Brazilian star Charles Oliveira was stripped of his UFC lightweight belt for missing weight, but according to multiple fighters, the scale used by combatants to prepare for their official weigh-in was off.
“Do Bronx” was set for his second 155-pound title defense this Saturday night. Oliveira and No. 1-ranked Justin Gaethje will do battle during the UFC 274 main event at the Footprint Center in Pheonix, Arizona.
However, Oliveira failed twice to make the 155-pound championship weight limit, and he was subsequently stripped of his belt. Do Bronz weighed in at 155.5 pounds both times.
The fight is still on, but if Oliveira bests “The Highlight,” the lightweight strap will still be vacant. On the other end, if Gaethje defeats the Brazilian, he’ll be crowned the 155-pound king.
However, according to MMA Fighting’s Guilherme Cruz, he spoke with two athletes who are competing on the May 7th card, Ariane Carnelossi and Norma Dumont. Both fighters told the reporter after the weigh-in that the scale they used at the fighters’ hotel was heavier than what it should have been.
Fighters used a different scale at the official weigh-in.
“Norma Dumont and Ariane Carnelossi told me the hotel scale was reset overnight and many fighters found out on Friday morning they were 2lbs heavier than they thought,” Cruz tweeted. “Don’t know if that was the case with Charles Oliveira, whose coach posted last night he had already made weight.”
Carnelossi then clarified on Twitter that she noticed the scale was a half-pound over, not two pounds.
“Congrats to the ‘genius’ that messed with the fighter’s scale leaving it with a 0.5lb difference,” the women’s strawweight tweeted. “We only found out when we were informed as we were coming down to check our official Weight. Luckly I was under so that didnt hurt me.”
Dumont & Oliveira Both Missed Weight By .5lb, the Same Number Carnelossi Claimed the Hotel Scale Was Off By
Carnelossi made weight for her battle with Lupita Godinez during the UFC 274 early preliminary card. However, Dumont missed the women’s featherweight limit by half a pound, the same amount Oliveira missed his mark by.
Before hitting the scale, Oliveira shared that he was on weight. He tweeted:
At the time of this writing, the UFC has yet to comment on the potential scale malfunction.
Twitter Reacts to the Scale Controversy, Including Daniel Cormier & Jake Paul
Fight fans responded to the scale controversy in droves, with some painting their own conspiracy theories while others chose not to believe that the hotel scale was incorrect.
“That’s UFCs way to take the belt away from Charles,” one person tweeted. “High level conspiracy. They didn’t appreciate Charles unwillingness to learn and speak English. They want guys like Conor, Islam and Gaethje going after each other. They threw the odd one (Charles) under the bus.”
Another account tweeted: “I have no clue why manual scales are still being used! We have something called a digital scale that doesn’t require any human intervention. All fighters are using digital in their rooms to check their weight before weigh in. There is literally zero need for an old school scale.”
“So 8 fighters were actually under weight,” someone wrote, while sharing a screenshot of the UFC 274 weigh-in results. “Makes no sense. Never happened before.”
“The problem only effected Charles,” another user tweeted with presumed sarcasm. “Nobody else had that problem (eye-roll emoji).”
Former two-division UFC champion Daniel Cormier also gave his take, tweeting: “If the scale being heavy is true that cannot happen! Unfortunate turn at UFC 274!”
Social media sensation Jake Paul chimed in too, writing: “Charles Oliveira is losing his title because of a scale that is being questioned? Maybe consider a digital scale for championship fights. Brazil fans should use their voice here and let UFC know this isn’t right @whindersson.”
No. 5-ranked UFC welterweight Belal Muhammad tweeted: “Conor (McGregor) probably sabotaged the scales he’s the only one that benefited from this.. If Justin wins tomorrow I’m pretty sure he’ll be next.”