Dana White says ‘Dana White privilege’ isn’t a real thing: Some UFC fighters ‘paranoid like that’

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Dana White privilege: What is that exactly?

“I don’t know,” the UFC president said on “The Jake Asman Show.” “That’s the first I’ve heard of it, and it’s hilarious.”

The one-liner entered the MMA lexicon this week at the UFC 262 pre-fight news conference, where Tony Ferguson used it against Michael Chandler to suggest he lucked out in receiving a title shot – he meets Charles Oliveira in Saturday night’s pay-per-view headliner – after only one UFC appearance.

“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.”

As soon as the words came out of Ferguson’s mouth, White started laughing. But is “Dana White privilege” a laughing matter?

To Ferguson’s point, he carried a 12-fight winning streak October 2013 to June 2019 and not once fought for an undisputed title. Ferguson did win an interim lightweight title with a submission of Kevin lee in October 2017, but when it came time to unify with then-champion Conor McGregor, whom White granted the privilege of earning a gigantic payday by boxing Floyd Mayweather, Ferguson’s big-money fight never came to be.

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Instead, McGregor finally was stripped after more than two years of inactivity, and the UFC booked an undisputed title fight between Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov for UFC 223 in April 2018. Ferguson was forced to withdraw during fight week because of a serious knee injury that required reconstructive surgery. When he returned six months later at UFC 229, it wasn’t to challenge Nurmagomedov for the belt – but rather a co-main event vs. Anthony Pettis, which Ferguson won. Meanwhile, Nurmagomedov defended his title against McGregor right after in the night’s headliner.

Against that backdrop, it’s easy to understand why Ferguson would call out Chandler for having “Dana White privilege,” but White downplayed the entire notion.

“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. “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.”

So? Is “Dana White privilege” a real thing?

“Umm, no,” White said. “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.”