Charles Oliveira has issued a defiant statement insisting that he remains the lightweight champ despite being stripped of his title for failing to make weight.
Earlier today, the 32-year-old tipped the scales half a pound over the 155-pound cut-off for his UFC 274 title fight with Justin Gaethje on Saturday. The botched weight cut means the lightweight title will be officially vacated once the UFC 274 main event begins. However, since Gaethje successfully made weight, he’s still eligible to win the belt tomorrow night.
In his first reaction to today’s drama, Oliveira took to Instagram to tell fans that he still remains the lightweight champion.
“The champion has a name and his name is Charles Oliveira. Let’s go with all we got, Brazil. God is god and he’s never abandoned me and he wont do it now. I’m the chosen one,” said Oliveira in an Instagram messaged translated from Portuguese.
Oliveira now holds the dubious honor of being the first UFC champion to be stripped of their title after failing to make weight. As per a statement made by the UFC, he will forfeit a percentage of his UFC 274 fight purse, and if Oliveira wins tomorrow night, he will be the number one contender for the vacant lightweight title.
Today’s botched weight cut was Oliveira’s first since moving up to the lightweight division in 2017. However as a featherweight, the Brazilian struggled with weight issues, having missed the 145 pound cut off four times.
The most egregious of those occasions was in 2016, when Oliveira took on Ricardo Lamas at The Ultimate Fighter Latin America 3 Finale. That bout had to be fought at a catchweight of 155 pounds after Oliveira missed weight by almost 10 pounds. The Brazilian lost via submission in the second round.
What do you think of Charles Oliveira’s reaction to being stripped of his title?