The term “Dana White privilege” refers to fighters who are given preferential treatment from UFC President Dana White. The term has swiftly become en vogue after Tony Ferguson coined the phrase at the UFC 262 pre-fight press conference in reference to Michael Chandler’s prompt lightweight title shot. It won’t be long until this background information on the phrase will no longer be needed, as it is already gradually becoming an embedded part of the MMA lexicon.
One recent example of this is UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling describing past/future opponent and current nemesis, Petr Yan.
“I think the rematch between myself and Petr Yan is the money fight right now because there’s so much animosity and so much bad blood right there,” Sterling began on Siriux XM’s Unlocking The Cage. “You got a guy who got gifted a…AKA, what Tony Ferguson said, Dana White privileges, got to fight for a world title against José Aldo, who was coming off of a loss and Petr Yan who’s never beaten any single person in the top 5. I beat three of those guys, and I get passed over, and I have to fight one more.
“After I beat the last top-5 guy, I got the chance based on everyone from process of elimination: Marlon Moraes losing to Cory Sandhagen, Marlon Moraes losing to Rob Font, and Frankie Edgar having a tight fight with Pedro Munhoz, I ended up being the last man standing. So it worked out for me, but I actually did some work in this division; Petr Yan hasn’t. And I was calling him the paper champ, ironically. Now, we’re both in this limbo. So I think people want some clarification on who’s who, and I think that’s what we gotta do. We gotta figure that out come November.”
The UFC and Petr Yan both had hoped the rematch would come sooner, but Sterling had to have neck surgery to remedy long-term issues that were exacerbated during his clash with Yan.
Sterling has made it clear that he will take his time to ensure he is 100%. Surely, the fact that Sterling believes he’s jumped through twice as many obstacles as Yan did to get to the bantamweight title won’t have him in a hurry to rematch the “Dana White privileged” Petr Yan.
“I didn’t get a Dana White privilege,” Sterling continued. “I had to jump through the fire, jump through all the obstacles/hoops that Dana White had me jump through. I had to avoid landmine grenades to not get blown up in order to get to this position. Because for some reason, I just wasn’t the guy they wanted to fight for a world title for whatever reason.
“I don’t know if they thought I was gonna be against them or something. I really have no idea. I think I have a very fun style, and I like to build the fight, I talk…so I don’t know what it is (that) it took me so long to get here. But unlike Petr Yan, I had to fight some real stiff competition. The toughest guy he fought I think was between myself and José Aldo.”
Despite the perceived advantages Yan has received, Sterling still stands before you as the UFC bantamweight champion, so indeed everything worked out for him in the end. And if Yan should recapture the title against Sterling himself, then “The Funkmaster” would then have to give credit to Yan for unquestionably earning the championship to his satisfaction.
Do you agree with Aljamain Sterling? Is Petr Yan an example of “Dana White privilege?”