The UFC lightweight championship is on the line for only one person at UFC 274. Defending champion Charles Oliveira failed to make the 155-pound weight limit at Friday’s weigh-in. Oliveira will be stripped of his title and ineligible to win it back in the main event. As a consequence, only his opponent Justin Gaethje is eligible to win the championship.
Oliveira initially weighed in at 156 pounds. He stripped naked for a subsequent attempt but was still a half-pound over the strict 155-pound weight limit. “Do Bronx” was allocated one extra hour to shed off the excess weight. Non-title fights have an excess one-pound weight allowance meaning a fighter can weigh in as high as 156 pounds for a lightweight fight or 171 pounds for a 170-pound welterweight fight. That lenience is not offered to fighters competing for a UFC title.
UFC 274 is headlined by Oliveira vs. Gaethje. The co-main event is a rematch eight years in the making as reigning women’s strawweight champion Rose Namajunas fights former champion Carla Esparza. Namajunas, Gaethje and Esparza were the first three fighters to make weight. Oliveira did not attempt to make weight until the final five minutes of the two-hour weigh-in window.
UFC 274 takes place at Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona on Saturday, May 7. Other notable fights on the card include Michael Chandler vs. Tony Ferguson and Donald Cerrone vs. Joe Lauzon.