UFC 274: Why did Charles Oliveira lose his lightweight title?
Charles Oliveira has been stripped of his UFC lightweight belt after he was found to be a half-pound too heavy for his title defense on Saturday.
Charles Oliveira lost his UFC lightweight belt after he tipped the scales a little too much during the weigh-in for his title defense on May 7 as part of UFC 274.
Oliveira: First champion to lose belt due to weight
He was stripped of his title after coming in at 155.5 pounds, half a pound too heavy for the 155-pound division. He was given an hour to drop the excess weight but was unable to do so. It’s the first time a UFC champion has lost a title due to missing the division weight.
Oliveira won the vacant lightweight belt in May of last year, after defeating Michael Chandler in UFC 262 via technical knockout. He then successfully defended his title against Dustin Poirier by submission in UFC 269 which was held in December.
UFC 274: Oliveira vs. Gaethje will go on
The fight between Oliveira and Justin Gaethje will still be held, but only the American will be eligible to win the title. If the Brazilian prevails, the belt will remain vacant.
Gaethje is a former interim UFC lightweight champion, and is currently number one in the division rankings. In 2020, he unsuccessfully challenged Khabib Nurmagomedov for the undisputed lightweight title. The Russian retired after the fight, and the belt was officially vacated.
There is one championship fight remaining in UFC 274- the women’s strawweight title is on the line as current titleholder Rose Namajunas will battle challenger Carla Esparza.
UFC 274 is scheduled to take place on Saturday, May 7, at Footprint Center in Phoenix Arizona.