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Ariel Helwani has unloaded on the UFC for its treatment of Charles Oliveira at UFC 274.
The Brazilian fighter ended up missing weight the lead up to his lightweight title defence against Justin Gaethje, meaning he was ultimately stripped of the belt.
Various rumours then started swirling as to why this happened, some theorists claiming that the scales were actually off.
Oliveira ended up beating Gaethje via submission but did not retain the strap, instead becoming the new No.1 contender while the 155-pound belt remained vacant.
But respected MMA reporter Helwani believes this shouldn't be the case, claiming a bunch of other past UFC champions were given different treatment to Oliveira.
Speaking on the latest episode of The MMA Hour, Helwani said: "We all saw the clip, I reposted it – not because I have an ax to grind with Khabib – [but] because it was very noticeable. Khabib (Nurmagomedov), Gaethje, that thing wasn't even settled. Boom, boom, please go to the back and rehydrate. We've seen this time and again. And in case you're gonna sit there and say, 'Call out you're boy DC (Daniel Cormier).' Of course, and I've called him out to his face. In Buffalo, he didn't make the weight, he held on to the towel. GSP (Georges St-Pierre) in Montreal – my other boy – he was over 170 and they rounded it down. So time and again, people in championship fights have been over. If you think that your favourite champion fighter hasn't been over back in the day... you're fooling yourself."
But Helwani was far from done.
Charles wishes he had this guy manning the scale. Look at that speed! pic.twitter.com/oukFztLLza— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) May 6, 2022
The MMA journalist, who has had plenty of run-ins with the UFC before, went one step further and said it was actually "criminal" for the UFC to strip Oliveira of the title, given the leniency they've showed to past champions.
Helwani added: "All of a sudden, Charles gets the bad luck, the misfortune of running into a stickler, who's gonna be like, 'Nope, we're gonna get this on the dot.' I'm not even talking about the conspiracy the the weight thingy, the calibration and the scale... I'm not even talking about that. But for half-a-pound to be that big of a stickler, when there is nothing that is going to happen in this fight on Saturday as a result of a half a pound over – that is not a performance enhancer. The fact that he was stripped of the belt, to me is absolutely criminal."
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