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?


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


5. Vacant WBC Silver Welterweight Championship: Sebastian Formella (22-0) vs. Shawn Porter (30-3-1)

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

Competitiveness: 2: Formella was an IBO world champ and a couple WBO secondary titles, so he’s not an illegitimate challenger, but he’s never fought outside of Europe and his biggest win is a close decision over Thulani Mbenge.
Excitement: 3
Juice: 1
Prestige: 2: Just a fairly transparent attempt to get a WBC title of any kind onto Porter to set him up for something bigger.
Viewing Ease: 5

Total: 13


t3. Vacant LFA Welterweight Championship: Jaleel Willis (12-2) vs. Vinicius de Jesus (9-2)

When/Where: Friday, 9:00pm, UFC Fight Pass

Competitiveness: 5
Excitement: 3: Both men are solidly well-rounded, although Willis is taking it to the cards a lot lately.
Juice: 1
Prestige: 3: Another week, another LFA card for a vacant title.
Viewing Ease: 4

Total: 16


t3. Interim WBC/Vacant WBC Diamond World Heavyweight Championships: Dillian Whyte (c) (27-1) vs. Alexander Povetkin (35-2-1)

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

Competitiveness: 4: Povetkin is turning 41 soon and a little past his best-by date, but he’s still game, and drew a young, hungry Michael Hunter last time out.
Excitement: 3
Juice: 1
Prestige: 4: Whyte has been the WBC’s mandatory challenger for a looooong time now, and his hunting Deontay Wilder around the world was amusing, but let’s get the man a title shot if he wins, here.
Viewing Ease: 4

Total: 16


2. Bellator Light Heavyweight Championship: Ryan Bader (c) (27-5) vs. Vadim Nemkov (11-2)

When/Where: Friday, 10:00pm, Paramount Network/DAZN

Competitiveness: 4
Excitement: 2
Juice: 2: Ryan Two-Belts is committed to being a champion at 205 and heavyweight and determined to defend both.
Prestige: 4
Viewing Ease: 5: Have to admire Bellator being the only promotion to duel-broadcast.

Total: 17


1. WBA/WBC/WBO/IBF World Women’s Lightweight Championships: Katie Taylor (c) (15-0) vs. Delfine Persoon (44-2)

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

Competitiveness: 5: Their first fight was razor-thin when it went to the cards, with the scores being 96-94, 96-94, and 95-95. Can’t get much closer than that.
Excitement: 5: Despite Persoon not thinking the fight was great due to Taylor’s holding, the rest of us thought it was an absolute barnburner
Juice: 4
Prestige: 5
Viewing Ease: 4

Total: 23

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