Marc Ratner, UFC Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, denies any misconduct with the official scale before UFC 274.
Charles Oliveira, the UFC lightweight champion entering UFC 274, was stripped of his title after failing to meet championship weight. Consequently, Justin Gaethje was the only competitor in the UFC 274 main event who could win the championship.
This is highly unusual – previously UFC afforded some leniency to competitors in title bouts and was reportedly ready to give the title to Al Iaquinta in late day match up with Khabib despite missing weight. This is not the only time they offered preferential treatment.
Oliveira and his team say that the scales were malfunctioning. This caused him to fail to make the 155-pound weight limit. He then admitted that he had no excuses for failing to make weight ahead of his most recent championship defense.
Ratner addressed the issue surrounding Oliveira’s weigh-in in a recent appearance with MMA on SiriusXM.
Ratner stated of the UFC 274 weigh-ins, “The official scale, which was the one they weighed in on Friday… 28 of the fighters made weight. “So I’m very, very sure there’s nothing untoward on that scale. ”
“That scale was accurate. And what people are talking about, the night before, there’s a scale where a fighter can come down and checked their weight. Some fighters wanted to change the scale from pounds to kilograms, which you can do.”
“And I think that may have knocked the scale out of calibration, the practice scale. And when we found out there was a problem with the practice scale on Friday morning.”
“They got another scale that was calibrated and put it out there. So on Friday morning, they would go to the scale, and they would know if it was over and they’d have a chance to lose the weight.”
“I am not sure the time [Charles Oliveira] and his camp came down on Friday. He’s saying that he checked the weight on Thursday night and he was fine, but I can say on Friday that there was nothing wrong with the official scale.”
Of course this executive’s statement is in stark contrast with UFC president Dana White announcing UFC would be hiring someone to guard the scale. UFC, being as frugal as it is, wouldn’t even pay for Covid testing for the athletes and cornermen at one point but attempted to make them pay.
This is another reason why it’s highly suspect. Additionally this wasn’t even according to the Arizona state athletic commission policy.
Oliveira went on to win against Gaethje in the first round of the UFC 274 main event. He is now the No. 1 contender. The battle for the vacant title is likely later this year.
Oliveira has struggled to make weight in the past, going back to his featherweight days in the UFC. He’d ultimately move up to lightweight and embark on his current winning streak of 11 matches.