UFC

UFC 274: Charles Oliveira says he’s the defending champion, with or without belt (Video)

Even though he lost the title before entering the Octagon at UFC 274, Charles Oliveira says it doesn’t change that it’s him who is the top dog at 155.

It’s been a whirlwind of a few days now for Charles Oliveira.

After UFC 274, he still leaves as undeniably the top lightweight in the UFC’s 155-pound division following his win over Justin Gaethje. Oliveira, however, doesn’t have the belt to show for it, becoming the first fighter to be stripped of his UFC title on the scales.

Oliveira came in at 155.5 pounds, a half-pound over the strict weight limit for title fights. Oliviera and his team have since disputed they knew he was on weight — and there have been multiple claims about the official scale being off from the ones used backstage.

Regardless, to Oliveira, it doesn’t change that in his mind, he is still the reigning and defending champion of the division. And all he has to do for support is look at the team that has helped him along the way to the top.

“All I have to do is just look out back,” Oliveira said in his post-fight press conference.”It’s an enormous team, a great team that’s always behind me. They’ve always been supportive. They’ve always said, ‘You just got to keep going, have to keep working on this. We were all sure that we actually made weight.

“It’s [out of] our hands; not going to take that away from us. I went into the Octagon to defend my title. We’re going to defend the title, don’t have to get it back. The name of the champion is Charles Oliveira, we all know that.”

Charles Oliveira says he can no longer be denied following win over Justin Gaethje at UFC 274

The win over Gaethje marked Oliveira’s 11th straight and 12th win in his 13 fights since moving to lightweight. It also extended his records for most finishes and submission victories in the promotion’s history at 19 and 16, respectively.

Many have said that by this point, it’s time to stop doubting Oliveira, as he continues to overcome when there’s something new that gets in the way (such as the weight miss) or he enters as the underdog (as he did against Dustin Poirier).

Oliveira says that no matter how many times he gets rocked early or gets doubted, he will continue to come forward. And now after struggling to get people to fight him when he was making his way up the ranks, he’s just going to let the UFC matchmakers do their thing and book whoever they feel is worthy.

“[The win over Gaethje] is a message to the division that I know where I came from, I know where I am, I know where I’m going,” Oliveira said. “I’m a man who’s enlightened and who’s also very focused. And it’s a message to the division that you can knock me down but I’ll keep pushing forward.”

UFC 274: Charles Oliveira vs. Justin Gaethje took place on Saturday, May 7, 2022, live from the Footprint Center in Phoenix, AZ. Follow along with FanSided MMA, who was on-site, for all your news and highlights.