Tony Ferguson has been on the active UFC roster for over 10 years. During that stretch, he has become known as one of the most revered, durable, and elite fighters on the roster. He solidified his “elite” status during a run of 12 consecutive victories.
However, despite his impressive résumé and winning streak, Ferguson has never received a shot at the undisputed UFC championship. He was scheduled to fight for the title on more than one occasion, but circumstances prevented those bouts from coming to fruition.
During the UFC 262 pre-fight press conference last year ahead of Chandler fighting Charles Oliveira for the vacant lightweight championship, Ferguson coined the now-famous “Dana White privilege” line, accusing White of showering “Iron Mike” with favoritism.
The crowd, and even both White and Chandler, got a big laugh out of the viral one-liner, but one person who isn’t laughing is the phrase-creator himself.
When asked in jest during his UFC 274 media scrum how it will feel for him to face the alleged beneficiary of “Dana White privilege,” Ferguson was unamused and believed no one else should find humor in favoritism, either.
“I don’t think it’s very funny,” Ferguson said of his viral phrase. “So everybody’s looking and they’re smiling, they’re laughing at it, but nobody’s saying shit. So I’m the kid that’s up here with Dana Brown privilege, or whatever the fuck you want to call it.
“I don’t think it’s very funny anymore. And neither (should) you guys. I don’t think you guys should think it’s very funny. So I’m taking this weekend very fuckin’ seriously. So I’ll kick this Dana White boy’s ass.”
Ferguson has spoken out in the past about believing his Mexican heritage has prevented him from receiving a title shot. Reporters did not audibly follow up on Ferguson’s volatile remarks, but however you interpret it, it’s clear that Ferguson has a chip on his shoulder heading into his showdown with Chandler this Saturday.
Chandler went on to lose his title bout against Oliveira followed by a loss to Justin Gaethje in an instant classic at UFC 268. Thus, Chandler will also have much to fight for this weekend in an effort to prevent a three-fight skid.
Ferguson himself is currently on a three-fight losing streak, which is easily the longest skid of his career. Ferguson most recently competed at the aforementioned UFC 262 event, dropping a unanimous decision to Beneil Dariush.
What are your thoughts on Tony Ferguson’s comments?