UFC President Dana White said the promotion will take drastic action to make sure the “nightmare” scenario of UFC 274 weightlifter Charles Oliveira does not repeat.
He said the measure, after Oliveira’s victory over Justin Gethje on Saturday, is for a security guard to stand on a scale calibrated by the promotion to reflect the scale used by the state sports commission overseeing the event. White indicated that non-US fighters may be responsible for changing the promotion scale used at UFC 274, which could lead to inaccurate readings.
“We have this problem where the guys go out and start checking the scale the night before and all the Europeans and guys from other parts of the world are pulling in kilos, so they all start to ****** on a scale,” White told reporters after the pay-per-view event at the Footprint Center in Phoenix. “Look at the kilograms and who knows….” “There are a lot of moving parts to this beast of a machine that we run every week, and we should have a security guard there where the scale is now. It’s something we have to do.”
Oliveira was stripped of the title when he climbed into the octagon on Saturday, as a result of a half-pound gain in the 155-pound lightweight title fight. He went on to defeat Justin Gaethje in the first round, recovering from early troubles to introduce the former interim champ. Since he was stripped naked, he only secured a first-place win, a fact White confirmed to the Brazilian after he jumped over the octagon to celebrate.
In the wake of Oliveira’s weight loss, which came after his second attempt at gaining 155 pounds, he swore he gained weight the night before the official budget on Friday. But on a last-minute check, he said he discovered he weighed more than 2.2 pounds, and had to drop the weight again.
Oliveira also cited other fighters who had issues with the scale, several of whom claimed that the difference between the promotion scale and the official scale ranged from half a pound to two pounds. Matt Schnell of the UFC flyweight wrote on social media that the promotion warned them that the unofficial range had been discontinued.
The Arizona State Boxing and Mixed Martial Arts Commission, which organized UFC 274, issued a statement after the weight incident explaining that the official scale had been properly calibrated and added, “Any scales used for any purpose other than official scales (such as those that may be used for fighters to unofficially test their weight) ) is not calibrated or checked by commission staff as it is normally provided by the promoter.”
However, the commission did not have explicit authority over the UFC title, which the promotion confers. Previously, the UFC indicated it would call the champion fighter despite losing weight when lightweight Al Iaquinta came into a heavyweight fight in the last second title against Khabib Nurmagomedov if he wins at UFC 223.
Then White said, “In terms of commission, Khabib is the one who qualifies for the title.” “But obviously, if Rajin wins this fight, he is the hero.”
White indicated that Oliveira would occupy a similar position after UFC 274, regardless of what officially happened on the scales.
“He’s the guy,” White said. “He had no weight. We have rules, he didn’t make the weight, the belt is vacant. But I’m sure in the minds of the media and fighting fans, Oliveira is the champ. But technically, he’s the number one contender now.”
White’s reaction was horrified when he first heard that Oliveira was the last fighter to weigh in on Friday morning.
He said of his reaction: “No… my God.” “It’s the worst thing that can happen during… [UFC executive] Lenny Breckenridge…she hit me with all the people, and I hit her in the back and said, “No Oliveira?” And she says, “He’s next.”
“So I was like, oh***. Why is it the last, and the worst that could happen.”
Potential contenders such as Islam Makhachev, Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier all entered for a chance to beat the Official No. 1 contender after Saturday’s event. The only thing White can say for sure is that Oliveira will fight “100 percent” for the belt he lost in the scale.