Charles Oliveira has lost his UFC lightweight title before he could even step into the Octagon on Saturday.
Incredibly, the former featherweight who had well-documented troubles cutting to 145 lbs has now come in over the lightweight title limit of 155 lbs. Even with the extra hour, Oliveira was unable to budge an ounce from 155.5 lbs, and as a result Saturday’s UFC 274 main event vs. Justin Gaethje now only has one fighter who’s eligible to win the belt.
Oliveira has been stripped and if he wins the belt will remain vacant. Should Gaethje prevail then he’ll be the new UFC lightweight champion since he actually made weight.
This is the first time in UFC history that a reigning champion has lost their title on weigh-in day. The next closest example would be then women’s flyweight champ Nicco Montano’s hospitalization prior to her UFC 228 bout against Valentina Shevchenko. Montano never made the scale and thus didn’t actually have an attempt, so Oliveira is the only UFC champ to come in heavy and stay heavy.
An absolutely stunning development in Phoenix, Arizona as Oliveira’s days as the king at 155 lbs are over. This is the fifth time he’s failed to make weight in his UFC career — he famously came in at 155 lbs for a featherweight fight against Ricardo Lamas — but it’s his first at lightweight and it’s by far his costliest.