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. Vacant Lion Fight World Featherweight Championship: Dechsakda BurkesMartialArts vs. Gebril Chaibi (45-12)

When/Where: Friday, 10:00pm, UFC Fight Pass

Competitiveness: 4
Excitement: 3
Juice: 1
Prestige: 2: Lion Fight can’t retain their champions. The muay thai scene can be a little tough to navigate, but I’d like to see them put some consistency together.
Viewing Ease: 4: It’s rare and a treat to watch muay thai at a reasonable hour at night, mostly because it usually takes place overseas.

Total: 14

 

4. BBBofC British Junior Middleweight Championship: Ted Cheeseman (c) (17-2-1) vs. Troy Williamson (16-0-1)

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

Competitiveness: 3
Excitement: 4: The Big Cheese is seldom in a boring affair.
Juice: 1
Prestige: 3: Cheeseman has said this is his last domestic defense until he goes after bigger fish in a bigger pond, but BBBofC title fights have been outstanding to watch featuring some of the best boxers in the world.
Viewing Ease: 4

Total: 15

 

3. Submission Underground Absolute Championship: Mason Fowler (c) vs. Gabriel Checco

When/Where: Sunday, 6:00pm, UFC Fight Pass

Competitiveness: 3: Compared to Fowler’s previous conquests, Checco isn’t a name that jumps off the page.
Excitement: 4
Juice: 2
Prestige: 4: Fowler is making his seventh defense of his Absolute championship, which really has become a beacon of the BJJ world. He’s defeated BJJ aces (Craig Jones, Vinny Magalhaes, Richie Martinez), judo gold medalists (Satoshi Ishii), and all-world wrestlers (Ryan Bader).
Viewing Ease: 4

Total: 17

 

2. WBA World Female Bantamweight Championship: Shannon Courtenay (c) (7-1) vs. Jamie Mitchell (6-0-2)

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

Competitiveness: 5: This should be Courtenay’s toughest challenge to date.
Excitement: 3: Mitchell, especially for women’s bantamweight, has some serious pop in her hands.
Juice: 1
Prestige: 5
Viewing Ease: 4

Total: 18

 

1. WBC World Heavyweight Championship: Tyson Fury (c) (30-0-1) vs. Deontay Wilder (42-1-1)

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

Competitiveness: 4: Yes, their first fight was incredibly close, but for how lopsided their second tilt was, I can’t give this full marks.
Excitement: 4: See above.
Juice: 5
Prestige: 5
Viewing Ease: 2

Total: 20

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