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?

 

5. Vacant Interim WBA World Lightweight Championship: Jackson Marinez (19-0) vs. Rolando Romero (11-0)

When/Where: Saturday, 9:00pm, Showtime

Competitiveness: 3
Excitement: 3: Romero has much, much more thunder in his hands, but Marinez has much better technical acumen. We’ll see whose style takes over.
Juice: 1
Prestige: 3: Death to the WBA and their interim and “regular” world titles. Unnceccessary. At least Marinez has a secondary WBA title to make this somewhat legitimate.
Viewing Ease: 3

Total: 13

 

4. Fight To Win Female Black Belt Featherweight Championship: Jena Bishop vs. Luiza Monteiro

When/Where: Friday, 6:00pm, FloGrappling

Competitiveness: 4
Excitement: 2
Juice: 3: Bishop and Monteiro clashed at F2W 117 last summer, with Bishop taking a decision. Now there’s gold on the line.
Prestige: 3
Viewing Ease: 3: Flo really has become the undisputed leader in streaming grappling, between F2W being the standard-bearer, along with Third Coast Grappling being a fantastic number two option.

Total: 15

 

3. WBC World Super Middleweight Championship: David Benavidez (c) (22-0) vs. Roamer Alexis Angulo (26-1)

When/Where: Saturday, 9:00pm, Showtime

Competitiveness: 3: This is just a mandatory defense for Benavidez. 168lbs used to be a marquee division in boxing, but it desperately needs new blood…besides Benavidez, that is.
Excitement: 4
Juice: 1
Prestige: 5: The only true men’s boxing world championship bout on the line this weekend.
Viewing Ease: 3

Total: 16

 

2. WBA/WBC/IBF/WBO/IBO World Female Welterweight Championships: Cecilia Braekhus (c) (36-0) vs. Jessica McCaskill (8-2)

When/Where: Saturday, 8:00pm, DAZN

Competitiveness: 3: McCaskill was a two-body champion at junior welterweight, but Braekus is an institution at welterweight, and McCaskill is moving up in weight to challenge an absolute force of a boxer.
Excitement: 3
Juice: 3: I like how boxing promotions are going more and more towards female superfights. It’s not just fighters taking on mandatory cans, fighters will move up or down in weight to get big, headlining fights. Braekhus is a heavy favorite, but McCaskill was a WBA and WBC junior welterweight champion, and it’s a main event-worthy bout.
Prestige: 5
Viewing Ease: 4

Total: 18

 

1. UFC Heavyweight Championship: Stipe Miocic (c) (19-3) vs. Daniel Cormier (22-2)

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

Competitiveness: 5: Perhaps the two best heavyweights in UFC history, both with a finish over the other.
Excitement: 5
Juice: 5: We’ve got it all. A trilogy fight after both fighters knocked the other out, DC’s retirement fight, the heavyweight championship of the world, and whether played up for the camera and buyrates, a real actual bad blood rivalry.
Prestige: 5
Viewing Ease: 2

Total: 22

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