Charles Oliveira will have to vacate his UFC lightweight title when he fights Justin Gaethje tomorrow night (Sat., May 7, 2022) live on ESPN+ PPV from inside Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona, due to a botched weight cut on Friday. “Do Bronx” will not be eligible to win the 155-pound strap even if he defeats Gaethje, but that hasn’t stopped the Brazilian from focusing on Saturday’s fight.
Oliveira surprised many during Friday’s early weigh ins when he came in a half pound over the 155-pound lightweight limit. The champion was awarded one additional hour to cut the weight and make his main event clash with Gaethje an official title fight, but the veteran simply couldn’t sweat it out.
While some believe that a faulty scale was to blame that doesn’t change the fact that Oliveira missed weight for what was supposed to be his second-straight title defense. It’s the fifth time in Oliveira’s UFC career that he has missed weight, but the first at the lightweight level. Even for a fighter with a track history of coming in over weight this was a shocker to say the least.
A few hours after his title was stripped and Oliveira was deemed ineligible to win it back this weekend at UFC 274 the veteran fighter took to social media to issue an official statement.
“The champion has a name — his name is Charles Oliveira. Let’s go with everything Brazilian nation. God is God he never abandoned me and it won’t be now that he goes. I am the CHOSEN THE ILLUMINATED,” wrote Oliveira via Instagram.
Oliveira also discussed the incident during the broadcast for UFC 274’s ceremonial weigh ins.
“The champion has a name. His name is Charles Oliveira,” he said with the help of an interpreter. “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.”
In addition, Oliveira’s head coach, Diego Lima, issued a statement blaming the hotel scale for Friday’s miss. Lima confirms that Oliveira went to bed on weight Thursday night only to find out he was still too heavy early Friday.
“We went to sleep on weight, we checked the weight on the scale the organization leaves for us downstairs and everything was OK,” Lima told Combate. “When we checked it in the morning, [his weight] was off. We even posted last night that he had made weight because that’s what really happened. You’re witnesses of this, Charles has never missed weight since he moved up to 155. Even when there was no belt [on the line], he was under the limit, he didn’t use the pound allowance.
“If I keep saying it, people will think it’s an excuse, but that’s the truth. We even posted last night he made weight well. He made weight and went to bed.”
In any case, Oliveira will no longer be UFC lightweight champion when his fight with Gaethje starts tomorrow night at UFC 274. If Oliveira is able to defeat “Highlight” then he’ll line himself up for a title fight against another top contender, per an official UFC release.
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 274 fight card on fight night, starting with the ESPN+ “Prelims” matches at 6 p.m. ET, followed by the remaining undercard balance on ESPN/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+.
For more news and notes on UFC 274 be sure to visit our comprehensive event archive right here. For the updated, revised, and finalized “Oliveira vs. Gaethje” fight card and ESPN+ PPV lineup click here.