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. Interim WBO World Junior Lightweight Championship: Jeremia Nakathila (21-1) vs. Shakur Stevenson (15-0)

When/Where: Saturday, 10:00pm, ESPN/ESPN+

Competitiveness: 2: Absolute pitiful matchmaking, here.
Excitement: 3
Juice: 1
Prestige: 3: Interim titles blow, but at least it’s not the WBA, so at least it won’t stay interim forever.
Viewing Ease: 4

Total: 13

 

4. Extreme Fighting Championship Featherweight Championship: Igeu Kabesa (c) (12-1) vs. Reinaldo Ekson (15-5)

When/Where: Saturday, Noon, DAZN

Competitiveness: 3
Excitement: 4: Kabesa is all fists and elbows with the occasional submission tossed in.
Juice: 1
Prestige: 2
Viewing Ease: 4: Saturday afternoon MMA? Refreshing!

Total: 14

 

t2. UFC Middleweight Championship: Israel Adesanya (c) (20-1) vs. Marvin Vettori (17-4-1)

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

Competitiveness: 5: Aside from Izzy’s actual loss in his last contest, Vettori gave him his toughest fight in the UFC, with Adesanya escaping by split-decision.
Excitement: 3
Juice: 3: Another rematch for a title fight at UFC 263.
Prestige: 5
Viewing Ease: 2

Total: 18

 

t2. Bellator Welterweight Championship: Douglas Lima (c) (32-8) vs. Yaroslav Amosov (25-0)

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

Competitiveness: 5: Lima is a Bellator legend, and has beaten a laundry list of the best of the best, but Amosov is a 25-0 world Sambo champion bulldozer.
Excitement: 5: For better or worse, you know Lima will be a blood-and-guts defender of his title.
Juice: 1
Prestige: 4
Viewing Ease: 3

Total: 18

 

1. UFC Flyweight Championship: Deiveson Figueiredo (c) (20-1-1) vs. Brandon Moreno (18-5-2)

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

Competitiveness: 5
Excitement: 5: These two put on a Fight of the Night in their first encounter, with it getting consideration for Fight of the Year,
Juice: 4: These two went to absolute war in December, ending in a draw that many people had for Figueiredo.
Prestige: 5
Viewing Ease: 2

Total: 21

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