The rise of Dustin Poirier in the UFC has been nothing short of sensational. He went from an entertaining fighter who was always ready to brawl and struggled against the top fighters, all the way to a highly technical and intelligent fighter, able to defeat the likes of Eddie Alvarez, Justin Gaethje and Max Holloway. His efforts inside the octagon earned him an interim lightweight title and a shot at Khabib Nurmagomedov, but his efforts outside of the octagon are just as worthy of praise, if not more. The fighter from Lafayette has been known to help a lot of people in need and do a fair share of charity work especially in his home state of Louisiana.
Friday, just 24 hours before his UFC on ESPN 12 main event against Dan Hooker, the former interim lightweight champion was presented the inaugural “Forrest Griffin Community Award” as announced by the UFC in an official press release.
— UFC (@ufc) June 26, 2020
“Announced earlier this year, the Forrest Griffin Community Award is presented annually as part of UFC Honors President’s Choice category, as the award recipient is personally selected by UFC President Dana White,” the release reads. “UFC Honors, presented by Toyo Tires® is the company’s annual awards program recognizing UFC athletes, performances, and moments throughout each year.
UFC president Dana White and UFC Hall of Famer Forrest Griffin both praised Poirier in the statement.
“Dustin is a great athlete, but more importantly he’s a great human being,” UFC President Dana White said. “He is a kid who works hard and is passionate about giving back to not only his community but to those who are less fortunate.”
Griffin added, “I’m so happy people like him are in the sport. He’s such a good person and such a good representative of the sport. As he looks back in his life this is something he can reflect on and be proud of. I couldn’t ask for a better spokesperson and leader to start off the award’s legacy.”
When asked to comment on the announcement at the UFC on ESPN 12 weigh-ins, Poirier seemed surprised but pleased.
“I’m just grateful for the things we have accomplished with the foundation, the way it’s growing, and the support and people getting behind it,” Poirier said. “It’s amazing that when you do something from the heart, something that means something to you and you do it the right way, all the right things fall into place. These things are forced they are just happening.”
Toyo Tires, official sponsor of the UFC and of the award will be donating $25000 to a charity of Poirier’s choice.
This is nothing new to Poirier. In 2018 he launched his ”The Good Fight Foundation” and has since helped countless charities to improve the life of people in his hometown of Lafayette La.
The press release also mentioned some of Poirier’s noteworthy charitable achievements.
“Dustin has also utilized his fight-worn UFC Fight Kits, auctioning off his inventory of apparel to raise donations for families of fallen law enforcement officers, and building a local playground for Aaron Hill, a terminally ill seven-year-old of Lafayette. Hill, diagnosed with a genetic brain disorder, requested to have a special needs playground built for his friends who attend Prairie Elementary School.
In May 2019, he was awarded the key to the city of Lafayette by Mayor Joel Robideaux for his work with The Good Fight Foundation and his contributions to the community.
Following his most recent fight in September 2019 against UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov in Abu Dhabi, Nurmagomedov and Poirier each raffled off their fight-worn UFC Legacy Series Walkout Jerseys, raising more than $100,000 with a direct match from UFC, totaling $200,000 donated directly to the foundation.”
UFC on ESPN 12 takes place Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. The card airs on ESPN and streams on ESPN+.