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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?

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

5. IBO/Interim WBA World Light Heavyweight Championships: Sven Fornling (c) (15-1) vs. Dominic Boesel (29-1)

When/Where: Saturday, 2:30pm, ESPN+

Competitiveness: 5
Excitement: 2
Juice: 1
Prestige: 3: As I always say, death to interim titles, ESPECIALLY one that already has TWO active, fighting champions under their banner. To the WBA’s credit, which I never say, they at least attempted to have a unification bout between Dmitry Bivol and Jean Pascal, before it fell apart due to Pascal’s withdrawing because of his father’s death.
Viewing Ease: 4: ESPN+ is really not optional if you’re a fight fan, anymore. Between the glut of UFC events, and a shitload of UK and European boxing, and Top Rank, which newly signed Naoya Inoue, the most exciting boxer in the world. C’mon, you have to sign up. It’s mandatory at this point.

Total: 15

4. Cage Fury Fighting Championship Featherweight Championship: Pat Sabatini (c) (10-2) vs. Mauro Chaulet (13-6)

When/Where: Saturday, 8:30pm, UFC Fight Pass

Competitiveness: 4: Sabatini is a Renzo Gracie fighter, and usually he’s able to overwhelm his opponents in CFFC with his submission game, but Chaulet is the rare fighter who’ll be up to his game.
Excitement: 4
Juice: 1
Prestige: 3: Somehow, Sabatini has been CFFC Featherweight champ for over two years. That never happens in regionals. Hell, even six months is a stretch.
Viewing Ease: 4

Total: 16

3. Commonwealth/BBBofC British Bantamweight Championships: Lee McGregor (7-0) vs. Ukashir Farooq (13-0)

When/Where: Saturday, 3:00pm, ESPN+

Competitiveness: 5: Both are undefeated, Scottish, and in their early-20s. You’ll hear these names a lot throughout the years.
Excitement: 3
Juice: 2
Prestige: 3: The Commonwealth and BBBofC British titles have been launching pads for waves of great UK boxers.
Viewing Ease: 4

Total: 17

t1. OneFC Flyweight Kickboxing Championship: Ilias Ennahaci (c) (30-3-1) vs. Wang Wenfeng (28-5-1)

When/Where: Saturday, 7:00am, OneFC App

Competitiveness: 5
Excitement: 2
Juice: 3: Ennahaci is making his first defense of his Flyweight title, and it’s against someone who defeated him in the Kunlun Fight Tournament quarterfinals a week over two years ago.
Prestige: 3: I think it’s pretty neat that ONE has both muay thai and kickboxing titles. Just enough difference and nuance to differentiate themselves from each other.
Viewing Ease: 5

Total: 18

t1. Inaugural OneFC Kickboxing Light Heavyweight Championship: Roman Kryklia (44-7) vs. Tarik Khbabez (46-5-1)

When/Where: Saturday, 7:00am, OneFC App

Competitiveness: 5
Excitement: 3
Juice: 3: These two are on a goddamned roll, winning their last 14 fights between the two of them. Nearly four years ago to the day, these two faced off in the SUPERKOMBAT World Grand Prix finals, with Khbabez taking a unanimous decision. One fighter is going to keep on their hot streak and either settle the score, or prove dominant over the other.
Prestige: 2
Viewing Ease: 5: If you don’t have the ONE App, and you consider yourself a fight fan, I don’t know what to tell you.

Total: 18


View the original article on Undercard Superstar: The Ecstasy of Gold: 5 Best Title Fights of the Weekend



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