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.

 

t2. Vacant Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship Bantamweight Championship: Johnny Bedford (5-1) vs. Reggie Barnett Jr. (6-1)

When/Where: Friday, 8:00pm, Bareknuckle.tv

Competitiveness: 5: These two have been the clear cream of the crop at this weight class and they deserve some gold.
Excitement: 4
Juice: 1
Prestige: 2
Viewing Ease: 3: Subscribe through Bareknuckle TV, or have an easy one-time purchase through Fite.

Total: 15

 

t2. Lion Fight Women’s Welterweight Championship: Jorina Baars (c) (46-2-3) vs. Claire Clements

When/Where: Sunday, 2:00pm, UFC Fight Pass

Competitiveness: 2: Clements is a fine fighter, but no, Baars is a legend.
Excitement: 3
Juice: 3: Baars returns to the Lion Fight ring, where she became a superstar, for the first time in nearly five years.
Prestige: 3
Viewing Ease: 4

Total: 15

 

t2. WBA Super Welterweight Championship: Manny Pacquiao (c) (62-7-2) vs. Yordenis Ugas (26-4)

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

Competitiveness: 4
Excitement: 3
Juice: 2
Prestige: 4: WBA BELT DRAMA?! STOP IT. NO. CAN’T BE. Ugas was the “Regular” champion that got promoted after the WBA stripped Pacquiao of his “Super” championship for inactivity. It was a bizarre move from a sanctioning body content to have anyone carry any of their titles for any reason.
Viewing Ease: 2: $75 for Yordenis Ugas. That’s right.

Total: 15

 

t1. WBA/Vacant IBO World Female Junior Welterweight Championship: Kali Reis (c) (17-7-1) vs. Diana Prazak (14-3)

When/Where: Friday, 11:00pm, UFC Fight Pass

Competitiveness: 5: Prazak is a former world champion in her own right, granted, two weight classes lower, however.
Excitement: 2
Juice: 1
Prestige: 4
Viewing Ease: 4: Women’s world championship boxing on Fight Pass? Sure, I’m in.

Total: 16

 

t1. Lion Fight Women’s Super Flyweight Championship: Amy Pirnie (c) (22-3-1) vs. Lara Fernandez (40-12-3)

When/Where: Sunday, 2:00pm, UFC Fight Pass

Competitiveness: 5: This is a hell of a matchup. Both are incredibly decorated, garnishing world titles for the ISKA, WBC Muaythai, Enfusion, and yes, Lion Fight.
Excitement: 2
Juice: 1
Prestige: 4: I don’t really love Lion Fight’s use of regional titles, but as long as they have active defending world champions, it keeps those standing out.
Viewing Ease: 4

Total: 16

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