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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. Vacant WBC/WBO World Female Junior Middleweight Championships: Claressa Shields (9-0) vs. Ivana Habazin (20-3)

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

Competitiveness: 1: In her last five fights, Habazin has faced precisely one (1) fighter with a winning record.
Excitement: 1
Juice: 2
Prestige: 4: Vacant titles never earn a full fiver.
Viewing Ease: 2

Total: 10

4. Lion Fight World Cruiserweight Championship: Chip Moraza-Pollard (c) (11-0) vs. Daniel Forsberg (11-3)

When/Where: Sunday, 12:00am, CBS Sports

Competitiveness: 5: Moraza-Pollard’s title reign has been the bright spot and top story of 2019 in Lion Fight, as the newcomer, just three years into muay thai, just keeps defeating veteran after veteran after veteran in retaining his title. In Forsverg, you have the King of Kings middleweight champ. Can Moraza-Pollard hold off another top-level fighter?
Excitement: 4
Juice: 2
Prestige: 3
Viewing Ease: 2: Midnight on a second-tier sports channel isn’t exactly easy viewing.

Total: 16

3. WBA/IBF World Female Super Middleweight Championships: Alicia Napolen Espinosa (c) (12-1) vs. Elin Cederroos (c) (7-0) [ShoBox]

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

Competitiveness: 5
Excitement: 3: Surprising amount of pop in the gloves of these two ladies.
Juice: 2
Prestige: 5: Title vs. Title bout!! I love it!!
Viewing Ease: 2

Total: 17

2. ONE Muay Thai Flyweight Championship: Rodtang Jitmuangnon (c) (260-41-10) vs. Jonathan Haggerty (16-3)

When/Where: Friday, 7:30am, ONE App

Competitiveness: 5
Excitement: 3: Earlier in his career, Haggerty was a bomb-thrower. His hands were obscene, but as he’s matured, he’s become more of a typical muay thai fighter, focusing on timing, cardio, and banking rounds. I’d like to see a little more pop return.
Juice: 3: In August, Rodtang won the ONE Flyweight strap from Haggerty, by majority decision. In liue of that those tight cards, Haggerty gets his rematch now.
Prestige: 3
Viewing Ease: 5

Total: 19

1. Fight To Win Women’s Flyweight Championship: Karen Antunes (c) vs. Talita Alencar

When/Where: Friday, 7:00pm, FloGrappling

Competitiveness: 5: They battled back in March for F2W, and in international competitions. They’re very familiar with each other.
Excitement: 4
Juice: 4: These are two of the best female grapplers in the world, and they tangled back in March at Fight To Win 106 where Antunes defeated Alencar for this belt in the Fight of the Night. Ten months later, they’re running it back.
Prestige: 3
Viewing Ease: 4

Total: 20

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

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