Win or lose, Charles Oliveira won’t be the lightweight champion by the conclusion of UFC 274 tonight after failing to make weight for his fight with Justin Gaethje.
Oliveira tipped the scales just a half-pound over the 155lb limit set for lightweight title fights, and despite being given one hour to rectify the situation he was unable to bring his weight down any further.
As such, Oliveira becomes the first ever UFC champion to be stripped of his title due to a weight-miss and even if he defeated Gaethje tonight it would still only earn him the right to fight for the vacant title next time out.
On the other hand, if Gaethje wins, then he would still become the lightweight champion since he did successfully make weight.
There was added controversy surrounding Oliveira’s weight miss after several fighters backstage reported that the off-stage scales that fighters typically check weight on before going out to officially weigh-in actually said he was on-weight, while the official ones weren’t.
“Congrats to the “genius” that messed with the fighter’s scale leaving it with a 0.5lb difference,” prelim fighter Ariane Carnelossi wrote on Twitter. “We only found out when we were informed as we were coming down to check our official Weight. Luckly I was under so that didnt hurt me.”
Nevertheless, as things stand Oliveira’s punishment remains, despite his defiant declaration that he’s still the rightful champion.
“The champion has a name. His name is Charles Oliveira,” Oliveira told ESPN. “The story is that I went up to my room. I made weight on the UFC scale on Thursday night. I go up to my room (and) didn’t consume anything. No water, no food, no anything. I swear to God. In the name of my daughter, the most sacred thing in my life. I went to bed. I wake up the following day and it’s a pound over.
“I’m looking at it. I’m one kilogram over, actually. I’m one over and I don’t understand what happened. I can’t understand. We work. We’re professionals. I didn’t do anything wrong. To me, it just didn’t make sense. Other fighters started talking about it as well. They started talking about those 200 grams, 300 grams. It was exactly the difference of the scale with the UFC. This is what we’re going back to. The champion has a name. His name is Charles Oliveira.”