Some significant drama went down before the forthcoming Ultimate Fighting Championship pay-per-view.
UFC 274 was supposed to be headlined by a lightweight championship affair between Charles Oliveira and Justin Gaethje. Unfortunately, the defending titleholder Oliveira (32-8, 1NC; 20-8 1NC UFC) missed weight by .5 pounds when he hit the scale at 155.5. After being allowed one additional hour, "Do Bronx" was forced to vacate his belt following his second failed attempt to make the championship weight. Oliveira captured the championship after stopping Michael Chandler with punches at UFC 262. The Brazilian fighter then scored his first title defense after forcing Dustin Poirier to tap due to a rear-naked choke at UFC 269. Oliveira is riding an impressive 10-bout win streak, and if he wins tomorrow, he will become the no. 1 contender at the championship he lost. It's the first time a UFC champion fails to make weight ahead of a title match.
Former World Series of Fighting champion Gaethje (23-3, 6-3 UFC) has rattled off five wins in six outings. Recently, he defeated Michael Chandler via unanimous decision in a Fight of the Year contender clash at UFC 268. "The Highlight" had no issues on the scale, recording 155 pounds on the mark. In case of victory, Gaethje will be eligible to take home the lightweight championship.
In the co-headliner, two-time UFC strawweight titleholder Rose Namajunas and Carla Esparza will collide for the second time following their championship clash in December 2014. On that occasion, Esparza (18-6, 9-4 UFC) upended "Thug" Rose by unanimous decision. Recently, Namajunas recaptured the belt following a shocking knockout at the expense of Weili Zhang in the UFC 261 co-main event before scoring her first title at UFC 268. Both Namajunas and Esparza made the championship weight by recording 115 pounds even on the scale.
Like Oliveira, Norma Dumont failed to make weight by coming in .5 pounds over the featherweight division's limit.
UFC 274 will take place at the Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona, on Saturday, May 7. Prelims start on ESPN+ and UFC Fight Pass at 5:30 p.m. ET/2:30 p.m. PT and continue on ESPN and ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. The main card will stream on ESPN+ pay-per-view at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.
Charles Oliveira (155.5)* vs. Justin Gaethje (155); only Gaethje is eligible to win the lightweight championship
Rose Namajunas (115) vs. Carla Esparza (115) for the women's strawweight title
Michael Chandler (156) vs. Tony Ferguson (155.5) at lightweight
Mauricio Rua (205.5) vs. Ovince St. Preux (205) at light heavyweight
Donald Cerrone (155.5) vs. Joe Lauzon (155.5) at lightweight
Andre Fialho (170.5) vs. Cameron VanCamp (170) at welterweight
Randy Brown (170.5) vs. Kalinn Williams (170.5) at welterweight
Macy Chiasson (145.5) vs. Norma Dumont (146.5)** at women's featherweight
Brandon Royval (125.5) vs. Matt Schnell (125.5) at flyweight
Blagoy Ivanov (253.5) vs. Marcos Rogerio de Lima (258.5) at heavyweight
Danny Roberts (170.5) vs. Francisco Trinaldo (170.5) at welterweight
Tracy Cortez (125.5) vs. Melissa Gatto (125) at women's flyweight
Kleydson Rodrigues (125.5) vs. C.J. Vergara (126) at flyweight
Ariane Carnelossi (115.5) vs. Lupita Godinez (115) at women's strawweight
Fernando Garcia (135.5) vs. Journey Newson (135.5) at bantamweight
*Oliveira missed weight by .5 pounds, has been stripped of his title and fined a percentage of his purse.
**Dumont missed weight by .5 pounds and has been fined 30% of her purse.