Star Accused of Having ‘Dana White Privilege’ After Getting Major UFC Offer

Dana White

Getty UFC president Dana White and a sea of fans at UFC 286.

Former interim UFC welterweight champion Colby Covington will receive his third crack at undisputed gold, according to promotion president Dana White. And reigning king Leon Edwards believes it’s because Covington has “Dana White privilege.”

The term “Dana White privilege” — which Tony Ferguson coined in 2021 — describes fighters who receive significant opportunities from the organization when there is a perception that they haven’t deserved them. And Edwards believes that Covington’s work inside the Octagon, as well as his year-long hiatus, hasn’t warranted him a title shot. Instead, he said Covington’s work on the microphone and his name level are reasons why he is lined up as “Rocky’s” second title defense.

“I definitely have a say,” Edwards said on MMA Fighting’s “The MMA Hour” on Monday. “Listen, he ain’t getting a title shot next fight. Look at the road I had to take to get there. There’s no way you’re getting beat twice by the guy that I just beat twice, went out and beat Masvidal, and then sit out for a year and a half, not even tweeting or nothing, just go missing for a year and then randomly pops up at the weigh-ins and it’s like, ‘OK, he’s fighting for the title next.’ It makes no sense at all, so let’s see how it plays out. He has to go out there and earn his way like I had to do.

“Khamzat [Chimaev] and me were calling each other out for years. This is a guy that I got matched up with three times in a row. I took the [Chimaev] fight and [Covington] didn’t take the fight and he’s getting rewarded for not taking the fight. When it was me, I got removed from the rankings. So ‘Dana White privilege’ is definitely real.”


Covington Wants to Battle Edwards in July During International Fight Week in Las Vegas

The UFC president revealed at the UFC 286 post-fight press conference that “Chaos” was next for Edwards. The announcement came shortly after Rocky defended his title in front of his countrymen at the O2 Arena in London, England against Kamaru Usman.

A date and venue haven’t been announced; however, Covington said during the pay-per-view broadcast that he wanted Edwards to put the 170-pound strap on the line at UFC 290 on July 8 as part of the UFC’s International Fight Week in Las Vegas.


Edwards Said There Is ‘No Clear Contender’ at Welterweight

Welterweight has undoubtedly become top-heavy. With Covington, Belal Muhammad and the winner of the upcoming UFC 287 co-main event between Gilbert Burns and Jorge Masvidal all having cases to make for a title shot, Edwards said he’ll “sit back on [his] throne and have a look” at how things play out in his division before setting up his next contest.

“It makes no sense,” Edwards said. “[Covington] ain’t done much. He’s coming off of a loss then he beats Masvidal. Sat out for, like, a year and a half, went to court, I still don’t get the case for him to fight for a title, they’re trying to make it, it doesn’t make sense to me at all.”

That said, Edwards isn’t ruling out a fight with Covington altogether, he just doesn’t see what separates him from the rest of the welterweight pack. Edwards hasn’t named a particular opponent he’d like to see in his next defense, but knows for sure that Covington has more work to do to step into that spot.

“I feel like he needs at least one more fight,” Rocky continued. “Everyone else is fighting and working their way to get to a title shot, so why should he be sitting out for a year not doing nothing and then randomly slide into the title shot? I feel like he should go out there and fight one of the top 5 guys, top 6 guys, and we’ll go from there.

“There’s literally no clear contender right now and I feel like they’re all one fight away from the world title. So I’ll sit back on my throne and have a look.”

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