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?


5. Vacant WBO International Super Middleweight Championship: Cesar Nunez (17-2-1) vs. Zach Parker (19-0)

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

Competitiveness: 2: Nunez is 35, is 1-2-1 in his last four and his last two wins have come over fighters with records of 4-5-2 and 11-31.
Excitement: 3
Juice: 1
Prestige: 3: Secondary title, but it’s for a spot as the mandatory challenger to Saunders-Murray.
Viewing Ease: 4

Total: 13


4. ONE Kickboxing Light Heavyweight Championship: Roman Kryklia (c) (45-7) vs. Murat Aygun (16-1)

When/Where: Friday, 7:30am, B/R Live

Competitiveness: 4: Aygun has a win over Errol Zimmerman and a loss against James McSweeney, so which Aygun we’re getting is your guess.
Excitement: 2
Juice: 1
Prestige: 3
Viewing Ease: 4: Solid offering from ONE this weekend, worth the watch.

Total: 14


t2. WBC/IBF World Welterweight Championships: Errol Spence Jr. (c) (26-0) vs. Danny Garcia (36-2)

When/Where: Saturday, 9:00pm, Pay-Per-View

Competitiveness: 5: On paper, this should be lower, but the Spence that showed up against Porter doesn’t get to be heavily favored against anybody.
Excitement: 3
Juice: 2
Prestige: 5
Viewing Ease: 2: PBC hasn’t been afraid to spoon shit on TV then throw out huge, expensive PPVs haven’t they?

Total: 17


t2. Vacant LFA Welterweight Championship: Batsumberel Dagvadorj (7-0) vs. Maycon Mendonca (10-4)

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

Competitiveness: 5
Excitement: 4: Six of Dagvadorj’s seven wins are by finish and very different ways.
Juice: 1
Prestige: 3: The last LFA welterweight champ, Jaleel Willis, barely held the title for over a month before he signed with Bellator.
Viewing Ease: 4

Total: 17


1. WBO World Super Middleweight Championship: Billy Joe Saunders (c) (29-0) vs. Martin Murray (39-5-1)

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

Competitiveness: 3: Scott Christ said it exactly right. This should have happened a few years ago at a lower weight. But here we are.
Excitement: 3: Saunders can be excruciating to watch, but Murray always comes to fight.
Juice: 3
Prestige: 5
Viewing Ease: 4

Total: 18

More Sports


So let’s do a little comparison: 162 game averages for Player A: 20 HR, 77 RBI, .256 AVG, .309 OBP, .436 SLG, .745 OPS 162 game averages (…)

More Combat