UFC 274 drama: Charles Oliveira stripped of title for missing weight

Charles Oliveira claimed the UFC lightweight title at UFC 262. (UFC/Twitter)

Charles Oliveira missed weight by half a pound Friday afternoon and will be forced to vacate the lightweight title ahead of his UFC 274 main event bout against Justin Gaethje.

The UFC announced the fight between Oliveira and Gaethje is still on, however Gaethje is now the only fighter eligible to win the title. If Oliveira wins the fight, the belt will remain vacant.

Oliveira stepped on the scale at 155.5 pounds, which is a half-pound above the lightweight limit for a title fight. The 32-year-old was given an additional hour to make weight however he weighed an identical 155.5 pounds on his second try. Oliveira will face a fine in addition to losing his belt.

Gaethje, meanwhile, stepped on the scale at an even 155 pounds, which is why he can still walk away a champion if he gets his hand raised.

Fighters competing in non-title bouts are given a one-pound allowance by athletic commissions, so for example fellow lightweights Michael Chandler and Tony Ferguson weighed 156 and 155.5 pounds, respectively, ahead of their main card tilt but neither will be fined because the technically they did not miss weight while Oliveira did.

It will be fascinating to see how this development impacts Oliveira’s performance at the Footprint Center in Phoenix on Saturday night.

Chandler, whose past two fights were thrilling losses to Gaethje and Oliveira, alluded to Oliveira’s predicament as the MMA community waited with bated breath for Oliveira’s second attempt.

Oliveira had missed weight four times previously in his UFC career, however three of those occurrences were when he used to compete in the 145-pound featherweight division. He last missed weight in 2016. Oliveira is 2-2 in fights after which he missed weight.

The Brazilian submission specialist became champion when he won the vacant title at UFC 262 with a knockout of Chandler. Gaethje has won an interim title in the past and fell short in his attempt for the undisputed belt when he lost to Khabib Nurmagomedov in October 2020.

The organization hasn’t been able to promote a legitimate undisputed lightweight champion since Nurmagomedov retired.

Women’s featherweight fighter Norma Dumont was the only other fighter from UFC 274 to miss weight. She will be fined 30 per cent of her fight purse but her bout with Macy Chiasson will also go on.

Here are the complete weigh-in results for UFC 274’s 15-fight card:

MAIN CARD

— Charles Oliveira (155.5)* vs. Justin Gaethje (155)

— Rose Namajunas (115) vs. Carla Esparza (115)

— Michael Chandler (156) vs. Tony Ferguson (155.5)

— Mauricio Rua (205.5) vs. Ovince Saint Preux (205)

— Donald Cerrone (155.5) vs. Joe Lauzon (155.5)

PRELIMINARY CARD

— Randy Brown (170.5) vs. Khaos Williams (170)

— Macy Chiasson (145.5) vs. Norma Dumont (146.5)*

— Brandon Royval (125.5) vs. Matt Schnell (125.5)

— Francisco Trinaldo (170.5) vs. Danny Roberts (170.5)

— Blagoy Ivanov (253.5) vs. Marcos Rogerio de Lima (258.5)

— Andre Fialho (170.5) vs. Cameron Vancamp (170.5)

— Tracy Cortez (125.5) vs. Melissa Gatto (125)

— Kleidison Rodrigues (125.5) vs. CJ Vergara (126)

— Ariane Carnelossi (115.5) vs. Loopy Godinez (115)

— Journey Newson (135.5) vs. Fernie Garcia (135.5)

*fighter missed weight

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