Charles Oliveira made UFC history ahead of UFC 274 by becoming the first champion to lose their title on the scale.
Weighing in a half-pound over the 155 Lightweight limit, Oliveira was stripped of his crown going into the highly anticipated clash with Justin Gaethje. However, it was noted that there may have been some scale tampering involved and as a result, the promotion will be reinforcing its oversight to prevent any further issues.
Even with shenanigans afoot, Oliveira is no stranger to weight struggles having missed four times prior. All things considered, Joe Rogan gives the consensus best Lightweight in the world the benefit of the doubt.
“He fought at 145 [pounds] for a while and he fought very well but he never really hit the strides that he hit when he went [back] up to 155,” Rogan said on his Joe Rogan Experience podcast. “Oh my god, he’s so good. He’s so good. He’s a very nice guy and he got screwed in his last fight. There was some shenanigans with the scale, some people had messed with the scale. Here’s the problem with these digital scales. ... Foreign fighters, they use kilograms and in America, obviously, we use pounds. So the foreign fighters were — these scales are calibrated — then the foreign fighters would reset the scale so they could switch it back to kilograms. So it f—ks up the whole calibration. So he weighed in the night before the weigh-ins and was like, ‘Oh, I’m good to go.’ Then in the morning, he goes and shows up for the weight cut and it’s a pound-plus off. That is directly related to this calibration thing.
“Now the UFC has a new policy because of this where they have a guard who watches over the scale 24 hours a day,” he continued. “They have shifts where no one can f—k with the scale. If you’re gonna get on and try yourself, they’re gonna watch you like a hawk, you don’t press any buttons. Just get on, what’s your weight? Get off. That’s it. These guys were monkeying around with the scale.”
Regardless of any difficulties Oliveira may have faced in Phoenix, Arizona, they played no part in the outcome of the bout. “Do Bronx” needed just over three minutes to stop “The Highlight” with yet another stellar submission (rear-naked choke) after some exhilarating exchanges on the feet (watch highlights).
Going forward, the weight situation will have to be learned from by all involved. Especially the former champion who is likely to be in the inevitable vacant title bout before year’s end.
“It’s Phoenix, that’s what it is,” Rogan said. “That’s not a knock on Phoenix, I love Phoenix. It’s just that the people that are there don’t do high-level world championship MMA fights on a regular basis. They do a few, we’ve had a good time there. But they just made a mistake. There should have been someone watching the scale and the scale was off, that’s a fact and that’s why Oliveira — it’s not the best excuse because Justin Gaethje made weight. Everybody else made weight except one of the women who fought earlier in the night (Norma Dumont). But that’s it.”
To check out the latest and greatest UFC 274: “Oliveira vs. Gaethje” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.