After submitting Justin Gaethje on Saturday night, the first thing Charles Oliveira did was hop over the cage and look for Dana White.
He found the UFC boss sitting cageside, and they shared a brief moment. What Oliveira said isn’t clear, but you could reasonably assume the gist of it by listening to White’s response, which was picked up by ESPN+ microphones.
“You didn’t make weight,” White told Oliveira amidst the noise of a raucous crowd at Footprint Center. “I know. You didn’t make weight. You’re the No. 1 contender.”
“It’s a nightmare. I mean, it’s a nightmare,” White said of the situation during the UFC 274 post-fight news conference. “We have this issue where guys come out, and they’ll start checking the (UFC’s) scale the night before. All the Europeans and guys from other parts of the world do kilos, so they all start f*cking with the scale to look at kilos. And who knows?”
Nobody apparently. As far the UFC is concerned, Oliviera missed weight. The Arizona commission, meanwhile, issued a statement essentially absolving itself from any blame.
As a result of the scale controversy, White announced a measure the UFC plans to take moving forward.
“There’s so many moving parts to this beast of a machine that we run every week,” White said. “We’ve got to have a security guard where the scale is now. It’s something we’re gonna have to do.”
The good news for Oliveira, however, is that White said he will still receive pay-per-view points for UFC 274. He’s also “a hundred percent” assured to be involved in the next lightweight title fight.
“Listen, he’s the guy. He’s the guy,” White said. “He didn’t make weight. We have rules. He didn’t make the weight. The belt is vacant. I’m sure in the minds of the media and fight fans, Oliveira is the champion. You know? But technically he’s the No. 1 contender now. He’s the guy.”
Oliveira knows he’s “the guy,” regardless of the circumstances.
“We were all sure that we made weight on Thursday,” Oliveira told reporters through an interpreter. “It’s in our hands. They’re not going to take that away from us. I went into the octagon to defend the title. I don’t have to get it back. The champion is Charles Oliveira, and we all know that.”