Charles Oliveira weighed in at 155.5 pounds, a half-pound over the lightweight limit. As a result, the championship is now considered vacant, and Saturday’s bout will be Justin Gaethje’s only opportunity to capture it. This would have been Oliveira’s second defense of the title.
Oliveira first came to the scales with five minutes remaining in the weigh-in period, looking startled as the commissioner called out his missed weight. He was given an extra hour to reduce the weight but failed again after returning.
The UFC announced that the removal of Oliveira’s belt will take place “rapidly following the conclusion of the main event headliner.”
155 pounds is the weight for Daaeethje (23-3), who trains in Denver and was a former interim champion. In 2020, he challenged undisputed champion Khabib Nurmagomedov but was unsuccessful. It became Nurmagomedov’s last fight before retiring as it turned out.
At 115 pounds, strawweight champion Rose Namajunas (11-4) and challenger Carla Esparza (18-6) both made weight. This is the rematch of the first strawweight title bout in UFC history, which Esparza won by submission in 2014. Namajunas, 29, has established herself as a two-time UFC champion with a three-fight winning streak.
Fans will be split between two main bouts and three co-main events. Both former champions will likely steal the show: Michael Chandler (22-7) and Tony Ferguson (25-6). They looked fantastic as they made weight, and both are in desperate need of a victory. Last year, after fighting valiantly to a draw with Oliveira, Chandler came close to winning the UFC title before losing a back-and-forth fight in November by unanimous decision.
In addition, former lightweight title challenger Donald Cerrone (36-16) weighed in at 155.5 pounds for a fight against fellow veteran Joe Lauzon (28-15), who hasn’t fought since last year.
The featherweights were not the only ones who missed weight. Norma Dumont also fell short, weighing in at 128 pounds, well below the lightweight limit of 135 pounds. She was fined 30% of her prize money, but her bout with Macy Chiasson is still scheduled to go ahead.
UFC Fighting Championship’s Saturday night event, UFC 274, will be held at Footprint Center in support of the MMA community of Northeastern Nevada. It will air on ESPN+ pay-per-view.