Enjoy that title belt while you can, Charlie. It won't be yours after Saturday night.
Charles Oliveira will be forced to vacate his UFC lightweight championship when he fights what would have been his challenger Justin Gaethje Saturday night in Phoenix, Arizona.
In Friday afternoon's pre-fight shocker, the heavy penalty will be due to a botched weigh-in. Oliveira, who repeatedly struggled to hit his marks on the scale early in his career, arrived just a half-pound over the 155-pound lightweight limit. The champion was awarded one additional hour to lose the weight and make his main event clash with Gaethje an official title fight as expected, but the veteran brawler simply couldn’t sweat it out. Oliviera blamed a "faulty scale" (yeah, right).
The show will go on, of course, even though it won't have any championship bearing. Oliveira will simply no longer be UFC lightweight champion when he enters the octagon against Gaethje as the finale on the card at UFC 274. If Oliveira wins, then he’ll line himself up for a title fight against another top contender, yet to be determined.
Prediction (powered by Pointspreads.ca):
Even with the sudden change to the main event, UFC 274 still features a stacked 15-fight card with plenty of big stars and champions.
As for the main event, we'll take Gaethje as an underdog. Not only did Oliveira miss weight, but he also failed to lose half of a pound in one hour. That indicates something's wrong. Gaethje isn't the fighter anyone wants to face with some possible issues we might not know about.
Check out all the odds and possibilities at Spreads.ca: