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?

 

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

 

5. Krush Super Lightweight Championship: Daizo Sasaki (c) (28-17-1) vs. Jin Hirayama (17-16-3)

When/Where: Sunday, 5:00am, Abema

Competitiveness: 3: Hirayama isn’t a consistent fighter, but his power makes him a threat, however his chin makes him quite beatable.
Excitement: 4: Hirayama wins and dies by the knockout, so this should be interesting.
Juice:1
Prestige: 3
Viewing Ease: 1

Total: 12

 

4. WBC World Female Junior Welterweight Championship: Chantelle Cameron (c) (13-0) vs. Melissa Hernandez (23-7-3)

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

Competitiveness: 2: Hernandez hasn’t fought for a world title in almost eight years to the day. Cameron has lost one ROUND in her last three fights on one judge’s scorecard.
Excitement: 3
Juice: 1
Prestige: 5: Cameron is the cream of the crop at women’s 140lbs.
Viewing Ease: 4

Total: 15

 

3. Cage Fury Fighting Championship Heavyweight Championship: Jamelle Jones (c) (10-6) vs. Rakim Cleveland (21-13-1)

When/Where: Friday, 8:00pm, UFC Fight Pass

Competitiveness: 5
Excitement: 4: 31 combined wins, 20 by knockout.
Juice: 1
Prestige: 2
Viewing Ease: 4: CFFC running their doubleheaders this weekend on Fight Pass that they’re getting known for.

Total: 16

 

2. WBC World Lightweight Championship: Devin Haney (c) (25-0) vs. Jorge Linares (47-5)

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

Competitiveness: 4: Linares might not be quite what he was, but that Loma fight wasn’t that long ago. He’s still a problem.
Excitement: 4: Linares is going to give Haney all he can handle and keep him on his toes.
Juice: 1
Prestige: 5
Viewing Ease: 4

Total: 18

 

1. WBC World Bantamweight Championship: Nordine Oubaali (c) (17-0) vs. Nonito Donaire (40-6)

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

Competitiveness: 5: Donaire is 38 and has some hard miles on him, but he’s a first ballot Hall of Famer, four-weight world champion and is just coming off of a title defense. He’s a worthy challenger.
Excitement: 5: Donaire hasn’t fought since his war with Naoya Inoue in November of 2019, but that was a firefight, and he’s capable of that every time out.
Juice: 1
Prestige: 5
Viewing Ease: 3

Total: 19

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