Charles Oliveira failed during Friday’s weigh-in to make the 155-pound limit for his UFC 274 title fight versus Justin Gaethje.
An hour later, he failed to make weight, once again.
In both attempts, Oliveira took the scale and weighed in at 155.5 pounds, which is just .5 pounds too many to retain his lightweight title.
Nonetheless, the Oliveira-Gaethje main event will go on, but now with Oliveira stripped of his title, Gaethje is the only one with a chance to earn the UFC title and belt on Saturday night at Footprint Center in Phoenix.
Here’s a video of Oliveira weighing in at 155.5 pounds for the final time:
Charles Oliveira has missed weight by .5 pounds ahead of #UFC274 and the UFC lightweight title has been vacated.
This is the first time a UFC champion has lost their belt after stepping on the scale and missing the weight limit. pic.twitter.com/eyQW54y5Wz
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 6, 2022
What’s interesting about the outcome of Friday’s weigh-in is the line movement that followed it. Oliveira is still the favorite and Gaethje the underdog. However, Oliveira began the day as the betting favorite (-150) at Tipico Sportsbook, and his odds have only increased in the time since. His odds jumped to as high as -175 before sinking down to -160, where they currently stand.
But why all the movement? What does a half-pound difference actually make in a fight of this magnitude? Perhaps bettors are anticipating a change in either of these fighters’ mental approaches as the stakes have changed tremendously.
Where will Charles Oliveira’s focus be after becoming the first UFC champ to lose their belt by way of a missed weight?
Charles Oliveira missed the 155-pound limit for his lightweight title fight after receiving an additional hour to lose .5 pounds and has been stripped of his title.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) May 6, 2022
That seems unlikely. Oliveira hasn’t lost a fight since December 2017 when Paul Felder finished him in two rounds — 11 fights ago, by my math. But his challenger, Gaetheje has five wins in his last six fights and will be ready to pour salt into the wounds on Saturday.
Either way, this showdown in the desert should still be a great one.