Sunday, January 16, 2022

UFC Boss Scoffs At “Dana White Privilege” After Ferguson’s Accusation

If there is one takeaway from Thursday’s UFC 262 pre-fight press conference, it’s that “Dana White Privilege” is a phrase that will not be going away and is now part of the MMA lexicon.

The phrase’s author? None other than “El Cucuy” Tony Ferguson. Ferguson was letting out a lot of steam during the press conference about the world title shot evading him after all his years of hard work while Michael Chandler waltzed in and was awarded a title shot after one fight. To add further insult to injury, Chandler was granted the shot after being uninterested in a short-notice fight against Ferguson last year. Here is what Ferguson said at the press conference:

“You f*cking dodged me too, Chandler,” Ferguson said. “You’re a b*tch. You said no, man. You got this sh*t handed to you. You got Dana White privilege.”

Dana White and much of the audience got a good laugh out of Ferguson’s witty pun, but given that it came from Tony Ferguson and considering the context in which it was uttered, it’s doubtful that Ferguson was joking.

Tony Ferguson fires
Tony Ferguson (Photo: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa)

Ferguson’s frustration over not receiving a title shot has never been a laughing matter for him. In fact, it wasn’t too long ago that he wondered if the shot had eluded him because he is Mexican. Dana White is still laughing off the remarks and chalking the whole thing up to paranoia (transcription via Simon Samano of MMA Junkie).

“You always have these fighters who feel, ‘Oh, the company is against me, they want me to lose, they don’t like me.’ They’re all paranoid like that,” White said on The Jake Asman Show. “And I think these guys see Michael Chandler as the guy – you know, even if you look at Oliveira, guy’s been in the UFC for 11 years, and he’s finally getting his title shot. Chandler is getting it this quick. Everything in life is about timing, and timing has definitely worked out for Michael Chandler.”

Dana White has already elaborated on how and why everything lined up for Chandler the way it did, but there will still be people like Ferguson who consider Chandler’s UFC 262 title shot to be a case of “Dana White Privilege.” It’s unclear if this is directly race-related or if it’s limited to being a punsy way of saying “Dana White Favoritism.” In either interpretation, White says it’s not a real thing. 

“Umm, no,” White responded when directly asked if Dana White Privilege is real. “I don’t think it’s a real thing, but I think that fighters think that it’s a real thing. I think that they think that I have my favorites, and I’m assuming they think that Michael Chandler is one of my new favorites.”

Of course, if it were a real thing, White would hardly be expected to admit such a thing. In fact, the phrasing of “I don’t think” is a relatively soft denial given the accusation. In the end, whether Dana White Privilege exists or not, just as White has always said in the past, it’s up to the fighters to go out and win. And if Michael Chandler does that tonight, then it can’t be denied that he deserves to be the champion, even if the opportunity itself will continue being debated.

What say you? Is Dana White Privilege a real thing?

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