UFC 274 inside Footprint Center in Phoenix, Ariz., last night (May 7, 2022) should have been another triumphant event for Charles Oliveira. The Brazilian fighter extended his win streak to 11, submitting Justin Gaethje in the first round (watch highlights). It would have been his second successful Lightweight title defense ... but, unfortunately Oliveira was stripped of his belt after missing weight by a half-pound.
Normally, you wouldn’t see much sympathy for someone missing weight, but stories abound of irregularities between the scales at the fighter hotel, backstage and the one used by the commission. Depending on who you ask, multiple fighters and their teams competing at UFC 274 claimed the official commission scale was heavy by a half-pound to two pounds.
The time to sort all that out would have been before the weigh-ins started. Fans demanding the Arizona commission retroactively acknowledge the issue and do something to fix the situation clearly haven’t followed the sport through bigger scandals that were swept under the rug without resolution.
UFC President, Dana White, addressed the situation following UFC 274 at the post-fight press conference.
“It’s a nightmare. I mean, it’s a nightmare,” White said. “We have this issue where guys come out, and they’ll start checking the [UFC’s] scale the night before. All the Europeans and guys from other parts of the world do kilos, so they all start f—king with the scale to look at kilos. And who knows? There’s so many moving parts to this beast of a machine that we run every week.
“We’ve got to have a security guard where the scale is now,” he continued. “It’s something we’re gonna have to do.”
As for Oliveira, UFC won’t be giving him the belt back. But, White has repeatedly said he’s the No. 1-ranked contender and will get a chance to fight for the vacant title in the future.
“Listen, he’s the guy. He’s the guy,” White said. “He didn’t make weight. We have rules. He didn’t make the weight. The belt is vacant. I’m sure in the minds of the media and fight fans, Oliveira is the champion. You know? But technically he’s the number one contender now. He’s the guy.”
But, will he be paid like the champion?
White revealed that Oliveira still received pay-per-view (PPV) points on his UFC 274 paycheck, but that was likely baked into his existing bout agreement for the event. White was less forthcoming regarding whether Oliveira would still get points for his next fight.
“We’ll figure that out,” he said.
For complete UFC 274: “Oliveira vs. Gaethje” results and play-by-play, click HERE.