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Tony Ferguson: ‘Dana White privilege’ helped Michael Chandler get title shot in second UFC fight

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Tony Ferguson knows all too well that title shots are not easy to earn in the UFC.

He personally built a 12-fight winning streak in the lightweight division, and while he did hold an interim title at one time, the former Ultimate Fighter winner was never fortunate enough to compete for the undisputed championship.

Of course, Ferguson dealt with injuries, including a freak occurrence where he tripped over a television wire that blew out his knee just before a title fight against Khabib Nurmagomedov, as well as a multitude of other issues that prevented him from receiving that opportunity.

That said, Ferguson didn’t take too kindly to seeing former Bellator champion Michael Chandler at the UFC 262 pre-fight press conference about to compete for the vacant lightweight title in only his second fight with the promotion.

“You f*cking dodged me too, Chandler – you’re a b*tch,” Ferguson shouted at Chandler. “Every person out here except this guy [Charles Oliveira], that’s sitting next to me. I’m going to be real.

“You f*cking said no, I’m going to be real. You got this sh*t handed to you. You got Dana White privilege.”

Even UFC president Dana White had a laugh at Ferguson’s line.

Ferguson then continued to point at race as a determining factor regarding his own title aspirations, which he has seemingly left behind as he moves forward in his UFC career.

“Dana was right – he said timing is everything,” Ferguson said. “It wasn’t meant for me to have the title. I would have gave everybody a chance, right? I’m f*cking awesome. No, absolutely f*cking not.

“These guys are going to try to keep the title away from me as much as they can. I’m Mexican. It doesn’t matter if you’re color up here or not but I’m made with American parts, too, so let’s f*cking go.”

Of course, Chandler wasn’t the least bit amused after he was actually rumored to face Ferguson in his UFC debut but the fight never came together.

Chandler ultimately faced and then dispatched Dan Hooker inside three minutes of the opening round back at UFC 257, which then led to his title shot against Charles Oliveira on Saturday night.

“These days the word deserve is a hard one to quantify,” Chandler said. “I’ve been in this sport for over a decade. 13 years in August. My resume does speak for itself. I have dismantled two former UFC champions so I love my resume. I love past. I love my ups and I love my downs.

“I think the show that I put on against Dan Hooker, doing in two and a half minutes what Dustin Poirier couldn’t do in 25. Doing what Paul Felder couldn’t do in 25 minutes, I believe that was indicative of getting this title shot, not to mention the fact that I came in right away, kicked down the door, said yes to every opportunity, showed up with my work boots on just like my dad did as a union carpenter for the last 40 years. I show up. I’m a working man. I’m going to say yes when you call.”

More important than calling out Chandler or his grievances over a title shot, Ferguson just wants to get back on track after suffering losses in his past two fights in a row.

Judging by his comments, Ferguson is fired up to erase the past and work towards a better future starting with his co-main event showdown against Beneil Dariush this weekend.

“You’ve got these two gentlemen who are fighting for a vacant title, who I had 12 fights in a row and I fought for a title but then I got stripped, right?” Ferguson said. “The other day a camera man tripped over a f*cking cord when I was giving an interview, and it was actually not funny, the funny thing is god never puts enough on our plate that we can’t handle.

“Last year, I put so much on my damn plate that he f*cking fixed me up for this year. 2021’s my b*tch.”