UFC champion Charles Oliveira stripped of title after failing to make weight
Defending UFC champion Charles Oliveira has been stripped of his title after failing to make the 155 pound weight for his bout with Justin Gaethje on Saturday.
The 32-year-old Brazilian was due to put his lightweight title on the line at UFC 274 in Arizona but weighed in half a pound over the limit.
It left him with an hour to make weight, but after failing to do so the fight will no longer go ahead. UFC title fights do not permit the one-pound allowance typically afforded in non-championship showdowns.
Gaethje had been handed a second shot at the title as he aimed to become the sport's undisputed champion. Khabib Nurmagomedov was able to beat him within two rounds last time but Gaethje saw Oliveira as a completely different challenge.
“They’re definitely not the same athlete,” he said in the build-up to the fight.
“And Charles certainly is not more dangerous than Khabib. His ability to take damage is not the same, proven through the times we’ve seen him fight. All my criticism of Charles is from a kid that we were talking about, that we all watched grow, and now we’re talking about a man with confidence. It’s a different person, but ultimately the same Charles is still there.
“The same Charles that fought Cub Swanson. The same Charles that fought Donald Cerrone. The same Charles that fought [Anthony] Pettis. Choices were made in that by him and the choice to quit was made, and I’m going to give him that choice on Saturday night, I guarantee that.”
Oliveira has won 10 straight in the lightweight division, becoming UFC champion and seeing off the likes of Dustin Poirier, Michael Chandler, Tony Ferguson and Kevin Lee. However Gaethje still believes there are doubts surrounding the champion.
He took a swipe, stating: “I think that’s true, however, once a coward always a coward. I’m not calling him a coward, but I’m saying that’s — you can’t just take that away. It’s there. Khabib never showed you that, and that’s why you can’t compare those two.”