When Tony Ferguson says Michael Chandler carries “Dana White privilege” into the octagon, Chandler’s response is: guilty as charged.
Ferguson wasn’t in a laughing mood when he unloaded on the UFC and White during a media day in support of his fight with Chandler at UFC 274, which takes place Saturday at Footprint Center in Phoenix. But Chandler had some fun with the topic anyway.
“I’m sorry Tony, but that Dana White privilege line might be the funniest thing that has ever been said on a microphone in the context of mixed martial arts,” Chandler said on Wednesday. “He’s right, I am his boss’ favorite fighter; I am Dana’s favorite fighter. Dana White privilege is not on the line here – I’ve already got it.”
Ferguson first used the term before UFC 262 to describe his displeasure with Chandler’s fight with Charles Oliveira for the then-vacant lightweight title. The former interim lightweight champ had blasted Chandler for turning down a fight this past December. Chandler accused of Ferguson of turning down a fight with him two months prior and defended his decision to move on.
After a few rounds in the media, the top-tier lightweights are finally scheduled to fight. Ferguson is looking to break a three-fight skid, while Chandler is on the rebound after losses to Oliveira and Justin Gaethje, who meets the Brazilian champ in Saturday’s headliner.
Chandler said there’s no bad blood on his end of things.
“It’s all fun,” he said. “I saw him after the press conference. It’s all respect. He’s going to try to go out there and take my head off, and I’m going to do the same thing. But when it comes to animosity, I’ve got no animosity toward him. He’s all business.
“Is it true, is it blunder, is it just lip service? We don’t know. All I know is he’s going to run into a buzzsaw on Saturday night, and my Dana White privilege is not going to make a difference no matter what.”
The way Chandler sees it, no matter who wins in the main event of Saturday, he’s well-positioned to fight the winner if he comes out ahead against Ferguson.
“There’s not an MMA fan alive that doesn’t want to see me rematch either of those guys, Charles Oliveira, and especially Justin Gaethje in a five-round title fight,” Chandler said. “So we’ll see what happens. All I know is I can take care of business on Saturday night. I’ll break bread with Dana and [UFC COO] Hunter [Campbell], and we’ll talk about what’s next.”
That’s just what happens, according to Chandler, when you’ve got his privilege.