Charles Oliveira is no longer the UFC lightweight champion, but vows to be as confident as ever going into his UFC 274 main event bout with Justin Gaethje. The UFC announced that the 155-pound title will be vacant as soon as Oliveira enters the octagon Saturday night, and only Gaethje can claim it with a victory since “do Bronx” missed weight by 0.5 pounds on Friday morning.
Several fighters told MMA Fighting the hotel scale was “messed up” and led athletes to believe they were lighter than they actually were. Norma Dumont and Oliveira missed weight for UFC 274, and Oliveira said in an interview with ESPN after the ceremonial weigh-ins that he’s not mentally affected by the chaotic sequence of events.
“If they thought it was going to frustrate me, they’re going to see a Charles 10 times better,” Oliveira said in Portuguese. “I’m ready for this. The champion’s name is Charles Oliveira, there’s no one else.”
Oliveira missed weight four times before in the UFC as a featherweight, and has weighed in pounds under the limit in several occasions in the past since moving up to lightweight, coming in as light as 152 pounds for his bout with Jim Miller in 2018. Oliveira and his team posted on social media Thursday night he was already on weight, but claim the hotel scale tricked them to believe it.
“I made weight Thursday night,” Oliveira said. “Man, we’re not here to make up stories. I swear in the name of my daughter, the most important thing in my life. I made weight on UFC’s scale on Thursday night, like I do every time. On Friday morning, we went there [to check the weight] and it was 1kg [2,2 pounds] over. I said, ‘This is crazy. I’ve not drunk or eaten anything, I have to be lower than that. You’re crazy.’ And we started this war [cutting weight again].
“Every other fighter [said] the same thing, 300g or 500g [0.6 to 1.1 pounds] over. We saw that they even told the commission it was over, and they never told us. And still, as the champion, I dedicated to cut the weight and there was 0.5 pounds left, which is the exact 0.5 pounds over in the scale. The champion has a name and his name is Charles Oliveira. I came here to once again show why I’m the champion, and I’ll show it.”
The Arizona Boxing & Mixed Martial Arts Commission issued a statement to MMA Fighting on the matter, saying that “any scales used for any purpose other than official weigh-ins (such as those that may be used for fighters to unofficially test their weight) are not calibrated or inspected by Commission Staff as they are typically provided by the Promoter, not the Arizona Boxing & MMA Commission.”
The UFC did not respond to MMA Fighting’s request for comment.
Oliveira was given an extra hour by the local commission to try and make weight, but still came back 0.5 pounds over.
“I had already made weight, so your head isn’t there anymore,” Oliveira said. “I went to the sauna, I hit pads, I did everything because I’m the champion. The champion has to do everything to make weight, even thought I had already made it [before]. I did everything. I sacrificed, but the scale didn’t even move. I weighed in the first time with underwear on and came in that weight, and I took that off and it was the same weight. There’s no explanation. But the champion has a name and his name is Charles Oliveira. I came here to once again show my story of overcoming and I’ll overcome once more time.”