One of the shows I have been watching recently is the most recent season of Boku no hero academia. I was told by people that are familiar with the manga the anime was based on that there was some really awesome content coming up and when I watched episode 42 I think I knew what they were talking about. However I was rather tired when I watched said episode and felt that I wasn't as hyped as I should be so I decided to watch the episode again. Given the that I knew what to expect and I was able to watch it in a more detached manner and I wondered exactly made this a good fight.
This is not to say that it is a bad episode but I noticed that it lacked several things that people consider elements of a good conflict are missing in the Deku vs Muscular fight. Muscular is hardly an interesting or complex villain (Not that the show is lacking in interesting characters). It wasn't a particularly technical or long fight; it was mostly a fist fight between two rather strong people.
I felt like was like a fight you see in episode 1 of many shonen action shows. The hero fights an ill defined villain and wins because the hero has a new power up, usually the hero gaining the powers that they will have for rest of the show. In this case all for one turned out to be stronger at a crucial moment than previously expected.
However this conflict was also the first time that Deku fought a super-villain on his own in this show. It was also a fight that he couldn't run away from or lose without consequence. This differentiates this conflict from previous battles such as the tournament arc or the fight with Stain. It was as though the show had training wheels on Deku for the previous 41 episodes and this was the episode when those training wheels came off. In action there is a desire to escalate with each fight. However this is a clever use of a temporary limitation to give the feeling of escalation without making Muscular more powerful.
It behooves me to mention the presence of Kota in this conflict as even though he has only a minor effect on the flow of the fight he gives it a lot of weight. First off he is part of the reason Deku can't simply run away. More importantly he first civilian that Deku ever saves. While it is common for a protagonist to save someone weaker than them in a shonen action series but it has a special weight in this show. If you have even the slightest familiarity with this series you know that Izuku's reason for being is to be a great hero who saves everyone and banishes fear like his personal hero All Might. Thus this is not only the first time Deku fight a villain one on one, it is also the first time he saves a person and thus acts like All Might.
Thus I think I made it clear that the value of a fight is not only the attacks used but also the build up and potential for character growth that it presents.